3.55am pouring with rain and Garry arrives to pick my up for the short drive to Gatwick. No problems checking in although we se our 6.20am flight to Cologne is listed at 5.55am. No panic we have arrived with plenty of time. We soon link up with Jo and the flight goes smoothly arriving in Cologne around 8.40. Grab our cases and proceed to the train ticket office, Jo is in charge of train tickets recommending that we reserve our seats for the return journey on friday. It’s now 9.08 and the ICE train for Essen is leaving at 9.12 on platform 2, we manage to board in time and arrive in Essen around 10.20. A short walk brings us to Hotel Korn our base for the next couple of days.
Garry and Jo departing the ICE train at Essen
We check in and dump the cases as the rooms are not ready yet and ajourn to a local Starbucks for some coffee. We sit outside in the morning sunshine and just chill out for a while. Jo had told us about a games shop he has visited before but can’t quite remember the location, so off we go for a pleasant strong around Essen. We look round for a while but no luck, we ask a couple of people who direct us but we still can’t find it. We do however find a nice department store called Mullers which has a games department that puts english games shops to shame. Quit a range of ‘proper’ games including Null & Nichtig and Relic both of which I was planning to buy to I pick them up.
Coffee outside Starbucks at Essen
We were all pretty whacked so made our way back to the hotel and had a shower and rested for a couple of hours. Meeting up again at 3pm we had another destination, Garry had found out where Toys R Us was and we visited for a while, again a very good selection of games. Jo did manage to locate his games shop.......it had ben turned into a 1 euro store!!!
Cold beer and hot coffee
It was a lovely sunny afternoon and all the open air cafes and bars where buzzing. Time to relax with a beer (or coffee for Jo) and just watch the people pass by. After a nice meal of pasta we decided to call it a day and some serious sleep time in to be ready for a long day at the Messe tomorrow.