The days we’ve waited for so long had eventually come: The fifth season! On Wednesday before ‘Weiberfastnacht’ we took a plane to Cologne and were picked up at the airport by Andrea and Michael, which were so kind and generous to host us for the next six days and nights. But this wasn’t just hostig some friends in the guestroom: in fact it felt like an a warm and comfy alround hotel accomodation – great people and a lot of fun included.
Therefore we were awake and lively the next morning to experience our first carneval as Londonders:
Whereas Alexander and Michael had a ‘boys-day-out’ with Peter (who is a good friend from Munich and stayed at Michael’s and Andrea’s home as well) and Jonas I went to my former employer’s office to celebrate carnival with my ‘old’ great colleagues.
While the guys were having fun at the Cologne town hall I moved on with my beloved colleagues Vera and Mareike to a central pub to meet some of Vera’s friends:
After that Mareike and me went to another party in Alexander’s and mine old ‘Veedel’ Ehrenfeld. Although this was very funny and great I decided to do one more stop to join the boys at another pub. With some distance I understand now why it is a tradition that the genders celebrate ‘Weiberfastnacht’ separerated 🙂 From my point of view this was enough drinking and having a party for that day and went to bed but the others wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate a bit more at the Basement party room where Andrea had already joined the group:
Then the Friday came: the day when we had to give over our wonderful flat to our (not the less than wonderful friends and) new tenants Daniela, Christoph and little Joni. But there was time enough to have ‘full English-German breakfast’ with Birgit:
After some goodbye tears and hugs with our former neighbours we had to hurry up at bit since the next event was waiting for us. Due to our relocation to London we had to sell our tickets for the ‘Lachende Kölnarena’ which should have taken place at the weekend before carneval. How lucky we were when another good friend of Alexander asked us to join them for the same event on this Friday:
Usually the Saturday would have been a day to rest and sleep (and to stay sober) but since every second had to be exploited we went with Andrea, Michael, Peter and Caro (who had completed our group on Friday evening) to the Bensberg carnival parade:
Luckily we had strengthened ourselves with a proper Bavarian breakfast (wheat beer and veal sausages included) since we had to hump bags with sweets, chocolate and (oddly enough) peanut flips back home.
On the next morning Alexander and I had to leave quite early to meet some people from our carnival club ‘Große Kölner’ at the ‘Gürzenich’ event hall where we wanted to prepare the rooms for the today’s ‘Familiensitzung’ which we also wanted to join with the others. This was great fun as ever but unfortunately too short to speak with everybody. Although the plan was to go home straight away after the event we had a short pit stop at the ‘Kölners’ pub around the corner:
And then Carnival Monday was breaking. Early again for us both since we wanted to distribute the traditional pea soup (‘Ähzezupp’) to the people of the ‘Große Kölner’ who accompanied the Shrove Monday pocession:
After we had cleanded the room and locked the school where we had met we joined our friends who had already gathered at the way of the parade.
And as a little warm-up for our flight back at the following day we also met Boris Johnson:
And that’s it. Five happy and joyful days came finally to an end. A huge THANK YOU again to Andrea and Michael who had been the nicest and most patient hosts we’ve ever had!
And our summary? It was amazing, great and fantastic but we were also a bit suprised that we felt something like a tiny bit of anticipation to be back in London. Probably because we know that Cologne is and stays our ‘Heimat’.