A Day in Cologne, Germany!

Standard

Back at Christmas time Mr. and I had the privilege of visiting Cologne kid-free on a romantic get-a-way thanks to some very special friends of ours being willing to keep our girls for us! (Or as the Germans call it Köln.) As I was planning for my family to come and visit I decided that my Mom and I should go!

We got to take the train there which actually took twice as long as driving. One perk, though, was that a portion of the train ride was along the Rhein! I’ve driven ‘Castle Road’ several times, but never on the side of the Rhein that our train ride was one. It was really neat to see all the castles from another perspective!

One of the beautiful views from the train ride! I can’t remember exactly, but I believe this is Burg Rheinstein which is one of the castles we’ve visited recently!

We started our day with a guided tour around Cologne which was a lot of fun!

Part of the Old Roman Wall that was found while building the parking garage. If you park in the Dom Parking Garage you will be able to walk past this on your way out since it is now part of the Garage!

The old Roman pedestrian gate that is still up near the Dom. The Romans were in Cologne from about 50AD and were there for approximately 400 years.



This location is where some of the first cologne was produced in Cologne! This company is one of only two of the originals still around today!

Another Roman site right outside town hall. They recently have discovered these remains and are working on excavating right now. Our tour guide said that eventual they will build a building around these remains and it will be part of a museum.

A view of the Rhein in Cologne. So beautiful!

One of the very special places that we got to visit on our guided tour was St. Maria’s church.

Inside. Simply beautiful.



You can see more from St. Maria’s HERE and the rest of the guided tour HERE.

After our guided tour was over my Mom and I headed to the Chocolate Museum! It was a lot of fun! Although it probably wasn’t the most wise move considering it was lunch time and we were both very hungry! We ended up buying quite a bit of chocolate!!

Learning about how Cocoa fruit is grown!

We also got to see the process by which chocolate is made!

And we learned that Germany produces a TON of chocolate! Looks like I am living in the right country! 😉

More chocolate production!

Getting to sample liquid chocolate! So yummy!

Liquid Chocolate. YUM!

Old school chocolate bars!

One really cool thing at the Museum is that you can ‘design’ your own chocolate bar. Basically you fill out a form of what you want chocolate wise and what you’d want mixed in. Then you can watch them make your chocolate bar! After about 30 minutes or so it is all yours! So much fun! If you’d like to see more from the Chocolate Museum you can click HERE.

After our chocolate fun, though, it was most definitely time for lunch!

Getting my glass from the Hard Rock Cafe in Cologne. We had plans to eat here, but the line was so long. We ended up having pizza at a yummy restaurant just down the street!

After lunch it was time for the Dom Zu Cologne! You simply can’t visit Cologne with out seeing this beauty! Most definitely one of my very favorite Cathedrals!

It takes my breath away every time.

This Cathedral is the largest Gothic Cathedral in Northern Europe and it’s spires make it the church was the largest facade in ALL the world. Building begin in the 1200’s, but it wasn’t completely finished until the 19th century. In WW2 it suffered 14 hits, but it was never completely destroyed despite the city around it being flattened. This is because it was a great landmark for the pilots as they were coming to bomb the city.

My Mom at the Dom Zu Cologne!

Pictures don’t do this cathedral justice. It is impossible to capture the massiveness of it in a photograph! When Andy and I visited before it was Christmas Eve and there were services being held so we weren’t able to tour inside with out feeling like we were being disruptive. This time, though, my Mom and I were able to. It was spectacular!

Beautiful stained glass windows!








This cathedral is considered a pilgrimage spot because they have the relic of the bones of the three magi here.

To see more of the Cathedral you can view the entire album HERE.

After we toured the Cathedral (we had wanted to do a guided tour, but we were too late for that) we decided to visit the Roman Museum. I am so glad we did! I think it was probably my favorite thing from the day!!

The museum was built around this mosaic tile floor when it was discovered. This location is believed to have been a Roman Villa.

A closer view of the floor. It was super detailed and beautiful!




My Mom and another of the mosaic tile floors that were found.

This was a recreation, but mostly with original parts.

Where the kitchen was located in the original Roman Villa.

Roman children’s toys!



More recovered floor in what they believe was a living/entertaining area of the villa.

Roman keys.

Gambling games from Roman times.

Roman flip flops?

An empty Roman coffin.

To view more pictures from our time at the Roman Museum (i took A LOT) you can click HERE.

After the Roman Museum we still had a few hours until it was time for our train and so we decided to go and visit a Eis Cafe. We found a really great one with some of the best gelato I’ve had over here. Its funny how pick you can get about gelato and how you have favorite cafes to visit. Anyways! As we were eating my Mom discovered that she had a HUGE (like half-dolls size) piece of glass in her ice cream! And, unfortunately, it had cut her tongue pretty well. The owners of the shop felt terrible! They even offered to take my Mom to the hospital (she didn’t need it). They then told us to order whatever we wanted! They were so nice, though, and we knew the glass was an accident! And hey, we got free ice cream! I told my Mom ‘Thanks for taking one for the team!” I am sure she’ll find it a lot more amusing when the swelling on her tongue goes down. 😉

After that we spent a little time shopping. There were a few fun little shops in the train station and we picked up a few goodies to bring home. They have a Dunkin Doughnuts shop at the train station so we picked up some pink doughnuts for the girls for the next morning. Bug and my Dad have this tradition of going to get pink doughnuts whenever they are together, but it really isn’t very easy to do here in Germany. It was pretty neat that we found a way for them to still share that memory!

The train ride home was pretty eventful as well! Our train was very late getting into Cologne and so when we got off to switch trains in Koblenz we were too late for our connection! SO we ended up having to wait an hour for the next train and ended up getting home at 11:30p instead of 10:30p! It was a LONG day. Have I mentioned how glad I was that we didn’t have kids with us?!?

All in all my Mom and I had a fantastic day! It was a great birthday present for her! She said that it is going to be hard for anyone to top it! 🙂 AND I am thankful that I got a day with my Mom ALL to myself. Starting bright and early tomorrow I will get some alone time with my Dad, too, as we are heading out on a Beatles Tour in Liverpool!!! Super excited!

Advertisements

2 responses »

  1. Love, love, love all the photos on this and the other blogs you just posted. Almost as good as seeing them in person – maybe even better for us old folks!

  2. Pingback: Liverpool, England! | thehaysfamilyadventures

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s