Wednesday, April 6, 2016

A Sweet (wink wink) Day in Cologne

The second day of our vacation, we went to Cologne.

Fun fact: the word "cologne" comes from Cologne. "4711 Echt Kölnisch Wasser" has been produced in Cologne since 1799, and it's is still sold today. It's even advertised in the train station.
See the big window for the ad
We arrived by train. As soon as you walk out of the train station - bam - it TOWERS over you: the Cathedral. It's so big, I couldn't manage to get a picture of the entire building.

Sorry. Couldn't get the entire tower in the picture.
Construction platform. Way up there.
Organ. Also way up there.
The Dom, as the cathedral is called in German, has one of my favorite stained glass windows (And yes, I do have several favorite stained glass windows. Thank you for asking.) My picture of the "Pixel Window" didn't turn out, so here's one from someone who knows what they're doing.

image by Daniele Civello via Flickr
As you can see, they're doing some restoration work (I'm pretty sure they're always doing restoration work). Strangely enough, from the time we walked into the cathedral until we wanted to leave twenty minutes later, the door we'd come into was blocked for construction.

After visiting the cathedral, I had the amazing luck* to meet up with a writer friend I hadn't seen in three years. She was traveling from Bremen to Paris and had a one hour wait between trains. So much fun!

Mayken and I in front of the cathedral
After we dropped Mayken and her daughter off at their next train, we wandered along the Rhine to the Chocolate Museum, which may or may not have been the entire reason for us traveling to this neck of the woods.

I found out that there's such a thing as Cocoa Wine.

In the Chocolate Museum, we strolled through an indoor tropical forest and saw a cocoa tree. Then...the smell! A miniature chocolate factory. There were machines for roasting cocoa beans, for mixing, for filling the forms, a robot arm to pick up the little candy bars, another machine for wrapping the chocolate pieces.

Yes, we did get free samples.

With all this chocolate, maybe that's why the train station has chocolate bar steps.

*Bonus screencap! How to spontaneously meet up with a friend who lives in another country. Via twitter. 

Next up, Drachenfels! And in case you missed it, I also wrote about our day in Bonn.

All pictures taken by me or my family unless otherwise noted.

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