|A local bus seen on the taxi ride from Bonn to St. Aug|
Travelling to new locations is an experience that we seek for pleasure and for business. During one of these trips in 2010, when I was traveling a hell lot in the first six months of the year, I got a chance to visit Germany for a business trip. It was indeed a marathon trip, where I had to fly from Oslo – Germany - UK – Oslo in a span of four days. The first two days, had to spend time in Germany for a Business Meeting. Took a flight from Oslo, Norway to Dusseldorf in Germany. From Dusseldorf me and my manager took a local train to Koln. One of the harrowing experiences was – everything was in German and the ATM Ticket vending machine for the train journey won’t budge if we did not have cash. Credit Cards for some reason were not accepted. Luckily my colleague had some Euro’s that were perhaps saved for a rainy day and we were able to get tickets and board the train.
Once in Koln, we took the Taxi to our Hotel. While on the taxi, saw some really long German buses, a host of different architecture and way of life, Lindt Factory and other interesting sights.
|Lindt Chocolate Factory|
|Hotel Hangelar, St Augustin|
|St. Augustin Church|
|Deserted Main Street of St. Augustin|
We wanted a hotel in Koln / Bonn but there were very few hotels in these places and were fully booked – thanks to the summer. So we booked a hotel in a quiet town called “Sankt Augustin” which was at a distance of 8-10 kms from both Koln and Bonn. We stayed a couple of nights in Sankt Augustin and had overnight internal preparatory meetings and the actual business meeting (for which we had to travel to some other place) the next day. The town of Sankt Augustin is a small quiet town somewhat in the middle of nowhere. Though not that far from Koln and Bonn, it usually has tourists who come on a religions pilgrimage to Koln, Bonn and other areas. The day we arrived, we checked into a hotel and then walked down to the main street to find a place for dinner. The streets were totally deserted, though it was hardly 6 pm and we saw a Church (L shaped) and quiet streets with bilboard signs in German. We soon had a quiet Pizza place where they spoke decent English and had a beer and pizza and retired back early to bed for a hectic day of business meetings next day.
|At Bonn Square|
The next day, after the meeting was finished, we travelled back to the hotel Hangelar where we stayed and the others who had flown in for the meeting left their own ways. I and another colleague of mine then decided that now that we are done with business, it was time for pleasure. We decided to meet at Bonn Square in the evening to walk around Bonn. Bonn as a city has a lot of historical significance and was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990.
The Bonn Square was very picturesque and had the typical European touch of cobblerstone footpaths (which i have begun to enjoy and cherish so much!) with scenic buildings with sloping roofs giving a feel of the "old world" with comforts of the new world. Bonn is also the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven - better known as Beethoven, the German pianist and composer.
From the Bonn Square, we walked around and saw the "University of Bonn", "Born Minster", Sterntor (star gate), Beethovenhalle (birth place of Beethoven). The town is a strange concoction of history and modern lifestyle. Most of the American Brands like Pizza Hut, Mac D's etc have a shop at the center.
The Bonn Minster is one of Germany's oldest churches having been built between the 11th and 13th centuries. At one point the church served as the cathedral for the Archbishopric of Cologne
|University of Bonn|
The Sterntor is a reconstruction of a gate of the medieval city wall
|Sterntor (star gate)|
|American brands have invaded Bonn!|
|River Rhine with wonderful skyline of trees and churches|
|At the birth place of Beethoven|
|Indian Restaurant in Bonn|
|Sculptures depicting the heads of Saints Cassius & Florentius in front of the Bonn Minster.|
|Life @ 80 mph in AutoBahn|
|A typical fountain|
|Life on the fast lane|
|The classic tourists nightmare. Where to go?|