Monday, January 21, 2008

A Weekend in Cologne

I am back from a great whirlwind trip to Germany to see my brother and sister in law. The weather was amazingly good..about 50 degrees but very windy. Its actually colder here in Venice! My knee is my knee...slow but sure. Still limping and still hurts but making progress. My sister in law gave me some gel to put on it....its called 'schmerz-und entzundungshemmendes' which I think translates to 'secret german formula that takes away the pain and lets you sleep at night'!

Saturday we went to an underground exhibition/restoration of an old Roman Praetorium (big house for rich Romans). They discovered it after the war as they were starting to rebuild the city (as you can tell from the black and white photo). They have only excavated half of it in length and a small bit in height (this you can tell from the darker portions on the bottom right of the model picture). Its huge and pretty impressive. I was actually amazed that they 'covered' it over and built the city again on top of it.

After that, we went to the chocolate museum! Now thats my style--three floors of nothing but chocolate, free samples and a gift shop....if 'schmerz-und entzundungshemmendes' doesnt help, chocolate will! You would be surprised at the combinations of flavors they put in chocolate. There was so much to it was, I tried to limit it to gifts (and I am staring at them right now as I type so I wont say who they are for in case they never arrive!).

For dinner, my sister in law cooked beef rouladen (my favorite) on Saturday and pork schnitzel on Sunday. She is a fabulous cook and I was sad when the catering performance (as my brother calls it) was over!

On Sunday, we went to the philharmonic. I have to say I have never been. Classical music was never much my thing and I cant read music and am tone deaf, but I truly enjoyed myself. We had fabulous seats, the acoustics were wonderful and the energy and emotion from the musicians and conductor was enthralling. I am now a bit more cultured and am actually looking forward to doing it again.

After the concert, we went to the Cathedral. This is the 3rd largest in the world (I was surprised to find out the largest was in NY City). It truly is breathtaking in its own right. There is no way to get a picture that would do it justice. I did not, obviously, climb the stairs of the tower (by the way, there are 509 steps, not 300 like I thought). Its a shame because I bet the view of the Rhine and the city is something from up there. Inside the church is not nearly as impressive as the outside, but there is a large golden shrine that is said to hold the remains of the Three Wise Men.

And today, I am back...put some more 'schmerz-und entzundungshemmendes' on and will take it easy until my visitor arrives on Friday.

1 comment:

Gil said...

I hope that you had More than your share of good German beer! Interesting post about the ancient city and beautiful pictures.