||[Jul. 25th, 2013|07:44 am]
This will have to be a very hurried write-up, as upon returning to England I'm swamped again with college work and other duties. But I can report that my visit to Cologne for the Amphi festival was a good one and that, despite having a small child with me, the festival was a big success.
The city itself felt a little odd for me; I suppose I am far more used to German cities belonging to the former East and there is still a noticeable cultural divide. We got a few funny looks there for the way we were dressed; I'm more used to the residents of Leipzig not batting an eyelid at a yearly invasion of gothic-types, but of course Amphi is ring-fenced in a single location and not spread all over the city like WGT is. English seemed to be a bit less widely spoken there as well, which surprised me a bit, although it provided a great opportunity to practice my rusty Deutsche, so that was fine by me. The city is very beautiful, with its skyline dominated by the twin spires of the Cathedral and numerous bridges over the Rheine. We did rather love the Lindt chocolate museum too!
We saw (in approximate order):
Icon of Coil
Diary of Dreams
Fields of the Nephilim
Admittedly for some of the (outdoor) acts above, we were forced to hide underneath a bush for some of the set in order to avoid sunburn! Shade was in short supply until mid evening.
They had the best gift shop ever!
Diary of Dreams
The heat got a bit much for him.
Icon of Coil
The little beach by the river front (also part of the festival area!)
And, of course, my video
Would I do it again? Absolutely!
I thought you all would like the chocolate museum, and I found it quite a novelty to go round a museum where most of the signs are in English.
That was a good call, thanks Ian! Zachary also loved the tourist road-train which took us there from the Cathedral.
glad it work out well for you, taking Zach with you. You got to see a good few bands considering! :-)
Cologne isn't my favourite of German cities. Outside of the small historic centre its not too pretty and I too noticed that we got stared at a lot because of our attire, to the extent of feeling a little uncomfortable about it at times, something I've not experienced so much in places like Berlin and Dresden (not including Leipzig of course as they're well used to us weirdos!).
I'm glad it wasn't just me being paranoid!
I was worried Zachary might get freaked out by the crowds and noise but he seemed to mostly enjoy the festival. He got up and danced during De/Vision and sat through 90 minutes of VNV Nation without showing any sign of boredom, so I think he may be a (future) futurepop fan!
Having managed to see about half of Icon Of coil's set due to the intense sun and lack of shade, we're hopefully getting a better look at them again (minus child) tonight at the O2 Academy. Seeing you there? :)
Zach did better than I would have then! (sorry, bad VNV joke!) ;-)
Will be at IOC tonight, of course! :-) Bizarrely, am maybe looking forward to Terrolokaust more, as much as I love IOC I have seen them so many times before and am loving the two Terrolokaust albums at present.
I'm quite surprised that you got funny looks - I hadn't felt that and from what Dirk has said I always got the impression that Cologne is quite cultural with a lot of artists and musicians living there, though perhaps not so many gothic ones, I'm not sure about that part. Maybe it's partly cos we are comparing it to here, possibly the least cultural area of Germany!
It wasn't anything especially bad - we didn't get any attitude or anything - but some of the locals looked rather perplexed and a couple asked us if there was some sort of 'event' going on; this is very different from my regular visits to Leipzig where the locals are quite used to 20,000 weirdos descending on the streets of their city on Pfingsten every year.
I was impressed at Cologne for havign so many museums, an opera house and so on; unfortunately these are not all ideal places to take a toddler, but I've bookmarked several more cultural features of the city to investigate in future years when I next go there!
Well Amphi has been going a few years but I suppose not nearly as long as WGT and as you said it's all at the Tanzbrunnen. They are very Catholic in that area too, I forgot about that. You should take the wee man to the zoo if you are there again with him, it's quite a nice one. Other than that there are some nice open air museums in the area but I have no idea if it's possible to get to them without a car and they're maybe a bit far out.
If we go again at some point I think the zoo might have to be done. I've heard good things about it now from a few people!