I love that if you drive 30 minutes in one direction from Maastricht you’re in Germany and five minutes in another you’re in Belgium. We really are living in the heart of Europe, so let's take advantage of the situation.
|She goes by Dr. Weber now.|
First I have to say, Gefeliciteerd Jessie, who can now be referred to as Dr. Weber! The last time I saw Jessie she was in grad school working on her PhD and I said that I would call her Dr. the next time we met. Congratulations!
Jessie has a blog too called cooking and tunes. Check it out. Looks yummy!
I met Jessie at our hotel on Friday. Jaap was going to join us on Saturday, so we had a lot of time to catch up with some drinks and girl chat. First we visited the Dom in the city center. It was great riding the U-bahn. I'll take a train over the bike any day. We couldn't figure out how to validate our train tickets though. Ooopps. We figured it out the next day with the help of a local. In our defense, the 'ticket-validating-machines' were broken. It was just a coincidence that the three trains we got on all had machines that weren't working. Oh well.
We really had no idea where we were going and literally ended up walking around the city twice. If we saw something on the map that looked interesting we walked to it. We mostly saw some remains of medieval fortifications, but kept wondering, where are all the old buildings? Old city center? Young people? Trendy spots? Okay, so it's not like walking through medieval Maastricht and we realized that Cologne was completely destroyed during the war, so the lack of old architecture made sense.
We visited the cathedral first. I read online that the Kölner Dom is one of the most visited landmarks in Germany and it's easy to see why. The crucifix pictured below is said to be one of the oldest sculptures of the crucified Christ in existence. It was donated to the church by Archbishop Gero circa 970. Pretty neat. One of the main attractions in the cathedral is the Shrine of the Magi. (No picture here). The contents of what exactly is in the shrine are not explained explicitly in our little brochure. We're always suspicious of these holy relics though. :)
We did find a cute café where we hung out for awhile, just drinking wine and catching up. :)
|Girl talk at Café Elephant|
Jaap met up with us Saturday morning and we walked around a different area of the city center. We revisited the cathedral again for a more in depth tour with Jaap. Afterwards we went to the Römanisch-Germanisches Museum. The museum houses a massive collection of art and artifacts from when the Romans settled in Cologne.
There is a great interactive exhibit that allows you to compare modern day Cologne to what it looked like 2000 years ago. It's really interesting. We were able to look at the fortifications we saw on our walk the day before and see what the complete structure used to look like.
This is how much Jaap enjoyed the exhibit. Who says you can't take a little cat nap in a museum?
Every good trip to Germany has to have beer in it. We tried the local brew Dom Kölsch. Not our favorite brew, but you gotta go local when traveling! Thanks Jessie for meeting us in Germany!