So. I arranged a stopover at Cologne to break the long train journey from Berlin back to Paris. And… here is the reason why.
The Koln Dom was at some point in history the tallest building in the world. When I stood in front of it, I thought it could have been the biggest gothic church in the world, but then I remembered Sevilla. But this Cologne Cathedral looks way taller than La Catedral de Sevilla (which is the biggest in the world). Anyway, no competition here, they are both glorious in their own right. And I love them both.
The funny thing was … when I was snapping photos to show my family, my ignoramus siblings asked, “Oooooh, is that Notre Dame?”, “It looks so burnt!” but they were (thankfully) both sharp enough to point out, “but it doesn’t really look like Notre Dame”. Phew. I decided to test this out on some archi seniors and sent them the same pics. Lo and behold, I cannot believe they responded the same way my siblings did. Incredible. But at least everyone had enough knowledge to say “but it doesn’t really look it”.
(Guess at this point, I can be proud to say I hit the jackpot on today’s prompt orgulous. Haughty sh*tty me to feel high-and-mighty from being able to “identify buildings”. Tsk!!)
In any case, this was a question I have been pondering about gothic cathedrals. With so much intricate details going on in every inch of the building surface, how do they clean out the dust? Jet spray will ruin the surface on impact, and manual cleaning is going to take years – by the time one finishes cleaning the whole surface, it would have been years and time to clean again. Or maybe that is what they are doing now – notice the scaffolding in bits and pieces around The Dom. Hah, I have a brilliant idea. If they were to just clean all year round, and then maybe set a span of a month (let’s say December, for Christmas) without any of the scaffolding on it, then that month is going to be famously photogenic and bound to boost their tourism numbers!
Okay, moving on to the rest of Cologne.
The city is very pretty, and fairytale-y. Streets are clean! Way cleaner than Paris. I really enjoy having my haughty nose up in the air, admiring the roofscapes / skyline of the city. I spent the day just venturing around, without a map, without an itinerary, but just wander. I did not have much time to research my trip as this whole thing happened in a rush, so I just fixate my eyes and brains on architecture that I have always wanted to share a physical presence in, and then went for it, and roam around after. It is a cool way to travel. Guess I was lucky, in a way, too. Guess too, that the Universe and its magical synchronicity is a better travel planner than I can ever be.
Apart from the largest gothic cathedral in the country, Cologne also holds the largest mosque in the country. It is a very forward thinking mosque, judging by the way its architecture looks. Not at all the typical geometric four-minaret structure, with intricate islamic motifs, and a clear direction. Yet, it still retains the character of a mosque but in a more modern and minimalistic approach. And I love the colour and curves.
I walked far far far far away just to look at this building, and had to make my far far far far journey back to the hotel. There has to be deeper meaning than that. Indeed …. I passed by Osho’s Place on my way back! And spent the rest of my time in Cologne in it. To put things in context, I had been too busy to stock up on my Aura-Soma stuffs, and already running out of my room spray, auric spray, and my equilibrium bottles. Frances’ place is all the way at the other end of Singapore, and too out of the way for me to squeeze into a busy schedule. Guess Universe really knows I am badly in need of some spiritual/physical rescue, and plotted Osho’s Place into my unknown divine itinerary. And so I stocked up on all that I need (for now) and at two thirds the price I usually pay in Singapore (Singapore is overpriced… in case you don’t know, it’s the most expensive country in the world. 😦 )
SO THERE!!!! I LOVE YOU, UNIVERSE!!! BRING IT ON!!! I AM SOOO SOOO SOOOOOO READY FOR THE NEXT PHASE IN MY LIFE!!! Thank you, buddy! ❤