Months of planning

A few months before 2020 new year I was thinking of a new city to celebrate the holiday. It is going to be my first time celebrating new year alone, away from my friends and family. So I have constantly been searching for the best city to spend new year, there I land in Cologne Germany.

So I booked my train ride from Amsterdam to Cologne on 31st of December. I have a ceaseless communication with my host weeks prior to my arrival. He was so helpful in answering every question I had. How to get to his place and things I can do in Germany.

Check here: Top place to stay in Germany

Cologne Germany
Cologne Cathedral

Piercing cold

I left my Amsterdam hotel early in the morning knowingly it was cold and freezing outside. I waited for the hotel shuttle to the airport. There I waited until my train arrived. I had my usual Americano at Starbucks and just excited to be in a new city.

The train was on time. I found my cabin, sat comfortably and slept a bit. I woke up in the middle of the trip with a zero visibility road. Fog was all around. I just entertained myself by reading travel blogs and communicating with my host.

New year in Germany
1st class train from Amsterdam to Cologne

My arrival

I arrived in Cologne around two in the afternoon. As usual when you land in a new place you will get culture shocked. Unfamiliar language and no one to welcome you I had to find my way outside. There I found the information desk. For this trip I did not purchase my internet sim card resulting in an additional thrill of getting lost.

I just relied on my saved messages from the host and the instruction from the guy at the information desk. I had to change two metro and walked a few meters to reach my host’s place. Deep inside I am having atypical feeling while in the station. It was a creepy place for me. Spotting a few passengers , freezing temperature and graffiti adds to that unusual feeling.

Also read: The Netherlands, Why I was Almost Denied Entry

Cologne Germany
Street view in Cologne Germany

Ukrainian host

Making my way to his place was easy. He greeted me warmly. I am trying to make myself comfortable as he offered me tea. I can’t forget that moment because I hate ginger and I was surprised that the cup I have was ginger tea. It doesn’t taste like one. We then chat a bit and introduce ourselves to each other. He told me his stories and motivated me to do more in my craft. He showed me that you can learn anything but you should be determined.

Cologne view

After resting a bit. It is time to see what this city has to offer. So he gave me a tour of Cologne. We checked first for a place to eat. But surprisingly all his recommended restaurants were close and we ended up having lunch at Burger king which I really do not mind. Trying to reach the supermarket before it closed we made a quick way without sacrificing not to miss some of Cologne’s best views.

We head to a bridge wherein you can have the best view of Cologne Cathedral and the other side of the city. After that we passed by a park and just rested for awhile. I then realized that it is a good place to live in. I like the calmness of the city resulting in the comparison of a busy Amsterdam. Finally we reached the supermarket and bought a few things then we headed back to his place.

Also read: My Dear Sarajevo, Ljubiva Moja Sarajevo

German park

Salsa, Bachata and Kizomba

In his place we waited for his friend. This lady was an amazing one. Same as my host she too was friendly. Our night was filled with dancing lessons. My close friends knew that I do not know how to dance and how I hated this art but these two people taught me how to overcome my fear. It was hours of dancing Salsa, Bachata and Kizomba.

Dancing was really a tiresome activity but I see the enjoyment in their faces. I was lucky to be spending the night with the two people. After a few hours the lady needs to leave us so that she can catch her party. We were supposed to go to her but as I said I am not a fan of dancing and my purpose was to spend the countdown in front of Cologne Cathedral.

Happy new year! Happy 2020! Dreams, goals and future

We prepared to go to the cathedral. While walking along Cologne streets on a sub zero temperature, I can still feel the festivity. A long queue of people waiting in front of the bars. People lighting up  fireworks. Shouting and dancing. A completely different scenario from what I saw today afternoon.

This is it! We found our place in front of the cathedral. There was a really huge crowd. I do not have to move because people will just push you and you will move. The concert was entertaining. a group of people were singing and dancing together. Friends and families were together. I admire the security of the place. Checkpoints were set up everywhere. Police and medics were available which made me feel safe.

As the countdown approached, I was of mixed emotion. Feeling lonely because the new year was supposed to be celebrated with your loved ones but here I am alone in a foreign land. My eyes were making a 360 view of the surroundings. Friends and families together kissing, drinking, dancing and singing together. It was an unforgettable moment.

Amidst the festive surrounding, deep inside I am praying. I pray to God and I thanked Him for a wonderful and blessed 2019. All my dreams and goals, my new year’s resolutions were all set. I asked for His guidance for the coming year. I know I had my plans but I always believed in His plans.

Have you tried spending new year or any occassions alone? How did you feel? Let me know down




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