The weekend in Cologne for Carnival was long, hard and at times really exhilarating. But I think on the whole I have exhausted the possibilities for acting like a teenager and drinking and parting all weekend- there were times when I felt too old or too critical to be dressed up as a pirate singing songs about God and getting drunk. Symbolic of the weekend was the fact that the Cathedral was closed so that when we finally did get in an old grumpy looking priest threw us out with a curt "NO visitors". So much for Christian kindness.
From the moment we arrived at the train station we knew we weren´t in provincal Kiel-there were people of all ages dressed as clowns, pirates (we were not as orginal as I´d hoped), playboy bunnies, cowboys, dinosaurs, bears, American Indians, Bavarians (!!), devils, clowns, go-go dancers and of course clowns. Anyone who has a fear of clowns should not go to Carnival in Cologne. They tended to roam in packs of about six or seven, dressed in identical wigs and shiny sequined bodysuits. At one point on Friday evening we found ourselves in a small bar entirely surrounded by clowns, even the waiter was one. The barkeeper in his toga was a happy exception.
The main point of Carnival, and we weren´t even there on the really crazy days, Merry Wives Night and Rose Monday, is to go wild and "go foreign" ie. cheat on your spouse for one weekend of the year before you repent your sins and fast. But that´s just the theory, from what I could tell the main point was to get absolutely smashed first thing in the morning and keep drinking until you couldn´t stand up. All the while singing songs about how much you love Cologne and God, and drinking.
My favorite part was being allowed to dress up like an idiot and go out, and know you were in good company. Oh, and of course the many marching bands which randomly marched through the city playing oompah music.