Monday, March 14, 2011

Kölle Alaaf!

Kölle Alaaf! Karneval in Köln

After attending the small town parade with friends on Sunday in Forsbach, I took the train in to Köln for the largest Monday parade in Europe. I didn't want to catch candy or see the clever political parodies on the floats. I just wanted to take some pictures of the people who were there. What were the costume themes this year? How rowdy would it be? A sunny and rather warm day for such a parade - where the winter is supposed to be driven out - is a rarity, so I just had to go!

The light streamed into the train station through the high glass wall facing the cathedral. The guests arrived out of the dark tunnel into the sunlight, offering a wide range of delightful costumes.

Some people may have had second thoughts about being seen in public with their friends, but that problem is nothing that can't be solved by a shared bottle of something that warms from the inside.

Many people milled around the square between the station and the cathedral, waiting for friends or action or both.

Of course when you are expecting record numbers of visitors, the security must be tight. Even little leopards  were not allowed to mount the steps to the bleachers to see the parade. You need special permission for such luxury.

And for the big people there were big police officers who appeared to be prepared for anything.

As the afternoon progressed, the sunshine seemed to have helped this officer see the humor in being shot at by a clown's toy arrow. (Actually the clown was aiming at the bottles lined up next to the policeman.)
Remember how the Germans used to make fun of the big eyeglasses worn by Americans? Well, they are in fashion over here now. To what extent was Ingrid Michaelson responsible for that?

Ladybugs, princesses, smurfs, hippies, vampires and devils were all well represented this year. The cell phone appeared to be a necessary accessory for everyone.

I wanted a picture of a devil with the cathedral in the background. Katja, whom I met there, was nice enough to pose for me. (I tried to send the picture to you, but your e-mail inbox was full!)

1 comment:

  1. ew, my favorites are the girls yelling into the cell phone and half shadow faced woman in a military uniform I think :) Great pics Jim!