Posts tagged ‘Cologne’

July 23, 2012

The Chocolate Museum

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July 23, 2012

The Boat Ride on the River Rhine

July 22, 2012

A Boat Ride and the Chocolate Museum

Today we began a sunny day with a walk to the River Rhine, past the large gothic Cologne Cathedral towering above everything. We decided to first have lunch (it was lunch time) and then catch the next boat ride on the River Rhine. We went upstairs to a German Brewery/restaurant and had lunch. I had spaghetti and sauce with a Sprite 🙂 Then we got seats at the top deck of the boat we had purchased tickets to earlier for our tourist boat ride. The ride was great with first a German and then an English explanation of the buildings and other things we were seeing go by. Kerstin and I ate hot pretzels, yummy! We passed the Chocolate Museum which we would visit later.
We walked off the boat and to the Chocolate Museum which is a kind of giant boat on the River Rhine with great glass windows looking out over the river. We also passed Noah‘s Ark exhibition in the form of a giant ark on our way there to our right and a castle like tower on our left. Once inside the museum we bought our tickets. I was reminded of Roald Dahl‘s famous children‘s book I had read to me in class in year three and later on read to myself “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. I felt like I was walking into Willy Wonka‘s chocolate factory just like Charlie did along with the other children in Dahl‘s book. The Chocolate Museum gave much information of how chocolate is made, who makes it, their working conditions, how their working conditions are improving with companies like Lindt helping to improve them. I read that most people who make the chocolate never get to actually eat the final product which I think is sad. The museum showed how chocolate is made from the cocoa beans mixed with sweet white pulp to give it the chocolate flavour, after which much is done to it to achieve the chocolate we know so well. My favourite chocolate is milk chocolate, followed by white chocolate and lastly bitter dark chocolate which I believe is most of the time used in cooking. We saw machines making chocolate. We saw Lindt chefs taking the chocolates from machines and preparing them for people to buy. There was a giant golden chocolate fountain out of which a chef was handing bisuits dipped in chocolate to us hungry chocolate lovers. There was also a part of the museum which was set to hot and humid conditions and showcased Cocoa trees and other trees including Starfruit and the flower Orchid which I thought was wonderful. The hot humid climate reminded me of the temperature in Darwin, Australia which I went to for a holiday a couple of times before.
The museum also showed how chocolate was considered a luxury product and was labelled as to where it was intended to be eaten like a train station. There were fancy boxes on display in which chocolate would have been sold in the past.
After the wonders of the Chocolate Museum I, like so many others bought chocolate from the conveniently placed chocolate shop just outside the exit of the museum but still within the building. They even had baskets, but I didn‘t take one. I bought a mixture of different Lindt small chocolates and a bar of strawberry yoghurt chocolate too. Kerstin bought her daughter Norah pink wrapped princess chocolates which was sweet 🙂 Then we walked to a bridge where lovers left locks engraved or written on with both lovers‘ names and a year. There were so many locks spanning probably the whole fence of the side of the bridge we were on all in different colours. Little children felt the locks and read the names and years on them. Seeing all the locks there was so romantic and made me feel there is so much love in the world.

July 19, 2012

In Cologne (Köln), Germany

Recently I caught the Eurostar train under the British Channel to Paris where I activated my Eurail Pass and made seat reservations (should have done that sooner: massive line) to get to Cologne Germany. I had to catch three different trains there after the Eurostar but I got there in the end, going through Belgium on my way and gazing at a shop glass window of Belgium chocolates too. My godmother Kerstin and her husband Hop (short for Hubert) picked me up from the Cologne Train Station and from there we walked to their apartment where I gave their three going on four daughter Norah a pretty purple and blue necklace which she loves 🙂 When she isn‘t wearing it it‘s in her treasure box, so sweet! Then the next day Hop, Norah, Hop‘s parents (who Norah calls Oma and Opa, German for Grandma and Grandpa) and I all went to the Cologne Cathedral together. What a magnificent building. It has black looking somewhat spiked towers and is meant to be the tallest cathedral in Europe, so I‘m told. I loved the beautiful tall stained glass windows and the statues of religious figures staring down from the walls. But I especially loved the golden shrine dedicated to the three kings whose bones lie in the very cathedral! Then we dropped Norah off at Kindergarten and went to a church which in one room had human bones halfway up the walls. There were also human skulls in a glass cabinet adorned with cloth in the same room. Elsewhere in the church was a special memorial to victims of the Nazis with dates of births and deaths surrounding a figurine of Jesus on a cross in the centre of them all. There was also a eagle on the sermon holder, which looked very stern. Then later that night we met up with Kerstin who had been working that day and all went to a German Brewery together where I tried Cologne‘s delicious beer called “Kölsch”. Coming from a person who doesn‘t like beer, it‘s delicious, so that‘s saying something. After all they did invent it (Kölsch) so what could be better than the original?