March 15, 2014
Our first day trip a few weeks ago was to the historic city of Cologne, just 30 minutes by train from Dusseldorf. I've heard making the trip by river boat is must do, and something I'm really looking forward to now that it is starting to warm up a bit. Hmmm … a night time river cruise with beautiful and historic buildings lit up all around you. I don’t think it gets much better than that.
Cologne is situated on the River Rhine as is Dusseldorf and is the fourth largest city in Germany with around a million inhabitants. It is also known to be one of the most liberal cities in Germany. The distinctive flavor of the city is often linked to it's inhabitants, or Kölsche as they are known, and they take enormous pride in their city. My friend Sabine who lives here tells me that there is quite a bit of territorial competition between the 2 cities and that you shouldn't claim being a resident of one when you are in the other. Cologne's citizens are very friendly and jovial people. We were there just before Carnaval and folks were already beginning to don costumes in honor of the occasion.
One of the most famous sites in Cologne is the Cathedral whose official name is Ecclesia Cathedralis Sanctorum Petri et Mariae, but is commonly referred to as The Dom. Easy to find, it is the first thing you see when you step outside of the train station and is beautiful. One thing I've discovered on this trip is that I'm not a great Church and Cathedral photographer. A tight shot of on one particular eve or doorway sure, but capturing it in it's entirety in a way that means anything to me, not so much. Here are a few shots I like and link if you like to see more photos or learn more about the cathedral itself. It's worth a look and has some amazing aerial shots that allow you to really appreciate it's magnitude and see why even beginning to photograph it is so daunting.
If museums are your thing Cologne is your city. It has 36 museums and more than 100 art galleries. We went to only one — The Chocolate Museum and I think that is enough said about that.
Mostly we enjoyed ourselves strolling the historic streets and browsing in many of the art galleries. The streets are quaint and it's easy to get lost in time as you meander down one cobblestone alley way after another.
We enjoyed lunch in a lovely Thai restaurant right on the waterfront. I know - seems like we should be having schnitzel and beer but Thai is something we know and for the most part have an idea of what we are going to get when we order it. And we always love it, wherever we are.
There are so few pictures of Richard and I together because I'm usually the one behind the camera but this day we got one, and more than that, it's one I even kinda like so of course I need to share this rarity with you.
Kop kuhn ka (thank you) Nakhon Thai for a great Valentines lunch with my honey!
Refreshed and fed we headed out to accomplish something we intended to do this day. Back at home in Auburn, our friends Mark and Joy were having a Celebration of Love ceremony on this very day. There was a little bit of a time delay but for all intents and purposes it was basically the same day, February 15th, 2014, the day after Valentine’s Day.
In Cologne, there is a bridge over the River Rhine to which lovers come from all over the world. The tradition is to add an engraved padlock with the lovers names to the wall of locks and then throw the key into the river symbolizing the eternal nature of Love. There are currently an estimated 40,000 locks on the bridge weighing more than 2 tons. And now there is one more .... for Mark and Joy in honor of their special day.
Cologne is a beautiful and vibrant city and I'm looking forward to another visit. We heard a rumor that it has great nightlife and even swing and salsa dancing every weekend. I think we'll definitely be back soon!
Until next time ...
XOXO, from me and lu