|Cologne, June 23, 2006
Togo - France
We arrived at the Cologne Main
Station. Getting out of the
subway, we were in front of the
Dome of Cologne, its famous
landmark. Construction of this
cathedral started in 1248 and it
took with interruptions about 600
years to complete. The Dome was
the world's tallest building
between 1880 and 1890. It is 157
meters high (about 520 feet), 144
meters long (475 feet) and 86
meters wide (280 feet). The
Cathedral is under the
administration of the Roman
Catholic Church and is the seat of
the Archbishop of Cologne.
It suffered 14 hits by aerial bombs
during World War II, but did not
collapse and reconstruction was
completed in 1956. In 1996, the
Cathedral was added to the
UNESCO World Heritage List of
cultural important sites.
I was notified that I got 4 tickets for this game a couple of days before the game took place. On
fifaworldcup.com you could sign up for last minute tickets. The catch was that you had to pay a
year ahead of time. I did this anyway and we got lucky to see another game live in the stadium. For
this game, my father in-law was the lucky recipient of the fourth ticket, originally in the name of
my wife. In return, he had to drive!! So we left in the morning for the two-and-a-half hour trip to
Cologne. We went to the stadium first where we went to the ticket counter and claimed our tickets.
As we were really early, there was no traffic yet around the stadium, so we also got a great parking
spot which enabled us to make a quick exit after the game ended.
After claiming our tickets, we first took the streetcar and then the subway to the Main Station in
downtown Cologne. I had never been in Cologne before, so we wanted to do a little sightseeing.
We walked through the narrow streets towards the area of the Fan Fest. Also, we went down to the
Throughout Germany and especially in the cities which hosted World Cup games, so-called Fan
Fests were set up, huge areas where thousands of people from all over the world gathered and
watched the games on giant screens. This was a great success for the organizers of the World Cup.
People loved these Fan Fest areas. While in Cologne, we watched the afternoon game on the big
screen, had some Koelsch (the local beer) and enjoyed ourselves.
Late afternoon, we took the tram back to the stadium. Throughout the day, we were trying to hook
up with some of our friends from Houston, who also got tickets for this game, but we were
unsuccessful in getting together as my father in-law had constant handy-failures...... At the stadium,
we bought Togo shirts as we were supporting the David in this game. Being good Germans, we
wanted France to lose.
We were sitting in between many French supporters. So, most likely, some French people originally
had our tickets, but then gave them back for whatever reason. Allez-Les-Bleus was the constant
shout. France had to win the game to advance to the next round and they won 2:0, relatively easy.
Togo was a disappointment for me. We had a good time talking and joking around with our French
neighbors. At that time even the French guys next to us did not think their team would advance far
as the French had not played that well yet and Brazil was lurking in the quarterfinals for France.