Nein, wine, and a great time! (Cologne, Germany)

(The last leg of our European spring vacation, May 2014)

A lot of people asked why we chose Cologne over other more popular destinations in Germany. The main reason was the proximity to Amsterdam & the easy connection via the high speed train. Jonathan has always wanted to visit Germany and so we thought this would be the perfect opportunity. I’ve visited Berlin, Dresden, and Munich before and so I wanted to visit somewhere new. Cologne was just the place for us!

We took the Thalys train from Brussels to Cologne, stumbled out of the train station and onto the steps of the Dom cathedral. What a breathtaking sight! Of course we wandered around lost with no map for a while searching for our hotel. It makes you realize how much we rely on Google Maps and our GPS’s!

After checking-in at the hotel, we headed back out to have a proper breakfast. Jonathan was feeling very German and decided to spring for a beer with his eggs and bread!

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Some highlights of our first day in Cologne included:

Lighting a candle for my GG in the Dom

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Drinking wine at a small street festival showcasing local/regional wines

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Taking a short boat ride down the Rhine

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Having drinks across the Rhine & taking in the lovely view

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On day two we decided to try the Rhine Seilbahn (cable cars!). It was not the smoothest ride, but it was a fun experience and offered a great view of the river. Interestingly enough, the cable cars pass over a spa and let’s just say we got an eyeful of some old naked men… The cable cars are located just across the street from the zoo. We hadn’t planned on visiting the zoo, but Jonathan and I both love animals and so we decided to check it out.

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Our favorite part was the little monkey things & we sat watching them for probably 30 minutes! Only when it started raining did we decide it was time to leave. After a refreshing nap at the hotel, we headed back out to have dinner and drink at the wine fair. It was a fun evening that involved way too much wine & a drunk Jonathan yelling “Nein” (no in German) all the way back to the hotel…

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On our last day in Germany we met up with my friend Daniela and her friend Andreas! I met Daniela when I studied in Prague & we’ve stayed in touch ever since. Since Vienna is only a hop, skip, & jump away from Cologne, she came to meet up with us! We all went on a tour of a palace together and then headed to Bonn to take a river cruise.

Dani & me at the palace

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Jonathan, Andreas, & Dani on the river cruise

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It was a beautiful day!

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We walked around Bad Königswinter for a bit before taking the boat back to Bonn.

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After the river cruise, we headed back to Andreas’s flat to have a barbecue! It was great food & even better company.

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We had a great time in Cologne & I know that Jonathan was glad to finally visit Germany. I enjoyed getting to spend time with Dani & catch up with her. We don’t get to see each other very often, but we always have a great time together!

I cannot wait for my next chance to visit Europe again & to explore many more places with Jonathan!

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