Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Home (in Neuenrade) & Köln

We spent the night at our place with the family (& on Christmas with my parents) and the first two nights Ray's parents were visiting. Here we are standing in front of our place in Neuenrade (note: cute gloves from Samantha & cute hat made by my Mom).

Just inside our place...

We took a short drive to the factory just to show our family where it was, but didn't go inside (see gate).

Then... back in the car to explore Köln. Ray & I have visited the cathedral (often called a dom) before and thought it was really beautiful. It's also just over an hour from our house and a perfect day trip. It's the most gorgeous cathedral I've ever seen. Here are some photos of this visit...

We walked to the top of one of the spires (something like 533 steps) that we did in the late summer. Then, it was very hot, crowded, and smelly. In the winter, it was quite nice! Once we ascended, it was freezing, but getting there was enjoyable enough. Here are some photos as we gained elevation. This one is of the Hohenzollern Bridge. It's known as the "locks of love" bridge too. Scroll down to read more on that... The river running through this region is the Rhine.

The top of the spire we were standing in...

A peak seen from the top...

My mom was getting very artsy here! I love it!

A view of the Rhine and the city from the spire...
A few photos in front of the cathedral and the (closed) Christmas market. Ray and I visited this market when it was open a few weeks ago... and it as packed!

Kay & Ray

Another view of the cathedral with my parents at the stairs near the train station

A bit out of order... but these were again from the top (my parents)

Ray's parents at the top

Kay & Ray

This shot. I've been wanting this shot. We may even buy a professional shot (maybe at night or with blue skies behind it) of this. The most gorgeous cathedral with the Hohenzollern Bridge next to it and the Rhine River below. I just love it. I'd also been wanting to get this shot the last two times we were in Köln but never had enough daylight. Here was my chance... except that it was pouring rain at this point and none of us brought our umbrellas! I still got the shot!

Getting poured on with wet hair... but I got the shot (oh, the determination!)

Here were those "locks of love" I mentioned above. People engrave (or use Sharpie) to "write" their names on locks with their loved one and the date in which they locked it to the bridge. Thousands upon thousands are hung there. This is not a new thing. There are countries all around the world who have a similar thing going on. Click here to read about those if you're interested. I was. :)

Fun family photo with a new hat purchase!

I heard about the Lindt Chocolate Museum/Factory and figured we needed to check it out. The Wilson's live near Hershey, Pennsylvania (and I have been there with them!), so chocolate museums and such are familiar territory to them. But... the Foster's (including myself) have little experience around such wonderful things! We all wanted to check out the differences and ways in which they make/package it here. And, we wanted samples. Obviously.

I love this photo. fun. fun. fun.

In addition to the chocolate factory, the Wilson's also visited another museum that boasts "the most" Picasso pieces in all of the world! The Foster's (and myself) shopped in the train station and checked out some cool trains.

Next stop, Eisenach (Wartburg Caste)!