Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cologne, Day 2

Today, we toured the Cologne Cathedral.  It took over 600 years to finish construction on the cathedral, from 1248 to 1870, and there are some parts inside that still look like they might not be quite complete.  Talk about slow by little!  I hope Kevin doesn't start comparing his projects to that!

God is in the Cologne Cathedral.

After touring the cathedral and opting NOT to climb 500 steps to the tower (thank you, thank you, thank you!), we had lunch at Früh am Dom, where they make things really simple by serving one type of beer:  Früh Kölsch.  Also by just carrying what is essentially a basket of 0.2 liters around the restaurant and dropping a new one in front of anyone who doesn't have one.  Kevin narrowly avoided ordering pork knuckle, but then wondered if he was missing out.

Kevin loves his baby beer.
The small, not even half-pint 0.2 liter size is supposedly to prevent the beer from getting warm.  Kevin says that, when we get to Munich, they will give us a full liter but expect us to drink it just as fast as the 0.2 liter, so it doesn't get warm. 

Still a little jet-lagged, we headed back to the hotel and took and afternoon nap before heading out to the Cathedral Christmas Market.  We enjoyed our first mugs of glühwein .

Here is one of the more festive-looking stalls inside the Cathedral Market...

I had a bowl of mushrooms from this stand for dinner.  They have a giant griddle, and start at one end with fresh mushrooms, onions, and seasoning.  As it cooks, it gets pushed down to the other end and is served up as deliciousness with a slice of white bread.

Goodnight, Cathedral! Tomorrow, we're going to check out one of the two (yes, two) mustard museums and the chocolate museum!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

And We're Back! ...in Germany!

After a several month hiatus, I decided that I couldn't pass up blogging our trip to Germany.

What??? We're in Germany?


Kevin and I had been talking awhile about doing some belated honeymoon travel (we only had a "mini-moon" and our friends' wedding cruise - which didn't count.  :-)), and after considering such temperate destinations as New Zealand and Hawaii, we settled on gray, blustery Germany.  Ok, we've only been here a day, so it's not fair to say yet that it's cold and blustery - that might just be today.  But several years ago, I read an AAA article about German Christmas Market cruises, and we agreed it would be nice to do someday.  This fall just felt like "someday" to us, so here we are, touring the Germany Christmas Markets, only by train instead of boat - much less expensive.

Before sunrise this morning, we arrived in Köln (Cologne). Which is not as early as it sounds - the sun was just rising as our train pulled into the Hauptbahnhof at 8:12 AM.  After sleeping for less than 2 hours on the plane, we were so grateful that the nice folks at the Hilton Köln had a room available for us and let us check in at 8:30 AM.  And our room is just so awesome.  Sure, our window peers into the windows of an office building next door, but the room is really spacious, sleek and modern.  Maybe I'll post some pictures tomorrow after our bed is made - we took a four hour nap!

We plan to explore Köln more closely tomorrow (predicted to be sunny and seasonable), but here's a peek at what we previewed today:

I made this gingerbread house on the plane.  My mother-in-law would be so proud.

 This was an awesome little toy store with a special little door for it's young (and young-at-heart!) patrons.

 It's magic inside the Kölner Dom Christmas Market!  And SUPER CROWDED!

The other side of the gothic Kölner Dom looks pretty ominous at night!  Pretty cool picture, though!

Now that it's almost 10PM German time but my body thinks it's 4PM (or does it?), I think I'd better attempt to get it on schedule by getting some sleep!