sexta-feira, 18 de dezembro de 2015

She Travels II

As promised, here I am to tell you a bit more about Germany. Cologne this time:

We planned to wake up at 8 o'clock but we just ignored our alarm clocks and stayed in bed one more hour. We left the house about 9:30 am and soon after we were catching the train to Cologne. It's a 30 minute ride in a two-floor train with some nice views and it's just good to do the transition between bed and the long day you have ahead. 
Once you get out of the train station you see the Cathedral which is nothing less than stunnig - apart from the the fact that you can't take a nice picture without some scaffolding on it. Beautiful nevertheless.
We made a quick visit inside the building where a celebration was taking place and then we headed to the Christmas Market that was just next to the church (just realised I actually remeber another word in german: kirch, which means "church"). 
There's not much to say about it. The markets are all quite similar but it's always good to make sure you haven't missed anything important, ya know ;)
Then again, if you want to do some shopping you have nothing to be afraid of: there's a long, long street full of department stores (a few brands too, but mostly affordable stuff). I took the opportunity to buy a few things to take back to Portugal. 
We managed to make an appearence in another market, because they're all too cute and you don't wanna miss any. This one had the coolest wheel! Buuut, somehow we ended up in the nicest market of the whole tripe: one with a ice rink!? That's a total win for me!! 

As the day was ending and and the sun was setting we couldn't let pass the opportunity to see Hohenzollern Bridge which was destroyed during the war and has been reconstructed afterwards. It is filled with love lockers (the oldest I found was from 1975!!). 

After a walk next to the Rhine we still made it to Farina Haus, where the first eau de cologne was made, and then we payed a quick visit to Chocolate Museum - the museum itself was closing so we just visited the museum's shop, haha.

So, just to make you laugh a little bit: as soon as we stepped out the train station we noticed the Cathedral (dom) and it was so incredibly beautiful we wanted to have a picture taken of the three of us. After a little while debating who should we ask for it, I reached this couple of men near us, who looked like they could easily handle it. Well.. you're right! We ended up not having a single picture taken, but the funniest thing is that they were just so kind and nice to us, you couldn't be slightly mad. The one who quickly offered himself to capture taht moment even said "say cheese!!!" and so we did! 

And because this trip was all adventures, I should probably have mentioned this in the previous post, but since I haven't I am going to do it now anyways. When we got to the place we were staying at it was late and we were tired (I'd been up since 8 am - zzz) and the owner of the house told us he would leave the keys in a motor bike with a black cover. When we got to the adress we instanly saw a bike. With a black seat. The problem is that we ignored everytihing around us as soon as we spotted the wrong bike. But, somehow we just couldn't find the keys. We were so confused and bummed my sister evern said it would be better to break the bike rather than spend the night outside. Until miss Sherlock here just solved the enigma, thought out loud, looked around and found the right bike and the keys. So, we could have broken another person's bike and still sleep outside. It seemed like a tresure hunting to me, but it was all good fun!

P.s.: I jus want to say I am surprised about the amount of pictures I've taken in Dusseldorf compared to how many I have of Cologne because I actualy enjoyed Cologne much more, and even though I've spent more time in Dusseldorf , I can't find a reason that justifies that, other than that. 

quinta-feira, 17 de dezembro de 2015

She Travels

Guess who took a break from college and went on a mini vacay? Oh, you sure got it right! Me!
Since there was a holiday on tuesday, myself, momma and sissi packed our cases and off we went to Germany for a long weekend. Fact number one: it was my first (and only, because hello december 17!) trip abroad this year after two years of traveling lots. Anyways, our destination was chosen by the simple fact that both Dusseldorf and Cologne sounded more interesting in this time of the year because of their many Christmas Markets, which was proven right!

We stayed in Dusseldorf because the flight was cheaper than to Cologne but I regret it all... Dusseldorf happens not to be very interesting and althought it is a big city indeed, there isn't much to do or see, besides Christmas Markets of course, but even those... we got to see them all in just one day! 
They are in fact wonderful, you just can't avoid loving Christmas!! It feels like North Pole or something - speaking of which: the weather was just perfect, chilly but not freezing cold, no wind, no rain, and the sun peeking through the clouds!

Besides that, we had a nice walk down the promenade, explored the new part of Dusseldorf and a little bit of the old town (loved that part, it is actually so different but so pretty!). Apart from that we also got to see a little park next to the new complex where you can find Apple Store and a few fancy restaurants and shops. But if you are going to do some shopping, there's nothing like Konigsallee, which is worth more than a strole, particulary after the sun sets and when all the christmas lights hanging on the trees are lit up. 

Fact number two: never though I would say this but I actually loved German food. Or at least what they had at the markets. I mean, although I've never seen so many McDonalds by square feet, there are equally indulgent offers at any stand in these Markets. I had fries every-single-day and they were some of the best I ever had. Also tried their potato fritters, sausages (wrust, probabily the only word I memorised), crepes, looooots of hot cocoa, and bretzels forever (same as pretzels, funny how the only german that stick in my head is related to food). I had at least one each day and I was seriously considering bringing home a whole bunch of them to freeze and eat for the rest of the year...
Also, another great thing about germans is that they have some of the best bread and bakeries I've ever tried or been to, and that I was not expecting, which shows how well informed I went to Germany, right...?  

A few more photos below:

I'll keep Cologne to a next post - and what I tought of Germans too ;) also, a few funny moments await you. And others not so funny as well, because that's life... So, stay tuned!