Sunday called for a little day trip. We woke up early and made our way to Germany to finally scope out Cologne right over the border. The sun was out and it all added up for a leisurely stroll in a new town. Except that we completely forgot to factor in Carnival.As we pulled in near the city center, we were greeted by kings and mice and many a European cartoon character, all in nylon and plush of course. Notably, our favorite was the little kid wearing a full costume and face paint who darted after some college-aged kid (who, while he adorned the same helmet, could not boast of an equally impressive costume) to yell 'ayy!' Pointed to his own helmet. Pointed to the guy's helmet. Pointed back to his own. It was priceless. He ran back to his parents to exclaim, 'c'est Obélix!' Also, I think the Asterix park on our way to Paris would be another grand date idea. Has anyone been?Future children cuteness competition aside, the bobbing and the weaving was a lot. Especially for the size of the, um, parade? We'll just say the people watching in the crowds was more entertaining than the main events. But don't listen to us, we're totally biased about what parades should look like.Truth be told, the town wasn't what we expected. After Munich and Nuremberg, we found ourselves disappointed that Cologne wasn't the charming, storybook setting Germany made us used to. Is this because it's so close to the Belgian border during WWII? Either way, we were impressed at how clean it was - something we've remarked in every German city. It's a sign we've lived in Belgium too long. The real sight to see in Cologne is the cathedral, the Kölner Dom. Construction on the cathedral began in 1248, halted near the 15th century, and completed to its original plan in 1880. It holds the title as the largest façade of any church in the world. That's where we spent most of our time. We couldn't go inside, we're guessing due to Carnival, but the outside was a complete marvel all on its own. UNESCO knew what they were doing when they decided this place was awesome. The Rhine river should get some credit too. That thing is massive and its on our to-do list to float it this summer, but further south in Basel.