Monday, 2 September 2013

The weekend of... tour-guiding!

Petra came to visit! Hoorah! Our first over-night guest! :D 

I met her on Friday afternoon at the Hauptbahnhof, and after waiting for Malcolm to arrive from the CDC and sorting out our tickets for this month, we headed home. After supper, we went for a walk around the forest and the wildpark, and then went to the beer-garden there. There was a swing-dance party going on at the pool and the music from over there along with the colourful lights around the seating area, created a really relaxed atmosphere. We clinked glasses and said “prost!” and Petra had her first taste of Sion Kolsch. After sitting there for some time, we walked home through the forest, and, pretty tired, went to bed to be ready for Saturday.

Saturday morning after breakfast, we went to the Chocolate Museum! This has been on and off out to-do-list here as we’ve debated whether it’s worth it or not. I’ll write more about it tomorrow, but it was pretty fun J We were educated about the process, seeing the machines used, we tested a complimentary block of Lindt chocolate as we entered and enjoyed a wafer dipped in chocolate from their fountain mid-way through, we saw some history about the industry and had fun with the interactive games for kids... there was a lot to take in.   


From there, we headed out to walk along the Rhein and find a dry place to have lunch. A spot under a bridge proved worthy and we sat there to have lunch and watch people pass by, many of them getting ready to board a cruise ship. We also had some chocolate that had been a welcome-chocolate for Petra that she brought with... thank goodness, because the chocolate museum was super-tempting and pretty pricey!


We walked through some alleys and up to the town hall, before going to the Cathedral. It was really busy and lots of people were in there, but it was still beautiful. Also, Malcolm and I finally have a photo of the two of us in front of the cathedral... I was impressed that Petra managed to get it without people directly in front of her. I guess when people see a couple standing there just grinning  they know a photographer must be nearby ;) As we were getting ready to leave, in true Summer-Cologne style, it started to rain, so we took cover in a doorway.


Our tour-guiding abilities failed us when Petra asked where a coffee shop with cake was (as opposed to a bakery or a franchised kind). The thing is, we don’t buy coffee when we’re out... we’re cheap like that ;) so she checked on her phone and found a place in Hansaring that we went to.


It was really cosy and the cake was delicious... almond and cherry, chocolate and pear, and cheese cake. 


The caffeine was good for reviving us and afterwards we went for a walk in search of ice-cream – because it was the last day of Summer. I don’t know why I thought we’d have to search for ice-cream, because we came across a shop just around the corner, so after looking at the old city wall, we bought our last ice-cream of summer. I can now add nougat and Smurf to our list!



We continued our wandering and, after stopping to see some churches (one with a wedding having just finished!), we went for the Schildergasse-squish experience. The busiest shopping street had, as usual, all sorts happening in it – from a bachelor party with music playing and selling dances to passing ladies, to break-dancers performing and musicians playing. From Neumarkt, we went home.


After supper, condensed milk having been mentioned earlier in the day, we headed off to Kaisers in search of some. It was really interesting shopping with Petra because she actually knows what stuff is; we finally found sweetened condensed milk, figured out what Griess is, and got a wine-tour. 


It was a fun walk back home again, and then we spent the evening eating condensed milk on biscuits and drinking tea. See how condensed milk and biscuits look like Koln Cathedral? The perfect Cologne-dessert-experience, in my opinion ;) 

Sunday morning, after breakfast (completed by croissants and nutella), we went for a walk. We have a book of sites in Dunnwald and have been trying to see everything in it. Often times we’ve landed up outside a building that’s significant, but it’s hidden behind another, or it’s closed. Or we’ve got to a sign with a picture of a house that used to be there. But we were hopeful to find a lake that was featured. It was about 3km away, and when we got there it really was quite beautiful! However, it was a protected area and we couldn't actually go down to the lake, or see it clearly through the trees. There was wildlife were cows though!


And it was a nice walk and the forest was pretty!



We had time to get home and have cake, and for Petra to write in our guest-book, before going to the station to see Petra off. 


















One of the many faces of Petra. Really, I could do a series!
It was so much fun having her visit, and she was a very gracious guest, tolerating our couch for two nights, and a very helpful one too, educating us on subjects ranging from German politics to winter coats. 
Looking forward to seeing her again, soon, I hope! 

10 comments:

  1. It's so fun to show a guest around your town and to get to experience everything through the eyes of someone who's never been there before!

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    1. Definitely, even though she's been here once before and we aren't great at understanding everything (we had her translate various plaques on things we've wondered about...), we had such a good time :)

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  2. you're such a good host that i want to come visit too :) except.. i would have made you go to the swing dancing party by the pool:) those chocolates that say hello are so cute!

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    1. Anybody is welcome :D we really wanted to go, people were dressed up for it and it looked like such fun, but the price was not. The "hello" chocolates are made by Lindt, and are super-cute and delicious :D

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  3. Visitors are the best - and seems like y'all made great hosts. Köln must be such a fun city to show off!

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    1. Thanks, I really love having people visit! And yep, attractions in Koln are easy to find and there's loads to do :)

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  4. This looks like a great visit!!!! :)

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  5. Looks like you had a great weekend hosting your friend. Always fun to show people around your own town. I had never known anyone to eat condensed milk out of a can before I met a friend from Ukraine who loved the stuff.

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    1. Yes it was so much fun!
      I looooove condensed milk straight out the tin (or tube)! It was often a birthday treat :D

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