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Köln: Being a Tourist, and Papa Joe’s Jazzlokal (2)

GERMANY | Friday, 17 June 2011 | Views [1726]

Since I was too cheap to pay 4€ for what the hostel offered for breakfast, my day started with a long walk, as I wandered in the hope of finding a better option.  Strangely enough, I can’t actually remember what I ended up with, but I think it was just some kind of raisin bread.


I had my heart set on going on one of those little tourist trains which tootle around pretty much every European town, so I headed off to the pick-up point by the cathedral square.  There were 2 routes, and I chose the one which went to the zoo as a) I thought I was less likely to walk that way, and b) the botanic gardens were right next door.  Well, the gardens were nice, but not amazing.  And, I have to say, I was a little bit disappointed.  I didn’t feel that I saw too much on the route, and I couldn’t really hear the commentary that was playing since the train itself rattled so much (although I did have the windows open, so maybe that didn’t help)!  Also, the commentary was in German and then in English, so I found it quite hard to work out whether we were still beside what they were talking about, or if we’d already passed it.


Felt that I was obliged to eat some kind of sausage while in Germany, so I cruised around town until I found a little place which sold currywurst.  I was rather pleased with myself, since I managed to do the (albeit very simple) transaction in (very, very bad) German.  Sometimes, it’s nice not to be the obnoxious English speaker.

On my way to this place, I’d passed so many interesting shops that I had somehow got into a shopping mood.  So, in the next few hours, I leisurely browsed my way through Cologne.  And I managed to limit my purchases to one light grey scarf.  I promise that I actually needed it…  And it was on sale.


After some chilling time, I headed out again, to a place I’d discovered on my search for breakfast: Papa Joe’s Jazzlokal.  This place is actually mint, and I’d recommend it to any jazz-lover who goes to Cologne.  It’s really central, and just one street back from the Rhine.  It’s also tiny, so get in early.  Every night at 8.30, there’s live music (outside, you can grab a brochure with the dates, and names of the groups and a brief description of their music) and no cover charge.  The drinks are a bit pricier (because of this, I guess) but hey – you get live entertainment and peanuts still in their shells.  ;p  The walls are plastered with jazz memorabilia, the light fittings are trumpets, there are saxes hanging off the walls.

The night that I went, Papa Joe’s own ‘jazzmen’ were playing and, even though I couldn’t understand what they were saying, they were pretty entertaining chaps.  They played heaps of standards, in a kind of trad, perhaps slightly Dixie style.  Awesome. 

A Dutch train driver who spoke very good English befriended me, and we had a good chat over a few Kölsh (when in Cologne…), so all in all, a great night.

Tags: cologne, jazz, koeln, koln, live music, papa joes jazzlokal, tourist train

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Moi, up Mont St Clair in Sète, with my wee Kiwi, Kingi.

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