Short trip to Cologne, Germany

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Ah yes, the ubiquitous train-ride blog entry by yours truly.  What can I say, it keeps me occupied during these long stretches of travel.

And this one, dear readers, is a tough ride to say the least.

I was lucky enough to be able to visit Miloš in Cologne for two days.  He had to leave just over a week ago for pre-season training and meetings (in Cologne,) which was an emotional good bye in itself.  But then I had the opportunity to visit him there once the meetings were done and before he left for his ship assignment in France.

When I left Vienna, I thought Miloš was to be leaving for his ship on Wednesday.  But when I got to Cologne midday Sunday, I found out they moved it up to Tuesday morning.  I was upset to only have two days together, but two days was more than nothing, so we would make the best of the time that we had.

For the rest of the day after I got there, we just kind of chilled and relaxed.  We didn’t go out – we really didn’t even leave the room.

The next day, we slept in and then headed out to see some of Cologne.  It was a cold and windy day, so we didn’t spend too much time outside.  I wanted to see the cathedral, for sure.  (It’s SO beautiful!)  We weren’t really able to walk around too many areas inside the cathedral, as it looked like they were getting ready for a mass.  But I did snap a few pics.  Take a look!

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After checking out the cathedral, we headed down the main shopping street – a pedestrian thoroughfare with shops of every kind.  We even stopped off at the Lego store where Miloš had gotten me my awesome Lord of the Rings Legos last summer…  He also stocked up on some of the essentials he needed for the season, and we stopped for a latte and hot chocolate to warm up.

Now, one of the things I wanted to do as soon as I saw it, was to add a lock to the fence on the bridge.  The way it works, is that a couple puts their names or initials (with the day’s date) on a lock, and then locks it to the gate somewhere along the bridge.  Then your lock is there in perpetuity.  The locks stretch along the entire length of the bridge – there are thousands of them.  It’s basically a cheesy romantic thing to do, and I was all about it!

We went into the train station and after asking where to buy a lock, we headed to a little store that sold all kinds of little knick knacks, including locks.  The cashier even let us use her permanent marker to write on it.  We found a place right in the middle of the bridge to put our lock, and then speedily headed back to escape the cold winds.


The rest of the evening was all about together time again.  We hung out, played a lot of Boggle on my phone, talked, and enjoyed our time together in every way.  Our taxi to take us to the train station would be picking us up at 7:30am, so we decided it would be another “last night” with no sleeping, as had become our routine every time we had to say good bye.  We wanted to be awake with each other and be consciously aware of every single moment.  Sleep would not be robbing us of the precious few hours we had left together.

As 7:00am drew closer and closer, I shed more and more tears.  I couldn’t help but bemoan how unfair it felt – how so many other couples can see each other every day.  Or hell, even talk every day.  Since Miloš was to be heading to the ship, with limited crappy internet, it meant extremely slow-connection Facebook chats, and NO Viber calls except when he’s in Paris and can escape to the park with free wifi.  (The wifi on the ship is so weak and inconsistent that it can’t support free callings apps like Viber, and especially any kind of video chat or that type of thing.)

But we also both agreed that as difficult as our time apart was, we were incredibly lucky to have what we have, and that some people never get this kind of special connection in their lives.  We are so truly fortunate to have one another.

When we got to the train station, I hung out with Miloš and his colleagues, as their train was delayed in getting there.  I was kind of glad, since it gave us extra time together.  My train wasn’t until 9:53am, so I stayed with Miloš at his train platform until I had to leave for mine.  I was smart – I skipped mascara today – I wasn’t going to have raccoon eyes from mascara running down my face when my eyes couldn’t help but shed the tears.  I held it together pretty well though, especially since I got to have that extra hour of being in Miloš’ arms as we stood there waiting for the trains.

My train was literally going to be on the next platform, on the opposite side of one pair of tracks.  And around 9:45am, I had to leave.  Damn, that part is always hard as hell – that last moment of togetherness. The last touch, the last kiss, the last embrace; knowing that some time will be passing until you get to feel those things again.  It’s like your heart is taking a beating.  And the lump in my throat felt as big as a grapefruit as I used all my energy not to completely lose it and bawl my brains out.   Miloš and I said good-bye at the elevator, and I went down to the main floor, so I could come back up at the next platform.  I walked to the place where I could wait for my train directly across from where Miloš was waiting for his train.  We were able to look at each other from across the tracks, until my train started approaching.  We blew each other one final kiss right before the train blocked our view of each other.  And then I left.

So here I am.  Even though I started to write this as soon as I got my seat, I promptly started falling asleep, so I packed up the laptop and slept until 5:30pm, when our train stopped in Linz.  Now it’s just after 6:30pm, and we have a half hour to go before we get to Vienna.  I’m tired, but at least I was able to sleep on the train this time.  I’m also emotionally a huge mess, as I cried a couple times just writing this blog.  What can I say, I’m just a girl who misses her boy.

Here are some more pics of Cologne:

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Photo of author
Jennifer was initially drawn to Europe for two reasons: music and love.  She lived in Vienna for four years, and now calls Croatia home for much of each year, as she married a native Croatian. Since 2015, Jennifer has worked as a tour director and cruise director on European river cruises for a major American travel company, and has become an expert in all of the cities along her routes on the Danube, Rhine, and Main Rivers. She also has traveled to Disney World almost every year since 1985, and knows Disney World inside and out. As a travel agent, Disney World is her primary specialty, and she has helped many Disney newbies and veterans have amazing trips with her insider information.

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