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Now I've written it - I really want to go again. Fingers crossed!
Dream Walk: Kölle, Kölle, Alaffe – Cologne Above All.
I’d stick some Bläck Fööss on my ipod, sung by probably the best collection on mullets in the land, dress up as a giant red and white stripy gnome and sling my Kölsch holster around my neck – it’s not just the water in Cologne that’s good! It’s Rosenmmontag (Rose Monday), it’s ‘The Crazy Days’ and Cologne is having a massive party.
‘Each jester to their own red nose’ is the motto for Kölner Karneval 2012, but I probably won’t need to buy one. It will be February and it will be freezing. But the good cheer of the crowds, beer and ‘Heaven and Earth’ (Himmel und Ääd – black pudding, fried onions, mashed potato and apple sauce) will help me power through.
I’ll stalk the Karneval floats, starting in the Alter Markt, stuffing my bag full of kammelle und stüβcher (sweets and flowers). I’ll ‘pap’ the Jungfrau, Prinz and Bauer and I’ll scale the heights of the Dom, even though the last few wooden steps to the very top of the cathedral will give me wobbly legs, it will be worth it for the view across the old city and the Rhine. A view so spectacular that I’ll spontaneously take my woolly red gnome hat off to Master Gerhard (the architect), the devil and his ducks (the reason for the 300 year gap in construction).
When I’m finally Karnevalled out, I’ll walk north along the banks of the Rhine for about a kilometre, my red nose streaming and my breath following behind me in frozen bursts. I’ll jump in a cable car, cross the river and unwind in Claudius Thermalbad, where I’ll sit, as the Germans do, naked in the sauna wearing nothing more than my little red woolly gnome hat with the tinkly bell.
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