Sunday, January 20, 2013

Picassos and Padlocks

The worst nights sleep of the trip so far … we appear to be sharing a common wall with a ‘Party Club’ (it seems to be a private party venue) and they played god-awful doof-doof dance music till 3am!  Aaargh! … who will be tired cranky little people today!

Last night’s lack of sleep caught up with us very quickly this morning … we managed to take the tram in the wrong direction, then when we realised this, we had a bit of trouble finding our way to some kind of landmark that we recognised.  Sorted finally and we were on our way to the Ludwig Museum.

Tony didn’t fancy paying 10euro to look at paintings so he went in search of a replacement bag – the one we got in Munich has torn on the bottom.

The Picassos were amazing, plenty of them covering most of his illustrious career, including drawings, all painting phases and his later-in-life fascination with ceramics.  Several sculptures as well. 

The Ludwig also has a permanent exhibition of the Haubrich Collection – a collection of works covering the late 19th and into 20th centuries, put together over 50 years by Cologne resident Joseph Haubrich.  Even during the Nazi years, he managed to add to his collection which included many paintings which were deemed ‘Deviant Art’.  In 1946 he gave the collection to the City of Cologne.

There was also a special exhibition of the work of the English painter David Hockney called “A bigger picture” … a huge exhibition and very crowded but wonderful.  Huge canvases (many over 4m high and 5m long) bright colours, mostly landscapes, and often the same view painted for all four seasons.  His paintings seem also, to be done in panels – usually 9 or 12.  Recently, he’s taken to doing these wonderful film paintings – one on display was from 9 cameras mounted on a frame driving down the same road.  Each camera is filming almost the same thing but from a slightly different perspective. 

After a late lunch we bought the bag and headed back to the flat .. last night was catching up and we both needed a nap .. besides it was -4 degrees and really windy so inside in the warm was a good place to be.

One place on my ‘must see’ list remained to be done so we headed for the Hohenzollernbrucke – home of the thousands of padlocks.  Lovers, newlyweds, those celebrating anniversaries etc have, for years locked a padlock onto the mesh along the side of the bridge and thrown the key into the Rhine.  It is an amazing sight even if you don’t have a single romantic bone in your body .. thousands and thousands and thousands of padlocks or every colour and size are attached to the mesh, to each other, to chains etc for the full length of the walkway across this bridge… it was really cool.

Japanese for dinner (average all you can eat buffet) and then a quick search for a Christmas decoration to add to the collection … no luck, but I did get a little clown – Carnivale is about to start and all the shops are now getting decorated for that.  I figured a little purple clown would still be OK for the tree but would also be something uniquely Cologne.

We walked back (despite the cold & wind), dreading the possibility that the bloody club through the wall would be doof-doofing again… it was!  We have a 9.20 train to Trier tomorrow and Michael will be here to do our ‘check-out inspection’ at 8am so we have time to grab some breakfast at the station.  He’s just a little bit anal … there is an inventory of plates etc on the inside of each cupboard door and he wants to check the flat before we go.  Both other ‘landlords’ have been happy for us to leave the key either inside the flat or in their letterbox .. oh well, it takes all kinds.

Tomorrow we’re off to Trier for some more Roman stuff.

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