I am glad to report that our trip to Cologne turned out great! The city was beautiful and we had an excellent host, which made our very first CouchSurfing experience very enjoyable. For those of you who have never heard of CouchSurfing, it is an online community of travelers who are interested in making new friends by hosting and visiting other community members. So, rather than staying in a hostel, this allows you a chance to stay with a local resident who is interested and excited to talk to you about their city and (if you are lucky like we were) show you around as well. It is a really great experience that I strongly recommend. And, don't worry, it really is safe: there is a verification system and you can view feedback and reviews from people that have hosted or been hosted by that individual.
As for the city itself, as the fourth largest city in Germany, Cologne has a lot to offer. Sometimes referred to as "Italy's northernmost city," Cologne is historically Catholic with beautiful cathedrals, a fun, relaxed atmosphere, and, of course, their famous Kölsch (or Koelsch) beer. What's more, Cologne has a lot of museums and on-going archaeological projects, which makes since given that Cologne is such an old city, nevertheless we were surprised by what we found. We walked along the Rhine, tagged along with a Danish tour group we bumped into, and explored all over the city. Take a look at the photos and see for yourself!
Until next time,
Jessica and Farrell