Saturday, June 28, 2014

Cologne, Germany (Kӧln, Deutschland)

Saturday June 28, 2014

Over 2 months ago Jackie made plans for take a Saturday daytrip to Cologne, Germany on June 29. The reason: her good friend and co-worker, Todd, from GGLO in Seattle was going to be there with his boyfriend who is touring Germany with the Seattle Men’s Choir! Cologne was their last leg of their trip. They started out their trip in Prague, where Jackie dispensed all her knowledge and recommendations for the city she loves and studied in for 4 months in 2005. It’s hard to believe it’s almost been 10 years since her architecture studio days there! Todd & Ken seemed to have a great time with their stops for performances in Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig, and Krefeld. On Sunday the two finished off their European vacation in Paris.
We drove over to Cologne from Eindhoven, just under a 2 hour drive. We parked and met up with Todd & Ken at their hotel, Maritim Hotel Kӧln. We walked some of Cologne, which the guys had a tour of the day before. It was great to hear some of what they had already learned. We walked by this area, which reminded Joe & I of rainbow row in Charleston. 
Cool old door 
Groß Sankt Martin (Great St. Martin Church), a Romanesque Catholic Church that was later transformed into a Benedictine monastery. The original tower was erected between 1150-1250. 
It was badly damaged during WWII but restored by 1985, opening 40 years later. A photo from 1946:
The interior of Groß Sankt Martin today 

Vine-covered church walls 

Cologne City Hall on Alter Markt 
Jackie had Joe buy her some coffee gelato which she happily savored. 
What Papa Joe has a biersalon in Cologne? We just may have to come back for this. Right Jason, Emily, Wes & Lauren ;) 
Kӧln Cathedral exterior 

Seattleite sight-seers 
Kӧln Cathedral interior 

There was a mass going on so we didn’t stick around to try and see the full interior and details of the cathedral. We can always come back another time.
The weather was really crummy so we took Todd and Ken’s tour guide advice and went to the Roman-Germanic Museum (Rӧmisch-Germanisches Museum) that has ancient Roman antiquities and artifacts, including ornate jewelry and mosaics.
Julius Caesar 
Wallraf Medusa from the 1st century 
This museum was built over the remains of the Roman villa. This world-famous Dionysus floor mosaic once decorated the floor of an elegant dining room from circa AD 230. 

Roman stone carvings 
Roman stone remains, which Joe and I were joking that this museum feels like going to a zoo, viewing the remains in captivity instead of out there in the wild where the remains originally lived. 
god of wind & sea 
The tomb of the veteran legionary Lucius Poblicius circa AD 40.
As we were walking through the museum, it started to downpour outside. We made the right call making it a museum day due to the weather.
Another floor mosaic 
Lots of ancient ceramic pottery 
Lots of glass jars, the largest collection of Roman glass in the world 
Ancient compass 
Emperor Commodus head
Erotic ceramic lamps 

Phallic jewelry 
We went to grab a true German lunch at Haxenhaus 
Joe’s grilled knuckle leg, mashed potatoes and red cabbage 

Jackie’s gratin “Colonia” with potatoes, sausages, slices of pork knuckles with a cheese au gratin sauce

Todd’s sausage, pan-fried potatoes and sauerkraut 

Ken’s casserole dish and potatoes
The Dutch travelers at lunch 
Next we went to the Cologne Chocolate Museum (Schokoladenmuseum Kӧln).
The coolest part was the chocolate factory where we could observe the cocoa bean production process.
In 1879, Rodolphe Lindt pioneered the conching process in which a special mixer causes liquid chocolate to be ground, heated and aerated over a period of several days. The chocolate is kept in constant motion with controlled warming, giving it its smooth, melting texture. 
The chocolate fountain stands 3m tall and decorated with 40 golden cocoa fruits and is constantly filled with 200 kilograms of fresh Lindt chocolate. 
In the chocolate studio, they make all kinds of hollow chocolate molds, like these soccer balls. 
It was so great to see Todd and Ken in Cologne. 
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