Review: Hotel Bürgerhof (Cologne, Germany)

So I was in Cologne over the Christmas days, and to give myself and everyone else some more freedom and space during thos elovely but fully packed and partially stressful days, I decided to book myself into a hotel. And as my aunt was already staying there, the decision was easy.

My mum had picked up my keys already on the day of arrival – on the one hand great that it´s possible, on the other hand a bit odd if you think about the fact that only the surname made picking up the name possible…ah well, let´s not put too much weight onto that but still.

So let´s start with the room – my room hadn´t been used for a while I guess, at leats it felt like it due to the the smel – opening the window rather quickly changed that, so it was all good in the end. The hotelroom was spacey and had a double bed, plenty of space for storing things and everything was just perfectly fine size-wise.

The bed itself was…a bit too soft for myself, but I git used to it quickly – and since my back didn´t complain, and sleeping on the sides, on my belly and on the back felt pretty good, I was positively surprised. I didn´t expect that I was gonna sleep quite well in there when I sat down on it and tested the mattress. Bedlinen was okay, but finding something to bitch about it would be generally rather tough 😉

Space-wise, the bathroom was totally okay, just the bits of mold in the shower were not making me too happy as I am always easily feeling turned off by such things. It´s hilarious how sensitive I am even about the smallest bits of it, but that´s me. The shower also was a bit funny – first time I was standing in there and turned on the water, it nearly blew me away because the water pressure was full power all of a sudden 😀

So the room overall – hardly anything to complain, especially since it´s not been the hotel´s falt that I was simply too dumb to be able to turn on the TV (that even had Sky). I simply failed even though having read the instructions, but in the end I didn´t have any tme anyways and instead enjoyed the silence. Talking about silence  it´s been lovely silent during nighttime, I wouldn´t even have needed my earplugs.

After sleep comes…yes, breakfast! A small little buffet that had everything you needed – tea, coffee, water, juices…and the bread rolls of different kinds, croissants and then the normal stuff you find on buffets. I would´ve loved to have some cereals but as the milk was with lactose, same for the yoghurt, I decided on ditching it since with all the food in general my body had enough struggles to facce. So also that was totally fine, all good!

Last but not least – the staff I met was polite and nice, I felt well there. So overall – if I was in need of a hotel in that area again, I´d clearly be returning!

Homepage: http://hotel-niehl.de/

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Christmas Days // Weihnachtstage

Let’s have a recap of the Christmas days here, now that I actually have time to publish what I wrote on every day because I am now back at home in Hamburg.

24th December
Getting up early when being on vacation clearly is not my strength but no can do – my train to Cologne was leaving at around 8am so I had no choice.I was travelling via Hannover, which was…annoying. Simply because I prefer direct connections, even though my first train was relaxed, I had a row for myself and everything was fine despite the fact it felt like sitting on a sauna train. The second train was far fuller and what made it worse : I had to travel backwards which tends to make me feel sick to the core but I managed. More or less at least.

You may laugh but I went for a run and did gymnastics before all the Christmas things started – didn’t manage my daily minimum but better than nothing. The time with my family was sweet, and I was really surprised about all the presents – my big suitcase clearly is needed and will be easily filled. Much to bring home with me. And many things to read, something to photograph, something for my laptop, some things to eat and and and…all nicely wrapped and often far too beautiful to actually unpack.

Then good food followed, and once again I was surprised how fast I am full – and how many weight watchers points good food has. It surely could have been worse but…still xD

Now that I sit here, enjoying some time on my own before soon sleeping, I feel guilty for not having done enough sports…maybe I can make it up tomorrow or the day after. I really need to, my body forces me to do it even though Christmas days usually are lazy days for me…

25th December
Somehow I couldn’t sleep but also was dead tired, I really don’t know what’s wrong with my body that the sleeping is so messed up lately. Anyways, got up and made s nice breakfast, before I got ready to visit my grandma at the hospital – and since I desperately try to work on not gaining weight during Christmas, I walked to the hospital. 2.5km back and forth, in a weather that clearly could have been far more pleasant! My shoes and socks were wet and my mood hit s low, but after a longer Napa and a hot shower I was back on track to have another nice afternoon and evening with the family.

This time I was also partially cooking, because it’s been my wish to have couscous with vegetables and chicken – tastes good and is not that extremely bad for my weight watchers points budget. But the cookies after dinner, when watching “The Hobbit” on TV did kill quite a lot of points…at some point I had gotten so tired that I hopped into the car and drove to go and hug my pillow. Somehow my body is really done and makes me feel like the day would have been super exhausting though I personally didn’t think it was…

26th December

Going to gym in the morning clearly is not my kind of thing to do…usually.but special occasions need special actions, so I had a quick breakfast and then drove to the fitness studio to work out and kill some calories from the past two days even though I was really not motivated at first. As usual, in the end my mood was better and I felt a lot more fit, even though the muscles clearly were aching.

I started packing pretty early so I would have enough time in the evening to spend with my family instead of rushing to stuff all of my many things into my big suitcase.

And this is how I also spent my evening – with nice cake and then a lovely dinner, chatting and relaxing before dropping into bed really tired – and still my mind was creative enough to produce really funny dreams that made me wake up laughing in the middle of the night…

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Lasst uns zusammen auf die Weihnachtstage zurückblicken, jetzt wo ich zuhause in Hamburg bin habe ich auch endlich die Zeit, all da was ich jeden Tag geschrieben habe, zu veröffentlichen.

24. Dezember
Wenn man Urlaub hat gibt es schöneres als morgens früh aufstehen zu müssen, aber was will man machen -mein Zug nach Köln fuhr gegen 8uhr ab, ich hatte keine andere Wahl. Ich bin dann via Hannover nach Köln gefahren, und das war schon nervig. Ganz einfach weil direkte Verbindungen einfach besser sind, auch wenn der erste Zzug relativ entspannt war und ich eine Sitzreihe für mich alleine hatte und alles gut war, davon abgesehen dass es ein Sauna-Zug war. Der zweite Zug war wesentlich voller und wäre noch schlimmer gemacht hat: ich saß rückwärts und das macht meinem Magen meistens zu schaffen, aber dieses Mal ging es noch einigermaßen.

Ihr lacht vielleicht, aber ich bin dann noch joggen gegangen und habe Gymnastik gemacht bevor all die Weihnachtssachen angefangen haben – wenigstens mein Minimum an Aktivität habe ich geschafft. Besser als nichts. Die Zeit mit meiner Familie war schön, und ich war sehr überrascht über all die Geschenke – mein Koffer wird da echt ausgefüllt sein. Es gibt es vieles was ich nach Hause bringen werde. Und vieles zum Lesen, etwas zum Fotografieren, etwas für mein laptop, etwas zum Essen und und und…alles schön eingepackt und oft viel zu schön um es auszupacken.

Dann folgte gutes Essen, und einmal mehr war ich überrascht wie schnell ich satt bin – und wie vieler Weight Watchers Punkte gutes Essen hat. Es hatte sicherlich schlimmer sein können, aber dennoch… XD

Jetzt wo ich hier sitze und etwas Zeit für mich genieße, bevor ich gleich schlafen gehen werde, fühle ich mich schlecht weil ich nicht genug Sport gemacht habe…vielleicht kann ich das morgen oder übermorgen wieder wettmachen. Ich brsuche das wirklich, mein Körper zwingt mich dazu, auch wenn Weihnachten meistens die faule Zeit für mich ist.

25. Dezember
Irgendwie konnte ich nicht mehr schlafen, war aber trotzdem total müde, ich weiß nicht was mit meinem Körper los ist, dass ich so seltsam schlafe. Egal, ich bin aufgestanden und habe mir Frühstück gemacht bevor ich meine Oma im Krankenhaus besucht habe – und da ich verzweifelt versuche nicht zuzunehmen während der Weihnachtstage, bin ich trotz des Regens zu Fuß gegangen – 2.5km hin und das gleiche wieder zurück. Das Wetter hatte echt angenehmer sein können. Meine Schuhe und Socken waren total durchnässt und meine Laune war nicht wirklich tokl, aber nach einem langen Nickerchen und einer heißen Dusche war ich dann wieder soweit umeinen schönen Nachmittag und Abend mit der Familie zu haben.

Dieses mal habe ich auch gekocht, weil es mein Wunsch gewesen war Couscous mit Gemüse und Fleisch- schmeckt gut und ist nicht ganz so schlimm was die Weight Watchers Punkte betrifft. Aber Kekse nach dem Abendessen als wir “Der Hobbit” geschaut haben, die haben einige Punkte verspeist…irgendwann wurde ich dann auf einmal so müde, dass ich mir dachte: am besten ins Auto und fahren bevor ich noch müder werde. Mein Körper dachte wohl, dass der Tag wirklich anstrengend gewesen wäre, auch wenn ein Kopf anders dachte.

26. Dezember

Morgens ins Fitnessstudio zu gehen ist definitiv nicht so meins…normalerweise. Aber besondere Anlässe erfordern das hakt, daher habe ich schnell mein Frühstück gegessen und bin dann zum Fitnessstudio gefahren um Sport zu machen und ein paar der an gefressenen Kalorien wieder loszuwerden – auch wenn ich zuerst einmal mehr nicht wirklich motiviert war. Aber wie immer, danach war meine Laune besser und ich habe mich fitter gefühlt als zuvor, auch wenn meine Muskeln definitiv am schmerzen waren.

Ich habe relativ früh damit begonnen zu packen, damit ich dann abends mehr Zeit hatte mit meiner Familie zusammen zu sitzen anstatt noch alles in meinen Koffer quetschen zu müssen! Und das war dann auch wie ich meinen Abend verbracht habe – mit leckerem Kuchen, einem netten Abendessen und vielen entspannten Gesprächen , bevor ich dann wirklich müde ins Bett gefallen bin – aber mein Kopf war immer noch kreativ genug um mich mit wirklich lustigen Träumen zu beglücken…

 

Flashback: Back where I come from // Rückblick: Zurück dort, wo ich herkam

…and in this case I mean Cologne, where I grew up and lived for so many years. The two days after the concert I spent with my family but also walking around Longerich, the area in Cologne I grew up in.

And needless to say – it has not changed as much as I had expected it to change. And no, I did not get lost, I might be clumsy and really bad when it comes to orientation, but I made ist. Safely. I had planned to be walking around much more, but I really felt tired and worn out after the show – rocking out drains the energy^^ Also, my main focus was not on doing sightseeing in my own home town, but rather see my family again and spend time with them, because I haven´t seen most of them since Christmas – being far away from home has its good and bad sides, and this is one of the bad ones. Sucks that you just cannot walk over or hop onto a tram and quickly have a chat. People are not becoming younger, and then being rather far away sucks.

But now, enjoy some snapshots from my walk!

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…und in diesem Fall meine ich Köln, wo ich aufgewachsen bin und so für eeeeeiiiinige Jahre gewohnt habe. Die Tage nach dem Konzert habe ich mit meiner Familie verbracht, aber hatte auch was Zeit in Longerich herumzulaufen – und Longerich ist das Viertel, in dem ich aufgewachsen bin in Köln.

Und ich muss sagen – es hat sich nicht viel verändert, und ich hätte durchaus mehr Veränderung erwartet. Und nein, ich habe mich nicht verlaufen, auch wenn ich wirklich verpeilt bin und keinen Orientierungssinn habe, aber ich habe es sicher wieder nach hause geschafft. Ich wollte viel mehr herumlaufen als ich es dann getan habe, aber ich war einfach wirklich müde und ausgelaugt nach dem Konzert – Rockshows brauchen viel Energie ^^. Auch war mein Hauptfocus nicht darauf, in meinem eigenen Viertel “Sehenswürdigkeiten” mir anzuschauen, eher darauf, meine Familie wieder zu sehen und mit ihnen Zeit zu verbringen, denn ich hatte einige von ihnen seit Weihnachten nicht mehr gesehen. Es hat Vor- und Nachteile so weit weg zu sein, und das ist eine der Nachteile. Es ist blöd, wenn man nicht einfach so rübergehen kann oder in die Bahn springen kann um mal zu quatschen oder so. Man wird nicht jünger, und wenn man dann weit weg ist, ist es blöd.

Aber jetzt genießt ein paar Schnappschüsse von meinem Spaziergang!

          

A trip down memory lane and a “hole in my ass”

Backdrop // Borrowed with permission

It still fascinates me that I am all back into Apocalyptica and am travelling around for them – so yeah, another day, another show and another trip for me it was.

Apocalyptica were playing in Cologne on 21st of October and having grown up there, it was a natural thing to go there – for the show but also for seeing my family again.

(First off – check the setlist and you will know why I chose that title for the blog entry…)

Borrowed with permission

So it was Hamburg, 8am, when I hopped onto the train to Hannover where I had to do quite some running to get my connection train – at least that one had also been delayed so I was still arriving in Cologne on time.

My dad picked me up and at my former home I still had some time to plan my days and have a quick bite before I rushed to the venue (my dad drove me, again – so luckily no public transport for me). And surprise – opposite to what I expected, I´ve been just the second fan that had been showing up in front of the empty venue. I felt pretty stupid to be fair, because I dislike standing there like an idiot or/and a groupie or whatsoever. I am not, I am not even someone anymore I´d call a “hardcore fan” anymore. I am someone who appreciates their music and has a connection to them, and that´s why I am doing all this madness (yep, it is madness in other people´s eyes, and that´s totally fine for me as not everyone needs to understand all of my actions).

And this time it was pretty good to be there early – singer Franky had been doing

Borrowed with permission

sightseeing all day and nearly walked past the venue without realizing it´s the venue. It is soemthing I truly appreciate – someone who takes time to really go and see things. If you wanna see the stuff he photographs on those trips – go and check out his Instagram page! he´s got an eye for amazing stuff, details and angles and moods. I love the photos!

Anyways, it was cool meeting him pre-show, and before the fans slowly started coming to the venue. Still surprised how long it actually took until it got more crowded, I am used to the old days when everyone was eagerly queuing for hours (which I always disliked). I also met a long-time friend finally again – and it was kinda cool to be attending a show of this band together again, after we had met back then thanks to a show of Apocalyptica. And it was frontrow, and right where I wanted to be once more to have fun, to laugh, smile, and this time to not shed a tear.

I was surprised how things in my life changed and how I seemingly feel so much better

Borrowed with permission

now, because songs that usually broke me and made me cry did not make me cry but made me just enjoy and sing along. One of those examples is “Hope Vol. 2” – a song that brings back sad memories, and killed me in Hamburg and Bielefeld. This time I felt like it was different – I felt like it was comforting me, like this song was “licking the wounds from the past” instead of ripping them open again. And this is something I never thought to happen and also not that fast. Maybe it is because Franky sings it and has made it his very own song, and that his voice just comforts me. I don´t know, sometimes things do not need words – cannot be put in words. it just is the way it is, and it´s fine that way, too. I cannot believe how much I´ve fallen in love with Franky´s voice and him being in Apocalyptica and at the same time I so fear he will be around just for this “album cycle” – and that´s probably the biggest compliment I could ever give a singer that is with Apocalyptica.

I really enjoyed the show once again, yet I still don´t like all the stuff that is projected on the backdrop – my brain explodes, too much going on, and I cannot really enjoy that. Sure, closing eyes is a good way how to escape from all this, and it´s what I´ve been doing, but in the end I wanna watch the show and not just listen to it.

At the end of the show, Paavo handed me his setlist – I haven´t had one for ages, it´s been years. And at the evry same time as stating that, I also gotta state that there´s been probably fans out there that would´ve loved to ahve it even more than me. I am realistic, material things will never be able to come close to the experiences, and all this, that a show and everything gives me.

After show I waited for the band with my mum (she and my stepdad had also been at the show) and my friends – but in the end and thanks to an asshole security we were chased off the venue grounds and couldn´t get anywhere near the exit and the bus so we just left. This security was probably the most frustrated human being on earth, looking at how desperately he was using his “power”. nearly a reason to feel sorry for this guy – but just nearly.

21.07.2013 – You colour me in // 21.07.2013 – Du färbst mich ein

Actually you shouldn´t interprete Rea Garvey´s “Colour me in” like this, but it´s so fitting just now when talking about this day – I´ve been working as a volunteer for The Color Run here in Cologne, a time full of many colours 🙂
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Eigentlich sollte man Rea Garvey´s “Colour me in” nicht so interpretieren, aber es passt einfach so gut zu dem Tag – denn ich habe als freiwilliger Helfer bei The Color Run Köln mitgemacht, eine Zeit voller Farbe 🙂

PHOTOS/FOTOS

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REA GARVEY – “COLOUR ME IN”

https://www.tape.tv/vid/211051

Bye bye Dörpstedt, hello Cologne // Tschüss Dörpstedt, hallo Köln

IMG_2109

Alright, this entry won´t be that long since I already had quite a long day. Getting up early and stuffing all things into the car was a challenge, because it was more and took more space than we had expected – a comfortable car ride to Cologne surely would´ve looked different. In addition, the weather did its best to really be annoying, icy, windy, snowy, rainy. The not existing Christmas mood of mine disappeared more and more, with each kilometer we drove. Unpacking is still a bit in progress, though most things alresdy found their (temporary) place, which was a challenge since my clothes seemingly have multiplied (where on earth do all those socks come from all of a sudden??). But since I am tired, the rest simply has to wait, and now only smaller tidying up work is waiting so that I can finally jump under the shower and then fall into bed.

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Okay, dieser Eintrag wird nicht all zu lang sein,  da mein tag schon recht lange war – früh aufstehen und all meine Sachen in das Auto quetschen war eine echte Herausforderung, weil es mehr war und mehr Platz in Anspruch nahm als wir gedacht hatten – eien gemütliche Autofahrt nach Köln sähe sicherlich anders aus. Dazu kam, dass das Wetter sein bestes gab um richtig nervig zu sein – eisig, glatt, windig, schneereich, regnerisch. Meine eh schon nicht existente Weihnachtsstimmung wurde von Kilometer zu Kilometer weniger. Das Auspacken ist noch ein bisschen im Gange, auch wenn die meisten Sachen schon ihren (vorübergehenden) Platz gefunden haben, was wirklich ein Kampf war, weil sich meine Sachen vermehrt zu haben scheinen (wo zum Teufel kommen auf einmal all diese Socken her??). Aber da ich müde bin, wird der Rest einfach warten müssen, nur noch kleineres Aufräumen kommt noch, damit ich endlich unter die Dusche springen und dann ins Bett fallen kann.

24.06.2012 – Unpacking continues // 24.06.2012 – Das Auspacken geht weiter

…and just like I did on the first day, the second day was full of unpacking cartons and deciding on what I wanna take with me to Dörpstedt and what not, which really is a tough decision making I think.
My room again looked like hell, but I managed to at least a bit have it tidied up before I went to my mum´s place to have dinner, look at photos and watch a bit of the soccer match between England and Italy. It was a lovely time, a time full of laughing – it felt good 🙂
When I was home again, I watched the overtime of the soccer match, just as I watched the penalty shooting of that match…that was really a tight call, was fun to watch!

So in the end it´s been a nice and also successful day, at least unpacking wise – even though I had also planned to start working on my thesis again, but I just didn´t find the time for it – or the will, I am not sure about this at the moment when looking at my really odd mood.

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…und wie am ersten Tag war der zweite Tag voll vom Auspacken der Kartons und dem Entscheiden, was ich mit nach Dörpstedt nehmen will und was nicht, und das war wirklch schwer…
Mein Zimmer sah wieder schrecklich aus, aber ich habe es geschafft etwas aufzuräumen bevor ich zu meiner Mutter bin um Abendessen zu essen, Fotos anzuschauen und ein bisschen Fußball (Italien gegen England) zu schauen. Es war eine schöne Zeit, eine Zeit mit vielLachen, es hat sich gut angefühlt.
Dann war ich wieder zuhause, habe die Nachspielzeit und das Elfmeterschießen angeschaut…das war wirklich ein knappes Ding, war toll anzuschauen!

Also war es am Ende ein schöner und erfolgreicher Tag, zumindest was das Auspacken angeht – auch wenn ich geplant hatte, dass ich auch an meiner Bachelorarbeit wieder arbeiten werde, aber ich habe dafür einfach nicht die Zeit gefunden – oder den Willen, ich bin mir deswegen nicht ganz so sicher wenn ich meine Laune so anschaue…

23.06.2012 – The first day back „home“ // 23.06.2012 – Der erste Tag wieder „zu Hause“

First day back „home“ – home? I don´t know, I feel wrong, and it feels weird since I started unpacking my suitcase, then filed all of my CDs and then started unpacking the carton boxes from moving. So many things need to be do whilst I am here, it is unbelievable – and some things are just so hard to find in all of those boxes that need to be found, opened and then you still need to fins the item you are actually looking for *sighs*.

All the work that I needed to do was at least a nice distraction from how crappy I felt, since I just wanted to go back immediately to Finland. Or well, I don´t even know what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be. My room looked like a mess, loads of plastic bags, cartons, bags and suitcases – it was nearly impossible to really walk through there at all.

In the evening I was staying up a little longer, listening to music, letting my thoughts free and just admit how crappy I felt. But it´s gonna get better, I am sure.

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Der erste Tag “zu Hause” – zu Hause? Ich weiß nicht, ich fühle mich falsch, und es fühlt sich seltsam an, da ich anfing meinen Koffer auszupacken, dann habe ich all meine CDs archiviert und habe dann damit angefangen, die Umzugskartons auszupacken. So viele Dinge, die ich machen muss solange ich hier bin, es ist unglaublich – und einige Dinge sind einfach so schwer zu finden in den Kartons, zuerst muss man sie umschichten, aufmachen und dann den Gegenstand suchen *seufz*.

All die Arbeit, die ich machen musste, war zumindest eine willkommene Ablenkung von wie ich mich fühlte, da ich einfach nur sofort nach Finnland zurückgehen wollte. Oder na ja, ich weiß nicht mal was ich wirklich machen wollte oder wo ich sein wollte. Mein Zimmer sah aus wie das totale Chaos, eine Menge an Plastiktüten, Kartons, Taschen, Koffer – es war fast unmöglich einfach durch das Zimmer zu gehen.

Abends bin ich dann etwas länger wach geblieben, habe meinen Gefühlen freien Lauf gelassen und einfach zugegeben wie beschissen ich mich gefühlt habe. Aber es wird besser werden, da bin ich mir sicher.

Sunday – The show (The fail) – 05.02.2012 // Sonntag – Die Show (Das Versagen) – 05.02.2012

So it´s been the day of the gig to which I had been looking forward to so badly. And then I was frustrated. A local tv channel was filming the whole show and therefore blocked the photopit with their four cameras. Proper photographing was not possible – I was so pissed because the light was rather good and there could have been amazing shots if I would´ve been able to use the photopit, or at least a part of it.

Instead, us, the four photographers had like 2-3m2 of space on the left side of the stage only. I won´t go into detail onto what I thought, since the blog has to be suitable for minors – at least kinda.

Halestorm was great, even though I would´ve loved to hear more of the old stuff than the stuff from the coming album – but still, great music nevertheless. I really enjoyed it a lot. Then I was stuck in the near-stage-area and therefore seemingly missed Halestorm if they were at the merchandise booth, which really frustrates me.

Shinedown were okay, but nothing what I´d need to see often – but for once in a while it was nice.

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Also war es der Tag des Konzertes, auf das ich mich so gefreut hatte. Und dann war ich frustriert. Ein lokaler TV-Sender hat das ganze Konzert gefilmt mit ihren 4 Kameras und hat dadurch dann den kompletten Fotograben geblockt. Ein richtiges Fotografieren war echt nicht möglich – ich wirklich sauer, weil das Licht recht gut war und ich tolle Fotos hätte machen können wenn ich in den Fotograben gekonnt hätte, oder zumindest einen teil davon hätte nutzen können.

Stattdessen, wir, die vier Fotografen, hatten so 2-3m2 Platz auf der linken Seite der Bühne, und zwar nur dort. Ich werde nicht in Detail gehen, was ich gedacht habe, da der Blog für Minderjährige passend sein muss – zumindest wenigstens.

Halestorm waren toll, auch wenn ich lieber mehr ältere Lieder gehört hätte anstatt der Songs vom neuen Album – aber trotzdem, tolle Musik, so oder so. Ich habe es wirklich genossen. Dann steckte ich im Bühnenbereich fest und habe scheinbar verpasst, dass Halestorm am Merchandise-Stand waren und das frustriert mich wirklich.

Shiendown waren okay, aber nichts was ich mir oft anschauen würde – ab und zu ist es okay, es war nett.