March 8, 2017

European Vacation 2014, Part 6

This was museum day. We went to the Makk, and I got my Chinoiserie on. 

 Their skylights were gorgeous:

Then we went to the Ludwig and had lunch.

Then to the Leopold. It's all rather mixed up. At the Leopold I loved their displays of artifacts about the research or purchase of artwork:

We wandered around to find dinner, to little success. We found ourselves in what mrguy routinely calls "The International Bad Behavior Zone," where there are a lot of bars, and people on the street who've had so much to drink that they might become violent for no reason. I felt old and out of shape and was contemplating how far adrenaline could take me if someone decided to jump me. When you're having thoughts like that, you should heed. A humorous note in my notebook from the evening says "Note: no food when you see Dr. Mueller's Sex Shop," by which I must have meant that we were in the red light district, where there isn't any food. 

We turned back and ended up eating at an Italian restaurant we'd spurned earlier. We ate gummy gnocci at tables outside under blankets and heat lamps.

On our way back to the hotel we passed by a supermarket that was still open. I do love a supermarket. This is how much Germans love pickled red cabbage:

And this is how much they loved weenies bobbing about in brine. Not my thing:

And I am clearly in the wrong business if this is how much you can get for a teensy jar of chili in Koln:

And this was one of my favorite things of all time -- overtaking the Japanese in oddly-named food items. Anyone care for a tidbit of Hilly Vespa Ride?

Then we ended up at a bar which was next door to our little hotel. Remember the thing about potentially violent drunk people? We weren't done for the night. What a scene.

Mrguy might remember this differently, but I think we were minding our own business, sitting at the bar. We got into a conversation with two guys in white shirts with embroidery and heavily embroidered hotdog salesman hats. 

They were the last two of a stammtisch (group of people, in this case a Carnival club) who meet at the bar regularly to work on their preparations for Kölner Karneval. Carnival? Cologne? Yup. Cologne is the Catholic heart of Germany (remember the cathedral and the Magi?). They do Carnaval big. The hotdog salesman hats were apparently something that came to being during the Prussian regime, and this was a send-up of their military uniforms. So the alcohol, intensity of these guys and vaguely militaristic outfits put me on edge. 

Eventually they left and we went back to the hotel. Whew!

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