December 30, 2013: A Day in the Life of Bonn

The train ride from Frankfurt to Bonn was pretty uneventful.  I mostly played Flow (which it turns out I’m pretty good at) and chatted/looked at all of the pretty scenery on the Rhein.  We got to Bonn sometime in the afternoon, and while Bonn is not a particularly big town, we managed to get a bit lost and then stumble upon the someone ghetto part.  Well, it mostly was because we got on the wrong train which, while it said it was going to Bonn, what it really mean was that it was going to some random station on the edge of town instead of the main station.  So we had to navigate our way via street car to the main station and then walk to our hostel.  This is where we began to run into some issues.  We started walking down an innocent looking enough street.  As we progressed, the scene around us began to shift to one of somewhat neutrality, to graffiti lined abandoned buildings with broken window and somewhat hard faced teenagers staring us down as we walked.  This wasn’t aided by the fact that we had to turn down this alleyway to get to the hostel we reserved.  Oh, and did I mention the building looked totally deserted.  After ringing the doorbell, knocking, calling the hostel, and searching for other entrances we gave up.

So what did we end up doing?  Well we saw a hotel a bit farther up the street which was in a much less seedy part of town.  After knocking on the door and talking to the guy who I presume was the owner, we booked a room and could finally breath a bit easier.  While it wasn’t a particularly bad hotel, it was a bit… off.  There were five beds in our room, but the owner assured us that we would be the only people staying there.  This was not really an issue except people would randomly hit our door and I would be slightly panicked by the thought of someone just barging in the room.  The “door” to the bathroom consisted of two small swinging doors which had about an inch wide gap where they closed, and subsequently didn’t lock.  This was a bit awkward.  The weirdest bit about the hotel was the fact that there was not only a massive hole in the shower curtain, but also by the fact that there was a pair of men’s underwear hanging up by the shower, belonging to who I can only guess, was the last renter of said room.

Initial seediness aside, Bonn did turn out to be quite nice.  The main attraction was the house where Beethoven was born.  This included a nice little museum with various different paintings and artifacts from his life.  I even managed to snap a couple of photos, despite the signs prohibiting photography.  It was really neat though, but a bit too cheery for what was actually Beethoven’s life.  This is also about the time I proceeded to drop and break my camera the rest of the way.  Technology: 2  Alicia: 0.

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This is the piano Beethoven used as a child, btw.

After that I walked around the Christmas market as well as the town.  The Christmas market in Bonn was much like any other market I’d been to, but was nice to see anyway.  I also saw the main church, which like any other church in Germany was large, old, and pretty.  I wasn’t able to go inside because they were having a concert of sorts.  I also saw some of the university as well as a nice little lookout over the Rhein.  At this point it had already gotten a bit dark, so it was back to the hotel room for some internet and German tv.

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The major event in Bonn the next day, and also the last, was going to the Haribo store there.  For those who don’t know, Bonn is where Haribo actually started and is an acronym for the founder Johannes Riegel and Bonn.  There was a bit of history on the walls as well as an art gallery for their calendar, which takes photos using their gummy snacks in various artistic ways.  Probably the best part was getting to make your own bag of gummies from their huge assortment on the back wall.  I think the only one I tried and didn’t like was called a salty pretzel gummy, which ended up being licorice and therefore, disgusting.

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After a bit more walking around and lunch at the Christmas market, it was time to hit up the next city, and probably my favorite: Cologne.

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