About my time in Split, Croatia; about Schengen rules for travellers, and Uber outside of the US
Cologne, Germany was my final destination for <c't webdev> conference. I was genuinely excited about visiting this city since I remember watching local carnival on Youtube, and seeing those awesome pictures from Cologne's Christmas celebration. As always, I started my journey at a train station.
The station looked small, but it had a nice feel to it. More importantly, all the roads near the station were very well paved, so I didn't have any problems dragging my luggage down the street.
Few meters away from the train station, I was greeted by a gorgeous sight of Cologne Cathedral across from the Rhine river.
But before I could see the cathedral in its full glory, I had to cross the bridge over the river. The bridge itself was "LOVEly" (yes, a cheesy pun):
With the entire bridge covered in love locks, I was wondering how long it took to accumulate this many locks! Someone whom I met at the conference told me that those locks are being cut down every so often to prevent a potential collapse of the bridge. Apparently, it is a common practice because of cases like the one that happened in Paris 2014. This makes the locks on the Cologne's bridge even more impressive since it has not been collecting them for long.
Exploring Evening Cologne
After getting to my hotel, I couldn't wait until the next day to begin exploring the city. I wasn't sure where to start, so I decided to get closer to the Rhine river. Fortunately, I still had some daylight left and could take a few pictures of the river, its surroundings and bizarre looking trees which I frequently see in Germany.
Later in the evening, I was lucky enough to stumble upon a Sculpture Park of Cologne just before its closing time.
What fascinates me the most with this sort of art exhibitions is how much space is dedicated to the installations. If I am being honest, the sculptures themselves were quite confusing but that to be expected of the modern art.
After exploring the park while dodging disapproving stares of the security guard who was about to close the place, I went on my way to the next stop - Botanical garden.
By the time I got to the Botanical Garden, it was closed. Fortunately, it wasn't physically closed yet (i.e. the sign said it was closed, but the gates were still opened). I hesitated for a second, but then entered the park anyway. I did so not because I am a rebel, but rather because I was driven by peer pressure of a lady with a toddler and another passer-by who went ahead regardless of the sign.
As I entered the garden, I was met by a large building in the middle of it all. I wasn't interested in it enough to get closer and see what it was, but the building looked fancy.
The rest of the walk in the garden wasn't very eventful either - the plants were mostly plain, but the area sure felt peaceful. The only picture I was interested enough to take was of something that looks like a collection of moths.
On My Way Back to Hotel
Although Cologne felt extremely safe, I didn't want to hang out outside for too long after dark. And what could have been a better path to get to my hotel than through the forest and the train tracks.
As I got closer to my hotel, I saw a relatively large pond with a bridge over it.
P.S. You can see more photos from my trip to Cologne in this album.