I have officially been here for 10 days now. The time has gone by pretty fast, which is both good and bad. Good because I miss my family and the comforts of home (and my normal diet that doesn’t consist of all fats and carbs 😒), and bad because I know as the days go by I will become more and more comfortable here and want to experience as much as I can.
Speaking of comfort, I went into Cologne today by bus and felt 100% comfortable being on my own. I caught the bus this morning and spent the morning/early afternoon doing some things I had on my list of to-do’s. I’ve decided, since I can really go into the city every day if I wanted, to spread out the things I want to see.
Today I started off going to the Chocolate Museum a.k.a. Heaven and #1 on my list. It was pretty cool. You got a free “fun-sized” chocolate sample with your ticket before entering.
They had many rooms that’s not only explained the process from beginning to end of making chocolate, but also told the stories of the loves that cocoa bean farmers love. 75% of these people will never taste the finished product in their lifetimes. They had a pretty big section speaking on fair trade, which I thought was pretty cool. Also, the history and timeline of chocolate and its original uses was presented.
Throughout each section they had a special exhibit going on in connection with the zoo about animals and how/why they are often used in the marketing and advertising of chocolate. For example, Lindt’s chocolate bunnies, and the Nesquick Rabbit. At the end of the tour they had a smaller working replica of a chocolate factory where you could see them make the samples they gave you, and also sample melted chocolate from a fountain.
There were many antique chocolate vending machines too, one of which was still working. So obviously I spent €1 on a mid-sized bar. I’m going to save it so I can share it with my chocolate loving mom because I’m just so sweet 😊.
Overall, I’d say it is a must see if you are ever in Germany, or Cologne in particular. Oh yeah, the store in the museum…no words needed, only pictures.
I then went back towards the Cathedral with the mission to claim the hundreds of steps to the top of one of its towers. Tiring, dizzying, but so worth it. The view was amazing and I also was able to see the bells go off at exactly noon.
Before catching the bus back, I ate a quick lunch near the station at Dean and David’s. Basically Germany’s version of Panera Bread. Will definitely be keeping my eye out for these the rest of my time here.
This afternoon I tried kartoffelpuffer, or potato pancakes, for the first time. You could either put apple sauce or seasoned creme fraische on them. I liked them both ways and they are something I will have to make for my family at home for sure. Along with my newly beloved Bigos. I also helped Lennart carve a pumpkin. And by help I mean I did all the carving and made him dig out all the pulp. He did have 100% say in what we carved, hence the Minion.
Tomorrow is Friday so Paula gets out of school at 1:20. She wants me to take her to get lunch so I am going to go for a run to school, and together we will walk to the mall and her favorite…Thai food! I’m always down for some Thai food no matter what country I’m in.
Thanks again for all the continued thoughts, prayers, and encouragement. It means the world to me!!