Cologne, Germany, a city almost completely destroyed during WWII yet rebuilt to become a most popular travel destination, was my second stop on my first trip abroad. What originally lured me there (besides its proximity to Paris, where I was staying at the time) was the desire to see its awe-inspiring cathedral, also known as the Dom.
As soon as I stepped through the threshold of the building I experienced both a deep sense of euphoria and peace. As I walked towards the altar I became contemplative, I felt connected to the divine and for the few minutes I was there, all was well with the world.
What lured me back two years later was the architecture, the museums, the warm and welcoming nature of the people I met and another chance to drink the local beer, Kolsch.