I love padlock love!

Trip Start Aug 24, 2009
Trip End Mar 28, 2010

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Flag of Germany  , North Rhine-Westphalia,
Saturday, October 24, 2009

We went towards Cologne because we wanted to make our way towards Amsterdam and the weather was supposed to be decent. The weather was wonderful and the sights were amazing. It was nice to just walk…and walk…and walk. There wasn't too much to do but the few main attractions were spectacular and just walking across the bridge made you feel good. Breathing in the fresh air and feeling the sun (which had eluded us for weeks) was incredibly refreshing!

We got to a campsite about 20 minutes outside of Cologne but the reception was closed for lunch so we were unable to get in. It was raining a little bit but we decided to go for a walk. There seemed to be a park right next to the campsite with trails so we went that way. Little did we know it was a free open zoo…well sort of a zoo. There weren’t too many animals and they were in large fenced in areas but they were fun to watch. The first animals we came across were these little piggies/boars. Some were very big and some were still young and much smaller. They all kept their noses to the ground in search of something. I guess food!  We also saw some dear and moose and a few other furry creatures. It started raining a little harder but luckily the reception was opened and we got a place at the campground. We drove into the city that night looking for an internet café and a nice walk. It was a Saturday night and to our surprise the shopping street was packed with people. Seems that in Germany stores stay open till 9pm on Saturdays but are closed all day Sundays. Chris said that driving in Cologne really reminded him of driving in Montreal at night. Funny how things spark senses and memories. We decided to come back the next day for some real sightseeing.

We woke up to some beautiful weather so we drive into town once again and took in the sights. The main thing to see in Cologne is The Dom. A massive and imposing church which is Germanys most visited attraction. We are starting to feel like once you’ve seen one church you have seen them all because every town and city has a church of various magnificence and size but The Dom cannot be ignored and forces you to stare upon its greatness. It was started in the 13th century and took over 600 years to be completed so you can only imagine! It was nearly destroyed during WWII but some believe it was saved due to its tall spires which were a navigational tool for the allied forces against Nazi Germany. Although beautiful we could only stare at a building for so long so we decided to take a walk along the Rhine River where a huge flea market was being held. I love flea markets and could buy everything but where will I put it in the van. A common joke me and Chris make is whether or not we should get a pool table or microwave for the van…we can just strap it to the roof! After walking through the never ending market we came to a bridge with a foot path and decided to cross. One of the neatest things I have ever seen was on this bridge. Love padlocks! Apparently this is a popular tradition that takes place in many cities throughout Europe and the USA but I had never seen it before. The entire fence all along the bridge was covered in Padlocks. Every size and every color. Some very old and others just regular padlocks. All had names or initials on them. We even saw a couple placing their padlock on the fence and taking a picture. At one place there were 5 padlocks lined up in a row all with the same name but a different date…one for every year they were together! Call me a hopeless romantic but I love this idea and it’s wonderful because then you just throw your key into the water! Okay that’s littering but it has meaning!!! Well me and Chris didn’t get a chance to padlock our love but maybe we will do it in Italy or one of the many other countries that holds up this tradition!

Well that was enough walking for us so we found a tiny restaurant outsid3e of the city center and got a nice meal. Germany isn’t cheap but they serve you enough for 3 and boy is it delicious! I’m still not sick of Schnitzel! That was enough sightseeing for us so we made our way back to the car and called it a night. Nothing like a nice day to freshen up the spirit!
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