Cologne - not the smelly kind

Trip Start Feb 07, 2008
Trip End May 08, 2008

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Flag of Germany  ,
Thursday, February 28, 2008

I just got back from Germany today! How crazy is that? Our entire program (about 30 students) all piled on the bus and two hours later we arrived at the Cologne Cathedral and the faculty set us free to do what we wanted all day. The Cologne Cathedral was pretty impressive--I don't think that the pictures even come close to showing how ornate the outside of it was. And of course, there was stairs. 509 stairs. And we climbed them all! The two towers are 515 feet tall and were by far the tallest structures in the world when they were finished. Once on top, we could see for what seemed like forever; the view was pretty good, but the city of Cologne was almost completely destroyed in WWII so all the buildings are much more commercialized than the rest of Europe and not quite as unique as what I'm used to seeing in Maastricht. The inside of the Cathedral was pretty cool too, but I am getting so used to seeing all these wonderful churches that it seemed kind of "ho-hum" which is kind of sad. The stuff inside the church was so old -- the crucifix on the alter was made in year 971!
Even though our legs were feeling like Jello at this point, we took a little walk down the Rhine river, enjoying the scenery and stumbled upon a chocolate factory-what luck!! The Lindt Chocolate Factory was definately the highlight of this trip! First, we went through the museum section where we learned how the process of making chocolate works and got to experience a little climate change in the tropical forest room. We also got to walk through the actual factory section where people in the little white baker's hats were mixing the chocolate and handing out samples of chocolate on wafer sticks from the chocolate fountain....yeah, it was pretty much amazing! I got sucked into the gift store and made it out with only 3 bars of chocolate which I thought was pretty good will power! But then Mackenzie and I got sucked into the restaurant where we just had to have some strawberry cheesecake deliciousness that I don't know how to spell or say. (They really had to pressure us into these places...haha!) All in all, the Lindt Chocolate Factory reassured me over and over that my dream of owning a candy store is going to come true and it is going to be awesome! :)
Being it was almost lunch time, we wandered around the city for awhile trying to find a place to sit and eat our sack lunches and resorted to a cement pad on the side of the street...not the prime picnic area I know, but we were too hungry and our legs were too tired to search anymore. Teikyo, our university, provided lunch for us and we got one cheese sandwich (literally a bun and a slice of cheese) and one ham sandwich (a bun, butter, and a slice of ham). But it was okay because they surprised us all with full size Snickers bars and nobody cared about the "sandwiches" anymore.
After lunch, we hit up an art museum called the Wallraf das Museum. This was kind of a scary place! There were security guards walking around in almost every room and when I tried to point something out to a friend I got yelled at for getting too close to the art!! (or at least that what I assumed he said because he spoke only in German). So to get away from the art we went to find the WC (water closet...aka bathroom) and climed more stairs to find two bathrooms which we presumed to be men and women but didn't know which was which because they were only labeled with a D and a H. At this point, we were so exhausted that we found this just hillarious and had to wait until someone who we could decide was definately a man or a woman to walk into one of the rooms and pick the appropriate one afterwards. Needless to say, I'm not a big fan of museums anymore...haha!
All this adventure needed to be followed by a good German bier in a good German pub, so we walked some more and with the help of one of our teachers, we found one and put down a delicious beer in a friendly little pub just like what you would imagine a German pub to be.
We headed back home after this and I rushed back to my computer so I could tell you all about it. I feel that even though I don't really get to talk to you all that often, this is my way of connecting to home :) keep commenting--I love to wake up in the morning (nightime in SD) and see the messages you leave before I go to class. Hope it warming up back there! "Talk" to you soon!

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kylieodell on

The beer and the chocolate sounded good. The scary museum and the WC and the stairs, not so good. I think I like Paris better. I'm so glad you're giving us all a personalized tour of Europe! It is getting warmer here...almost 50 degrees today and supposed to be even warmer tomorrow. It's a like a tropical heat wave! Maybe the snow will finally ya! Kylie

fredelthomas on

What fun! It looks like you had a great time! The churches are truly amazing and the history of those churches is unbelievable. I would just love to see some of that... Some day, you can take me back!

We got back from skiing yesterday and the snow was excellent. We definitely missed you on the slopes!
We were going down a slope and Laine yelled, 'Hey, isn't this where Kelsey had a giant jump and a giant biff?!' She was right! :) The only downside was that Jalen got sick over the weekend (She is even cute when she barfs :) ), but is already doing better today.

It seems like time is just flying by... I can't believe you have been there as long as you have already!

Missing you,

PS. Don't be afraid to bring some of that chocolate home to share!

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