Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cologne: part 2

It's been a couple days - but I think I'm *still* recovering from our amazing weekend in Germany (read part 1 here)... the packed itinerary, making perfume, sightseeing, drinking Gl├╝hwein, dancing at a club til 4 in the morning, facing my fear of heights on top of the cathedral, wandering through the Christmas markets... it was exhausting! But so incredible.

One of the highlights was definitely the rooftop tour of the Cologne Cathedral. The cathedral has a long and interesting history, its construction spanning 600 years (1248-1880 with a three hundred year pause in the middle). It houses the relics of the Three Kings and has been an important pilgrimage sight for many Christians. After WWII, when most of Cologne was left in shambles, the Cathedral remained standing, and we had the opportunity to discover its beauty from an entirely different point of view: the top. 

The foundation responsible for the maintenance and restoration of the Cathedral leads these tours, and though I was absolutely terrified on the way up in the rickety construction elevator, and standing in the freezing wind on a bunch of scaffolding, I'm very glad I made it through the entire tour. 

The super scary elevator

Up, up, up, up beyond the gargoyles
On the scaffolding (I was terrified - that's the only smile I could muster)

An engineering masterpiece - HANGING scaffolding
Narrow walkways, cold wind

Christmas Market from above

After the tour, we warmed up with more wine and mushrooms before heading to dinner.... 

... where we ate chestnut soup, steak and traditional Christmas goose, and drank prosecco, beer and wine and then danced the night away. 

It was a fabulous weekend - thank you to our wonderful hosts, Christian and Anna. We can't wait to go back (when it's a little warmer)... 

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