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May 23 2012

Yay! I made it to Germany!

It was not an easy accomplishment — I’d spent a day waiting in the Minnesota heat before I could board my plane, and I was a burnt out frazzled mess by the time I got wedged into my slot in the flying tin can, and then I spent most of the flight in a sweating, mildly nauseated lump. This was not a good start to the trip. But now I’m in my hotel in Köln, I forked over the exorbitant fee for the internet (which isn’t very reliable), and took a shower…a long hot shower. I’m feeling pretty good now.

At some point, I shall have to emerge from my restful nest and forage. Germans have beer and food, right?

71 comments

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  1. 1
    Worldtraveller

    Check out the cathedral, if you haven’t. The architecture is quite impressive.

    Oh, and have a bratwurst for me!

    I miss Germany, lived in Hamburg for a bit over a year, and loved every minute of it.

  2. 2
    Sili

    I’ll get in Friday around 6 am.

    Considered taking in the Dom, myself.

  3. 3
  4. 4
    Desert Son, OM

    Germans have beer and food, right?

    To hear some Germans tell it, they don’t just have them, they perfected them.

    Glad you made it safe, hope the remainder of travels are safe and good.

    Still learning,

    Robert

  5. 5
    Alex

    Don’t be disappointed if you get served the traditional Kölsch ale in very small amounts, it is customary to simply order many of those in a row :)

  6. 6
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Beer they certainly have but I think its seasonal -and it ain’t Oktoberfeat yet is it?

    Seriously tho’ german food and beer – vundebar! :-)

  7. 7
    jstackpo

    Don’t eat in any Chinese restaurants in Germany…

    A couple of hours later and you will be hungry for power.

  8. 8
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Yay!

  9. 9
    lanceleuven

    The Germans have great beer!

  10. 10
    Glen Davidson

    Germans have beer and food, right?

    And hookers with discipline!

    Surely the stereotypes are reliable…

    Glen Davidson

  11. 11
    kosk11348

    …and took a shower…a long hot shower. I’m feeling pretty good now.

    I think a good argument can be made that hot running water is humankind’s greatest achievement.

  12. 12
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Germans have beer and food, right?

    Do NOT eat any of the sausage. I have heard it is the absolute wurst!

    Seriously, have fun and feel better.

  13. 13
    manfromflanders

    Coming from France on Saturday. Will you be still there then, PZ ?

    And while we’re at it, Currywurst… it had to be mentionned :-)

  14. 14
    johnm55

    Currywurst it shouldn’t work, but some how it does… brilliantly.

  15. 15
    pris

    The traditional beer in Köln is called Kölsch. It is served in test tube sized glasses. You may lose count of how many you had, the serving staff most certainly won’t.

    When I was in the area for summer school a few years ago we did it like this:

    Student 1:’Five beers for me.’
    Student 2:’Yeah, me too!’
    And so on.
    Waitress:’You’re Bavarian, aren’t you?’

    We do have food as well.

    I’ll be there on friday at noon!

  16. 16
    Alex

    And hookers with disciplineaccess to social security

  17. 17
    ralfneugebauer

    There is a wonderful Currywurst Place “Culux” at Rudolphplatz. Other than that, look for a Beergarden, there will be wonderful weather the next days. E.G. Volksgarten is close to the Venue of the conference. Will there be a Pharyngula-meetup (i still remember that night in Copenhagen :-)). And if you do not like the lokal “Kölsch”, try a Weizenbier.

  18. 18
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ PZ

    Der Ebil Oberlawd im Deutschland… zu geil für diese Welt!

    You must try the blutwurst washed down with weissbier and 10 small jaegermeisters … with feine Nürnberger oblaten-lebkuchen for desert…

  19. 19
    mikeconley

    Meh, something resembling beer, I suppose. They have these fizzy drinks, and that’s what they call them. But it’s not really beer.

  20. 20
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Vergessen Sie nicht ein doner Kebab zu essen.

  21. 21
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Willkommen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland.
    If you want do go the extra 180 miles, come over for a coffee!
    Yes, the Kölner Dom is absolutely amazing (can’t wait until we get all that stuff once we have dissembled the churches).
    The best advice I can give you is that you’ll get decent French wine and to have a genuine German Döner Kebap.
    Whatever you do in Cologne, don’t order Altbier. The test tube for the Kölsch is called a Kölschstange.

  22. 22
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    and to have a genuine German Turkish Döner Kebap.

    FIFY

  23. 23
    Gregory in Seattle

    It’s springtime … for Germany

    (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

  24. 24
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    StevoR:

    Beer they certainly have but I think its seasonal -and it ain’t Oktoberfeat yet is it?

    Er, they drink beer all year-round. Just like in Anglo countries.

  25. 25
    trinebm

    Can we do a Pharyngula head-count? Sili’ll be there I see! (Waving to Sili). I’ll be there through the whole conference. Do we have a secret handshake, or do we just swarm around PZ after his talk? Do we have a beer Friday night?? The questions! THE QUESTIONS! But I am so looking forward to this :-)

  26. 26
    cbv

    Moved from Southern California to Germany back in ’04. German summer still feels like winter to me. Ah, the things we do for love…

    Anyway, enjoy your stay in Germany, PZ.

  27. 27
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Woo_Monster
    I’ve been informed that this particular dish was created in Berlin Kreuzberg by Turkish immigrants and is actually hard to find in Turkey ;) Hence the “genuine German Döner Kebap” as a juxtaposition.

  28. 28
    MetzO'Magic

    Food, one word: Schweinshaxe (mouth-wateringly delicious, roasted/grilled pig’s knuckles. Very popular in Bavaria, might be harder to come by in Köln)

    Beer: 8000 different breweries to choose from, most of them local. Can’t go too wrong with ones from nation-wide breweries though either, like Spaten or Bitburger.

    Ah, memories. I was at the Oktoberfest in Munich in 1980 :-)

  29. 29
    carbonbasedlifeform

    You must try the blutwurst

    First, see where the nearest toilet is, since you may well be throwing up. Blutwurst is the nastiest sausage in the known universe. And probably the unknown universe as well.

  30. 30
    Steve LaBonne

    @29, stuff and nonsense. I got fed plenty of Irish black pudding (very similar) as a kid and not only survived, but still love the stuff.

  31. 31
    cbv

    Saumagen is worse, IMO.

  32. 32
    Rich Woods

    @MetzO’Magic #28:

    Ah, memories. I was at the Oktoberfest in Munich in 1980 :-)

    If you can remember an Oktoberfest you were doing it wrong…

    @carbonbasedlifeform #29:

    Blutwurst is the nastiest sausage in the known universe.

    If you were throwing up afterwards then you were dipping it in too much salt!

    Actually I’m not sure if it’s commonplace in Germany to salt it. I should go back and find out.

  33. 33
    Sili

    trinebm

    Can we do a Pharyngula head-count? Sili’ll be there I see! (Waving to Sili). I’ll be there through the whole conference. Do we have a secret handshake, or do we just swarm around PZ after his talk? Do we have a beer Friday night?? The questions! THE QUESTIONS! But I am so looking forward to this :-)

    I’ll stick with you, since you speak the lingo and drink more beer than David.

    I take you’ve found somewhere to stay. David just managed to book the last available doubleroom in all the environs of Köln for us.

  34. 34
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Saumagen is worse, IMO.

    Bullshit, Saumagen is delicious

  35. 35
    Sili

    Oh!

    And Trine, if you want my phonenumber before leaving, you can mail me at Silcononpolitan c/o Google’s allspanning empire.

  36. 36
    trinebm

    Sili: Yup, I’m staying at the hotel recommended by the conference. Can’t remember its name right now. Looks boring, but central. Beer? Who? ME?!
    I’ll try to catch you on google-empire. I’m flying from Copenhagen at 6 am and will be in Köln at around 10.30. So – David will be there too. That makes three. :-)

  37. 37
    radpumpkin

    If you want to drink beer (and if the weather up in Köln is anything like it is down here in München, why wouldn’t you…), don’t go for that horrible Kölsch crap! Get an Augustiner, if you can, or at the very least Paulaner. Also try Radler, the best thing for a nice evening!
    Food wise, try Döner. While certainly not German in origin, it is our nation’s most popular fast food.

  38. 38
    cbv

    Rich Woods wrote:
    Actually I’m not sure if it’s commonplace in Germany to salt it.

    It’s not where I live, Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region.

  39. 39
    ralfneugebauer

    I will be there,
    Can we do a Pharyngula head-count? Sili’ll be there I see! (Waving to Sili). I’ll be there through the whole conference. Do we have a secret handshake, or do we just swarm around PZ after his talk? Do we have a beer Friday night?? The questions! THE QUESTIONS! But I am so looking forward to this :-)
    How about a pre-Conference meetup on Thursday. Suggest Volksgarten, a beergarden near the conference-Venue – Just google Volksgarten Köln – (it means Peoples Garden in English) and is a wonderful Beergarden in the center of Cologne…

  40. 40
    trinebm

    ralfneugebauer: that sounds sehr gemütlich, but I won’t be there until Friday before noon-ish. I can do lunch Friday at around 12???

  41. 41
    David Marjanović

    I’ll arrive around 2 pm. Trine, if you want my phone number, write me at gmx.at.

    Beer they certainly have but I think its seasonal -and it ain’t Oktoberfeat yet is it?

    Beer is year-round. Oktoberfest is specifically Bavarian (well, historically at least), and it just means more beer than usual.

    vundebar

    wunderbar

    Currywurst

    Meh. I’ve had some here in Berlin. Eminently unspectacular.

    Moved from Southern California to Germany back in ’04. German summer still feels like winter to me.

    German late spring right now feels like early fall in Atlanta. The times, they are a-changing.

    Saumagen is worse, IMO.

    It is, however, highly correlated with the office of Federal Chancellor…

    I’ve been informed that this particular dish was created in Berlin Kreuzberg by Turkish immigrants and is actually hard to find in Turkey ;)

    Huh.

    Döner macht schöner!

    Also try Radler, the best thing for a nice evening!

    That’s beer and lemonade poured together 1 : 1.

  42. 42
    Sili

    That’s beer and lemonade poured together 1 : 1.

    Known as a shandy to the Anglophones.

    Not that I’m sure what “lemonade” covers to those of that persuasion.

    My train is supposed to pull in Friday 6:14.

  43. 43
    tbp1

    Saumagen sounds great, but then I actually like haggis, andouillette, and sabodet (occasionally—too many calories and fat grams to have regularly, sadly).

  44. 44
    madtom1999

    @24 “Er, they drink beer all year-round. Just like in Anglo countries.” They do but they’re also not afraid to brew traditional seasonal beers so you do get some interesting non-standard brews. A bit like in season fruit or spring lamb.

    @19 Yes it is really beer. And some of it is fantastic.
    Its just not good as the best warm beer.

  45. 45
    gbjames

    Next time, consider renting a MiFi unit. It makes Internet connectivity much nicer. I did this last winter in the UK and would not travel without it again in Europe.

  46. 46
    grendel

    Come up to Sweden the internet is free and good.
    http://www.mellbyinn.com

  47. 47
    Ragutis

    Screw the wursts and schnitzels, the best french fries I’ve had in my life were around Germany. Have a weizen and share a plate of pommes frites with some friends for me, PZ. And try a shot of Bärenfang.

  48. 48
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    I’ve been informed that this particular dish was created in Berlin Kreuzberg by Turkish immigrants and is actually hard to find in Turkey ;) Hence the “genuine German Döner Kebap” as a juxtaposition.

    Interesting. I spent a trimester hanging around Berlin (mostly Kreuzberg, on account of the aforementioned delicious döners and the myriad pick-up fussball games). I never knew the döner originated there.

    Döner macht schöner!

    QFT. Genau.

  49. 49
    Evader, the parasite-infested branch on the evolutionary tree

    I hear the beer and schnitzels are top notch over there! That is, if you’re hungry too.

    I love German bread, always good to snack on in between beers.

    Hope the rest of your trip is even better Professor! <3

  50. 50
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Woo-Monster
    To elaborate, the “genuine German Döner Kebap” was invented in Berlin. Not that they invented Döner Kebap. But the specific variant with veggies and yoghurt/mayonaise sauce seems to be unique

  51. 51
    RFW

    If you really want to try good food, try to land a gig in Tbilisi so you can gorge on Kartvelian delicacies during your stay. The Georgian cuisine is a favorite throughout Russia, and judging from the recipes I’ve seen, it well deserves its popularity. It doesn’t resemble any other cuisine I know of: not middle eastern, not russian, not mediterranean.

    It’s a source of regret that my finances and intractable mobility problems make a trip to Tbilisi impractical for myself, but that just provides P-zed with an excuse to stay an extra week.

    And the Georgians do love their wine! After all, vintning was invented there. In Soviet days it wasn’t very good wine, but these days some of the Georgian vineyards are producing very good quality wine. As one observer put it, a nation of hard drinkers, but not drunks.

  52. 52
    jamescarlton

    Kölsch is a wonderful session beer as we’d call it in Australia… just remember they’ll keep bringing you another one till you tell them to stop (or put a coaster on top of your glass).

    Go check out the Dom, it’s pretty impressive (just don’t wonder how many peasants they could have fed instead of making it).

    I tried to visit the chocolate museum when I was there but it was closed… the sempf (mustard) museum was open just across the road though! Much better imo (but I’m a savory kinda guy).

  53. 53
    kazzaqld

    So very jealous!

    I will do my best to come to the next one!

    Bis dann,

    Karen.

  54. 54
    joseph

    Are you going to meet your former sciblogs blogger GrrlScientist, who I assume still lives in Germany?

  55. 55
    rorschach

    Have fun in Koeln, people ! It sure feels weird to have an atheist conference 20km from my hometown, and not being there.

    *waves to Trine*

  56. 56
    benjaminbreuer

    Welcome to Germany! To echo just about everyone above, try the Kölsch (Mühlen (Malzmühle) or Päffgen, if possible, in their pubs) and Himmel un Äd (blood sausage–locally Flönz–with mashed potatoes and applesauce) if that’s your thing. (I’ll put in a plug for Saumagen, but that should properly be consumed in the Palatinate, or Baden. It’s a type of sausage stuffed, among other things, with potatoes, and flavored with marjoram. Delicious if well made.)

    And to visit besides the Dom, you may want to check out the Römisch-Germanisches Museum across from the Dom, which has interesting collections on what was once a large-ish Roman town (mosaics and sarcophagi, especially). And if you want to take in more churches (Cologne is, at least was, a heavily Catholic town) check out some of the rebuilt Romanesque churches, especially St. Gereon, built up on the plan of a Roman sanctuary.

    Most of all, enjoy yourself, and your break from regular work!

  57. 57
    zyaama

    It’s bloody typical. PZ is in Cologne, 20 km from where I live, and I won’t get to see him because I will meet some friends in Rome.

    Yes, the irony of being at the vatican when I really should be at an atheist meeting did not escape me…

  58. 58
    drahtmaultier

    @39
    I’d be very much in favor of that.
    Count me in, just tell me a time and the secret handshake.

  59. 59
    Christian

    It’s bloody typical. PZ is in Cologne, 20 km from where I live, and I won’t get to see him because I will meet some friends in Rome.

    Yes, the irony of being at the vatican when I really should be at an atheist meeting did not escape me…

    It’s even worse here. I also don’t live that far from Cologne and on Saturday I’ll even be in Cologne but just for a few minutes before I have to catch the next train :(

  60. 60
    David Marjanović

    To elaborate, the “genuine German Döner Kebap” was invented in Berlin. Not that they invented Döner Kebap. But the specific variant with veggies and yoghurt/mayonaise sauce seems to be unique

    Aaaaaah. That makes sense. The mysterious urge to pour some kind of cream (or sauce) over everything is specifically German.

    sempf

    Spelled Senf, and pronounced “semf” at least where I come from. No [p] in it. …But then, they do insert a [p] in Mannheim, or so I’ve recently read (Manfred becoming “Mompfred”). So probably they do in Cologne, too.

  61. 61
    trinebm

    Sili! Can’t get the Google-mail thing to work. Sendes it back into my face. Can you contact me via PET/fb if necessary? My hotel is called something Mercure something. There may be more than one og thise, but it’s central. If not before we’ll meet at prof. Myers talk

  62. 62
    trinebm

    Arrhhh ffs sorry about the typos above. Stupid Danish keyboard

  63. 63
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @41. David Marjanović & #24. Ms. Daisy Cutter, Gynofascist in a Spiffy Hugo Boss Uniform :

    Knew I should’ve added an emoticon wink – but then folks here don’t like those do they? Sigh. Can’t win.

  64. 64
    Sili

    So far, so good. I managed to find a neighbour with ink in their printer at the last moment. Current I’m waiting for something to eat at the station. Judging by the looks of the clientele, this must be one of the more suspect pubs in town …

    Train’s supposed to be 15 minutes late already.

    I’ve also just realised, that I have no idea how to get anywhere once I arrive.

    Oooops …

  65. 65
  66. 66
    Sili

    Gah! I forgot my backup battery, and this train looks like something out of my childhood. I’m gonna be sans phone come morning.

  67. 67
    trinebm

    Thanks sili! I’ll connect once I’m at the hotel. Lunch?

  68. 68
    trinebm

    Sili, is it a mac-product? I’ll bring a charger for that.

  69. 69
    Sili

    No Samsung. I have charger. But these wagons are much like DSB in the 80es, so there is nowhere to plug it in.

    Lunch would be great! Could you text me soon. Then I’ll have your number, and I can turn off the phone for the night.

  70. 70
    trinebm

    ohhh – I forgot to wave back to Rorschach. I had hoped to drink another beer with you … well, some other time, then.

  71. 71
    carbonbasedlifeform

    Apparently, there are some people here operating under the delusion that blutwurst is edible and possibly even enjoyable. There are also people who enjoy sadomasochism, but those people are generally considered to be perverts.

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