Blogs from North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, Europe

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Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Cologne January 5th 2014

For the record: Cologne does not smell like cologne. Darcy had the brilliant idea to do a road trip while we were in Amsterdam. Because who can stay in the same country for 6 whole days? NOT US. FOUR AMERICANS. THREE COUNTRIES. ONE DAY. We got up way too early for life on January 2nd. We took a bus to the airport and then had to take another shuttle to our car rental place. We (Darcy because she's old enough) rented a car, which was so tiny it barely qualifies. But it was awesome. We drove to Cologne, Germany. It took 3 hours. I can't drive a stick shift. Darcy, Adam, and Noah can. So I navigated. By my handy dandy skills of screen-shotting directions on my iPad and guessing at road signs, we got to ... read more
Kate and Noah go to Germany!
Pretty colorful buildings
City Gates

Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Dusseldorf January 3rd 2014

For most people, a long stopover at an airport en route to your final destination elicits a long groan, followed by a grudgingly accepting sigh. I however, see stopovers as opportunities, and my brief adventures in Singapore, Segovia, and Seoul, show that one can make the most of a stopover by filling it with exploration and experience. This time I had the best part of five hours to kill in Düsseldorf en route to Berlin, and about three hours on the way back from Berlin to London. While my other stopovers were well-planned in advance, I actually hadn't even entertained the thought of doing anything this time around. I knew that I had a long-ish connection but had kind of forgotten all about it until I was o... read more
Rheinturm & Rheinkniebrücke
Koningsallee
Schlossturm

Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Cologne November 4th 2013

Cologne Bonn & Rheine River Valley Koblenz 31 Oct 2013 Well if it seems like we are beetling along, you would be right in thinking that. We have certainly turned the corner and heading for home. But Germany is such a beautiful country, we are trying not to hurry through….but are! After staying at Heidelberg and wandering around the town in the morning, we drove north to Cologne, and spent the night at a campsite on the River Rheine. We went into the restaurant that night and had lovely meals. Tom had a fillet steak and I had venison. As it was very cold outside, the beautiful restaurant was a pleasure to be in. Service was excellent and we challenged the waiter to tell me what meat I was going to eat as he didn’t have ... read more
Cologne Cathederal Germany 31 Oct 2013 (4)
Steak for Tom in Cologne Germany 31 Oct 2013
Venison for Pam in Cologne Germany 31 Oct 2013

Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Cologne October 22nd 2013

I have been living for almost 2 Years now in Cologne, so I want to share my insights about this great city where you can enjoy a good meal or a good drink. As I love other cultures, I especially love international restaurants. For that reason, you may find mainly here restaurants, which are not serving German food. However, as I know that tourists love tasting local food, I will also put a few German restaurants that I like! Cafés: - Yummy Müslibar: in this cosy café near Rudolfplatz and Molktestrasse, you will find a perfect atmosphere to meet a friend to chat, have breakfast or even a cake in the afternoon. They have a wide range of müslis and cereals, some salty dishes and some cakes. This is a small place so you can be ... read more
Enhui in Salon Schmitz
Lai de hao Chinese Restaurant
Namdaemun Korean restaurant

Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Dusseldorf October 10th 2013

Morning fog cleared by breakfast time, and we enjoyed a full German breakfast buffet with excellent Kaffee and Schokolade. But, typical of the Rhein Valley in the fall, the rain is heading our way. So, we pack up and head north; destination Köln (Cologne), one of the most heavily bombed cities in Germany during World War II. But today's visit is Terri's treat -- the Lindt Chocolate Museum and Factory Tour. Can you say bliss or Heaven? See the photos for your own chocolate fix! On to Düsseldorf for a bite of lunch in a neighborhood restaurant (not for currywurst!), where we shared bratwurst and Hungarian goulash. (Are you sensing a trend?) The café is obviously frequented by several older ladies, because we certainly stood out as being strangers. We stopped for a Diesel fill-up and ... read more
Clear Signage!
Just a few bikes
Remagen City Centre

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Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Monschau October 5th 2013

We enjoyed a typical German breakfast– juice, coffee, hot chocolate, cold cuts and cheese slices, various breads and granola cereals, pickles and tomatoes. Grandfather (we think the owner’s dad) sat at the front desk chatting with a little girl. We learn she is Emilie, and she’s in kindergarten. She was practicing her numbers. So Terri practiced, too. She’d say “Eins, zwei, drei” and “Ja?”, and little, shy Emilie would simply nod her head. Terri said “Vier, funf, sechs, ja?”, and Emilie nodded again. Her mother (owner Frau Erken) explained Emilie just had her long blonde curly locks cut short so it would be easier for her to get ready for school each morning. They were both still getting used to her short hair. Terri started over, “Eins, zwei, drei, ja?”, and this time Emilie said “Ja!” ... read more
To Monschau
Hotel Bellevue
See the Shower?

Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Kerpen October 4th 2013

We had lots of travel delays in Green Bay yesterday, which made it really interesting with such a tight connection (less than 30 minutes) in Chicago! We were smart in taking only carry-on luggage, so Terri dashed with our backpacks to get our AirBerlin boarding passes for our next flights from Chicago to Berlin and then to Krakow while Chuck waited to retrieve our two rolling suitcases from the jet bridge. He dragged those through a mass of people, and we finally met up at the gate. The good news is that we boarded immediately, but we were delayed another 30 minutes to wait for some travelers from other connecting flights. Everything worked out fine. We discovered we really like AirBerlin! DELICIOUS dinner on board. Decent reclining seats along with some empty spaces around us gave ... read more
Great Room
Nice View
Tony's Pizzeria

Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Cologne September 12th 2013

We had a slow morning, eating breakfast at 8:30 while still sailing to Cologne. Although we were ready for our tours when we docked at 10:00, we had to wait until 11:00 for one of the guides (for our group) who was stuck in traffic. Our boat is right at the heart of the city, almost under the railway bridge (7 trains at a time, over 700 per day). So, very soon our tour group walked into the old fish market and a good view of the cathedral. The guide showed us several lines that mark peaks of river floods and the line for the new defences. The defences are barriers that rest underground until needed, when they rise from the street. She took us along a modest route, regaling us with stories and history. Her ... read more
Cologne Cathedral
St Kunibert
Cologne Cathedral

Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Münster September 11th 2013

Münster is a beautiful small city. It's known as the bicycle capital of Germany and it's not hard to see what. Dedicated cycle roads and paths criss cross the city, traffic gives way at intersections, bike racks are everywhere, it's a flat and compact city, the area used to have the Netherlands as an integral part until the Dutch became a sovereign state and there are still close relationships, so it must be in the genes as the Dutch are mad cyclists too. Our hotel is a little gem. Not in the main hotel area but warm and friendly service, modern, well sited for the city centre, spacious room. We felt spoilt.Münster was flattened in WWII bombing but has been rebuilt in the old style following original plans. The old town area is a visual feast. ... read more
Münster
Münster
The Prinzipalmarkt

Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Cologne September 10th 2013

We've just finished five days in Cologne. We're now in Münster for a couple of nights before we head to Frankfurt where Lyn has an International Student Fair to attend and do her promotional thing for HVHS, which she is very good at. We arrived in Cologne Thursday 5 September and Nan's funeral was on the following Monday so it felt as if we were in a holding pattern somewhat, Lyn especially. The family stuff back home was what she wanted to be involved in and it weighed hard on her not being there even though it was a completely rational and sensible decision. We traveled by train again and although I've been a champion for rail travel in Deutschland I may be reviewing my recommendation. We got on to find we were in a compartment. ... read more
Bad Godesburg
Bad Godesburg
Bad Godesburg




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