Saturday, May 14, 2016

Cologne Round Two

Cologne might be my favorite German city. In fact, I'm going to go ahead and say it.  Cologne IS my favorite German city.   There is so much to do, but it doesn't feel like a huge city.  It's the perfect compromise!  I knew that Karen couldn't leave Germany without coming, so we planned another day trip for Sunday.

We were able to park below the cathedral, which was a perfect starting and ending point for us.  Since we were there on a Sunday, mass was being held and we couldn't go very far in.  It's still breathtaking to look at from the outside, though.  It's massive.

Hi Karen!

A teeny tiny part of the cathedral that is still bigger than me!

When you walk around the cathedral, you can see how big and deep it is 

As you walk around the cathedral and past the museum, you'll find stairs that lead you down to waterfront.  There is a park there and a sidewalk that runs along the waterfront.  I think this is why I love Cologne so much.  It's so green and there is a beautiful, scenic river that runs right through it.

There were two men who were setting up their bubble blowing spot.  These guys were blowing bubbles that were as big as me!

The weather warmed up for us a bit and it made being outside the perfect Sunday activity.

We did the Rick Steve's walking tour, which was okay. I'm not sure how many sights on a walking tour there actually are (most of the things are museums and such), but it did cover the main points.  Once we were done with the walking tour, we stopped for brunch.  Until this point, Karen really hadn't had a traditional German meal except for at the German restaurant on base, which I don't count. I looked up the best places to get Kolsch beer (a Cologne tradition) and German food and ended up at the same restaurant that Mike and I went to last time, Peter's Brauhaus.  If you are ever in Cologne, it's a must! They bring you the Kolsch beers in these tiny little glasses and just keep refilling them until you put a coaster on top.  It's like water!

Brunch German style.  Doesn't look so appetizing, but I promise it was delicious!

After brunch, we had a few more hours to kill before we needed to head back, so we walked around for a little while longer until we arrived at the Chocolate Museum.  Sadly, I didn't take any pictures (that's a first!), but if you are in Cologne, you should go! It's a lot of fun, but also extremely interesting.  They talk about coco beans and chocolate production.  What's crazy is that most people who are harvesting coco beans have never tasted chocolate! I had a friend who only ate Fare Trade Chocolate and, after reading all of the info about coco production, I understand why!  On the second floor, you can see chocolate bars being made, as well as different chocolate figurines (SANTA!) displayed.  So cool! It's a lot of fun and almost anyone will enjoy it!

We tried to go back in the cathedral, thinking that we would be able to go up to the altar and farther in since mass was over, but I guess they keep people out for the whole day on Sunday. We still went inside and admired from afar.

After a few minutes of admiring this beauty, it was time to head home.  We were sad to see the weekend come to close, knowing that this would be Karen's last week in Europe.  We had so much fun in Cologne and in Luxembourg the day before.  It's so much fun to travel and explore new (and old) cities. Cologne is one of my favorites and I know this isn't the last time I'll visit. 

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