Karneval in Germany

In the November ’06 “All Aboard!” column, Jay Brunhouse mentions Karneval in Cologne, Germany. However, in 2007 Ash Wednesday occurs on Feb. 21, not April 4. Good Friday is April 6.

We have been in Cologne for Karneval six times in the past eight years. The last five times we went, we were there from the Wednesday before until at least the Tuesday afterward.

The big parades are on Rosenmontag (which will be Monday, Feb. 19, this year) in Cologne, Düsseldorf and Mainz. Cologne has the best parade and Karneval festivities. Many of the major hotels are actually cheaper during Karneval due to the lack of business and convention travelers.

There were over 1.3 million people (and not enough porta-potties) at the Cologne Rosenmontag parade in 2006 (Feb. 27) along the 6-kilometer-long parade route, much of which winds through the narrow (by U.S. standards) downtown streets. It was also about 35°F during the parade.

Other than the dates, Brunhouse’s takes on Düsseldorf, Cologne and Bonn are excellent. Bonn also has the Museum Mile, a few S-Bahn stops south of the Bonn Hauptbahnhof, as well as the Beethoven House, if you are into art and science museums.

Easton, PA