The European trip is now underway, and as usual, I’m trying to write up short bits on how the trip is going. So far, we’ve flown into Duesseldorf and taken the local trains to Cologne to spend two days here catching the sights.
Here’s sunrise from the window seat. Kinda wish I had been sleeping though! One weird experience when flying in – it’s the first time that the Customs agent demanded to see a return ticket before letting me head to baggage claim. I guess with all of the refugee issues going on over here, they both want to welcome you to Germany but then also make sure that you’ve got a way out as well!
Cologne on a Sunday is normally pretty quiet. Most of the shops are closed, but today was an exception… As happens to be my misfortune, whatever European city I choose to visit at any time in the year generally has a marathon going on at that time! So, half of the roads were blocked off in the old town for the race.
The Cathedral was still open, and after Mass was done, we did get a little self guided tour.
Also decided to take the walk up the 500+ steps to get to the top of the cathedral tower. A good 20 minute climb, and maybe more physical exertion than I planned for on the first day – but – hey, when am I going to get a chance to do it again?
Here is the big bell at the top. We managed to time our ascent perfectly as we were in the belfry at exactly 2:00. They don’t give you any warning that the bells are going to ring, and I nearly wet my pants when the loud noises started…
Couldn’t find anywhere to eat due to the closed roads from the marathon, so we hoofed it back to the HBF. Found out that AsiaHung has been renamed to AsiaGourmet, but they still serve crispy duck. Yum.
We kept wandering around until dinnertime, when we met up with Jens-Peter Schliemann, who lives nearby. We took in a nice dinner at a local brewery, and I was able to get my favorite local dish of Himmel und Aad (blood pudding) served over mashed potatoes and applesauce. Yum.
After a few small beers (200 ml Koelsch), it was bedtime for me. about 10 miles walked on the first day, and jet lag was definitely catching up to me.
The next day, we were able to wander around the shops. First up was the LEGO store. I didn’t realize how big nor how expensive some of the newer LEGO sets are!
And, to keep tabs on my own stuff, it’s nice to see that I”m still on clearance :)
One of the cool things that we saw at the Galeria Kaufhof was a local toteboard of best sellers. We’ve actually seen this at a number of shops – a top 10 display
Unsurprisingly, Colt Express is the #1 seller, but you’d expect that for the reigning SdJ winner…
We also wandered into a local used store to find an oldie but goodie. Bonus points to the first person to admit that they know the designer!
To finish our toy shopping, we walked about 2km into the suburbs to find a mom and pop toystore. My brother was looking for food playsets for his 2-year-old. He found a play chicken that HAS DETACHABLE limbs.
And, what 2-year-old doesn’t want to have a Doner-kebab play set?
Finally, on the way back home, I did see something nice that I thought my wife would like…
But man, I do not get European fashion prices!
Time togo for now…
Dinner on Monday was another favorite though – schweinehaxe!
Where is this used game shop in Essen please?
Darn! I wish I was there with you!
Apparently Greg won’t admit that he knows Ted.