We only had one whole day in Cologne so N and I headed to the Cologne Dom, which is probably the only thing Cologne is really known for. That and the fact that they drink beer in tiny glasses. No more 1L Bavarian beer steins for us. I wish we had more time to hang out in this laid-back city, but time was a-tickin’ on our Schengen visa and we had other countries to visit. We’ll be back for the Ludwig Museum, which was closed the day we were in Cologne.
Now for photos of the absolutely stunning Cologne Dom, a heavyweight of cathedrals in Europe. We love walking around in churches, not so much for the religious factor, but for their artistic and architectural achievements. By the way, what’s up with the sculptures of pious figures lazying about?
After leaving Tallinn, we decided to stop for a few days in Vilinius, Lithuania, mainly to avoid taking a 24-hour bus ride from Tallinn to Krakow. The bus ride was about 9 hours and it wasn’t as enjoyable us our previous ride, but it was acceptable. Most people go from Tallinn to Riga, spend a couple of nights in Riga, and then head to Vilnius, but we only have 90 days in the Shengen Zone so we didn’t want to spend too much time in the Baltic cities. Sorry, Baltic peeps.
As an American citizen and a Japanese citizen we were allowed up to 30 days in Russia so according to our visas we had to leave by July 5th before midnight. Based on our research, you don’t want to mess around with Russian immigration when it comes to exiting the country because you could easily be stuck in the country for an additional few weeks while getting the proper documents to change your exit date if you don’t leave by the original specified date. Since we didn’t want to be sent to the gulags, we planned our exit for July 2nd which would give us 3 days of buffer time, just in case. Fortunately, when we arrived at the Estonian border, Russian immigration didn’t give us any trouble and we breezed right through into our first European country.