Monday, November 22, 2010

Thomas's Town: Cologne, Germany

On Saturday, we finally crossed the border into Germany. Leann was nice enough to drive us over the border to avoid international charges on train fare. From there, we carried all 6 fully loaded bags and us to Koeln, or Cologne. We were greeted at the station by Thomas himself & his father, Gisbert. Stepping out under the shadow of the Dom, they whisked us through the streets in the family car (Thomas not behind the wheel). We made it to their house about 15 min to the north of the city and were greeted by coffee & cake (ah- classic German style). They also set us up in the this little apartment at the bottom so we have a bathroom & kitchenette all to our selves. Definitely some of the nicest accommodations of the trip!

That night they sent us out, with Thomas as guide, to eat an amazing Koelner dinner of schweinehaxe (pork knuckle), blotwurst (blood sausage- first time & it was good), kartoffeln (potatoes), etc. Plus appetizers of a local cheese, and beef tartar. And, of course, kolsch (the local beer).You drink it outta little .2L glasses & they bring more till you cover it with a coaster. Exxxxxxxxxxxxcelent! We also visited with some of his friends, and went to a birthday party.

On Sunday, we tromped through the city again, checking out the sculpture park, Rhein, an artist's squat, and took a ride up a skyscraper for some night views of the city.

All of us were feeling a little tired, but a family meal of beef goulash bolstered our spirits. It's a unique experience, eating with a German family & trying to keep up with the lingo.

Today the Weihnachtsmarkt begin and Thomas was so excited!...ok not really. I had to explain the word "Scrooge" after he kept pointing out the marketing standpoint. It's important to be able to see and understand where things are coming from, but not let it rob you  of the opportunity to enjoy a glass of Gluhwein (mulled wine). He actually ended up taking us to all 5 markets- poor kid. I loved it.

We have really enjoyed spending time with Thomas & the Brandt family. Nothing to make you not miss your family so much as spending time within another.


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We're Back in Berlin Ja!

We're Back in Berlin Ja!
ebe & ian at Yak-toberfest 2008