Saturday morning we rose before the sun in order to get ready for our longest road trip yet. Being the planner that I am, I had everything laid out the night before, including dry cereal in baggies for the kids and milk already poured in their cups in the fridge! We rushed as quickly as a family of four can to meet our friends, John and Judi, to caravan up to Cologne.
The drive was just shy of three hours, but one of my favorite parts. The German countryside is spectacular. The sun was coming up between the rolling hills, the fog hadn’t quite lifted yet. Vineyards neatly planted, church steeples rising out of the village skylines, magic. Jon and I played TableTopics
and listened to Grouplove while the kids slept. Best car ride ever!
One building, however, stole the show, the gargantuan cathedral situated on the Rhine river. This is the biggest building I’ve ever seen! I can’t even imagine the history behind it, how much did it cost to build, how long did it take? I think I’ve got some researching to do!
Mass was beginning when we arrived, we witnessed the procession of priests and alter boys make their way to the front carrying flags, incense, and a golden scepter. Having been raised Catholic, it brought back a lot of memories, apparently incense smells the same no matter what country you’re in!
After visiting the Dom we shelled out several dollars for all of us to use the McDonald’s restroom. Yes, you have to pay to use it. Every. Single. Time. It makes me glad that only one of my children is potty trained haha. Lunch consisted of pizza and ice cream in a cute little cafe, doesn’t get any better than that! And, then we were back to sightseeing along the Rhine River.
We walked down to the Hohenzollern Bridge, affectionately known as the love lock bridge. Lovers from all over the world come here to secure a lock with their initials on it to the bridge and then throw away the key symbolizing their undying affection… or something like that. It’s a bit over the top, but hey, when in “Rome…”
Also along the river is the Lindt Chocolate Museum! I had very high hopes for this, like Willy Wonka hopes, and I’ve gotta say, I didn’t get to swim in a chocolate river and eat gummy bears the size of my children. 😦
That was a bit disappointing, but the realistic elements of watching the chocolate being made was really interesting. I love that show How It’s Made, there must be an episode on chocolate and if it wouldn’t make me desire the sweet stuff so much, I would love to watch it! There is quite a bit of information posted at displays throughout the museum, but with two kids, “ain’t nobody got time for that.”
We were all pretty exhausted after the museum, Gray and baby Aubrey were a bit tired of being in their carriers and Aurora and James needed to run, so we found a grassy spot along the Rhine to enjoy all of the tasty treats that we picked up at the museum gift shop. I have just got to say that I have never been in a better gift shop. Chocolate everything. Everywhere. It was a sugar addicts dream come true!
Chocolate covered coffee bean truffles and chocolate beer were sampled while the kids ran around, chasing birds and each other, Grayson making mad dashes through the tourists trying to outrun his guardians. That boy.
One last museum was on our to do list, the perfumery that gave the city its name. Back in the day, rich people didn’t like to bathe, germy water, ick. So, they covered their stinky selves in better smelling stuff. A sweet, citrusy fragrance was invented and is still sold to this day as the original fragrance. I picked up a small souvenir sized bottle and it’s alright, but it’s no Love Spell. 😉
We didn’t have time to go through the museum as it was getting late and we had spent all day in the city with four kids and no naps, but there is talk of a girls night out to go back and make our own signature scent and custom chocolate bar at the museums. Such unique experiences, I hope we make it back to the sweetly scented city of love!