Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cologne: part 1

This past weekend our friend Christian organized a trip to his hometown in Cologne, Germany. With about a million residents, Cologne is the fourth largest city in Germany - it's small enough to get around easily, but has enough big city "buzz" to make it feel like a bustling metropolis. And, I admit, I was lured by the 4 Starbucks we saw - yes, we went (twice) - but in my defense, I needed a little sip of home in one of those red holiday cups! Plus, one day it was so bloody cold the Starbucks was like a warm beacon of light inviting us in to defrost.

Aside from our (two) visits to the green mermaid, we had a wonderfully packed itinerary that Christian planned for us - including a visit to 4711 to make our own perfume/cologne, and a rooftop tour of the Cologne cathedral, not to mention the whole point of taking the trip: exploring the Christmas markets.

Up first: Our guesthouse, and perfume-making:

Our little pension was charming and inviting and included a perfect European breakfast consisting of fresh rolls, cheeses, jam, soft-boiled eggs, juice and coffee. The perfect way to start the day!

Not sure why Didz was hiding in the closet...

Our scent-making seminar was fascinating, and so much fun. After a short presentation, and gaining a basic understanding of "base" smells vs. "stinkers", we were set free to smell, combine, mix, blend and create our own perfume. 

Eau de Cito - a blend of bergamot, sweet orange, mandarin, and green tea
I passed! This is also the only document that exists that lists me as Auste Didzbalis. 

After our perfume seminar, we walked through one of the Christmas Markets to get traditional sauteed mushrooms and the most incredible pork sandwiches for lunch. 

I have about a million more pictures to sort through, so I'll post part 2 - our unbelievable (and somewhat terrifying) rooftop tour of the cathedral, and our fabulous dinner Saturday night a little later. 

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