Located by Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom – Northern Europe’s largest Gothic church), Alter Wartesaal or The Old Waiting Room is part of the railway station (Hauptbahnhofs) and looks back on to impressive history. His majesty Kaiser Wilhelm II and wife used to take tea or champagne in the former waiting room for first-class passengers at Cologne’s main train station. I was there some weeks ago (I’ll explain why later) and gladly share it with you – including pics taken with my Nokia x6 (at night with difficult lightening!). Let’s start with the front of the Duomo and at its foot; the entrance of the waiting room (click pics to bigify & enjoy!):
The restaurant was first opened in 1915 and remained a popular attraction up to the end of the golden twenties. It sustained little damage during World War II but gradually lost importance as a meeting point for high society. In the early 1980s private investors restored the restaurant, which had fallen into disrepair, to its former condition as an architectural jewel with elegant cherry panelling and art deco chairs and light fixtures:
Re-opened as a club, restaurant and concert venue, it now provides better ways to spend your time than waiting for a train. With its impressive architecture and cosmopolitan atmosphere, it features remarkable rooms and offers lots of space for larger events:
I was there one evening while participating at the ECDL’s Forum 2010 in Bonn where we had a gastronomic adventure including the Award Ceremony. You see, rounding out the many sections of the terrace of the old waiting room, you can dine with excellent views of the imposing cathedral:
As has been a habit from my business trips like this, of course I’ll share the delicious dinner with you – from the starter to the sweet and artistic dessert:
White Wine: Heger Sonett Grauburgunder & Starter: Salmon pate
Left: Carrot ginger soup – Right: Main course: Fried brook trout with chanterelles and thyme foam
Dessert: Chocolate Walnut torte with fresh berries
ECDL Forum 2010 Awards:
ECDL (European Computer Driving License) enable proficient use of ICT that empowers individuals, organisations and society through their end user certification programmes. Known as ICDL (International CDL) outside of Europe, with more than 10 million candidates participating it has set the global benchmark in end-user skills certification. Every year, representatives of Computer Associations (exclusive country licensees) from all over meet up at the Forum meeting – this year in Bonn.
Typical for meetings like this is a dinner party with presentation of various annual awards. You know it’s always nice to celebrate and recognise outstanding efforts of participants and associates: best licensee, best promoter, best newcomer and innovator etc. I was lucky to sit at the table with representatives of one of the winners: The Irish Computer Society (ICS) and was allowed to take part in the extra attention that was given to the table after dinner. Let me give you a clue:
ICS’s 2010 ECDL Best Practice Trophy calls for champagne!
Alter Wartesaal Dance- & House- Party:
Dinner like ours is one example, but at the historically-preserved complex of the Cologne train station the premises are perfect for more events like: evening concerts, fashion shows, TV productions, cabarets, comedy nights, and product launches etc. Because the location which in 1983 was opened by the famous talk-show host and TV chef Alfred Biolek is outstanding: the magnificent restaurant with up to 4.80 m high, stuccoed ceilings and the original Art Nouveau hall from the year 1915, the variety of events leave no stone unturned. While at the wardrobe I saw a couple of posters which gives an example of some performances and I could not resist capturing them with my Nokia mobile phone:
1998: Jennie Lee – 2001: DJ Da Trooth
Hope this whets your appetite for more travel posts because there will be some of them in the near future. Today my wife and I will be travelling to Brussels, and we hope to be travelling to Portugal the week after that. Keep your fingers crossed for us because there is a general strike planned for the day we are to travel!!! I hope we make it to Portugal in the end because we are really looking forward to it!