After arriving in Frankfurt at 5:30am we got on the ICE train and headed to Dusseldorf, where Cornelia picked us up. She is a friend of ours who is the daughter of an old university roommate of my brother Peter. We have become friends over the years and she has a great apartment right downtown, just blocks
away from the longest street pub in the world, ( 300 pubs and discos within a few blocks ) so we love visiting her! Her parents, Wolfgang and Christine, are great tour guides and always fun to be
around. Some highlights of this visit were, watching the light show on the tower over the Rhine, eating a fabulous lunch at a very old restaurant, going to a castle where they had an amazing light show through the grounds set to music and of course eating lots of very tasty cake!! Oh yes, and of course we had to taste every local beer there was, which there are many!
On Monday, Wolfgang and Christine drove with us to Cologne for the day, another beautiful old city, with, you guessed it, a magnificent cathedral. The first thing we did was went up a new building with a beautiful view of the city and surrounding area. Lots of walking and of course,
eating and drinking. The restaurant where we ate today has been at that site since 1318!!! It had been destroyed during the war and then rebuilt. One of the reasons for going to Cologne was to walk up the cathedral steps, we love to do this at every cathedral that allows you to. We had been having such a lovely day that we were not paying attention to the time and we arrived just as the entrance to the steps
closed! Wolfgang was able to persuade the guy to let us go up, but we only had 15 mins to get up and down. So challenge accepted; we ran up 508 steps in 8 mins! For dinner this evening we had arranged to meet 2 women we had met on our Cuba cycling trip, Claudia and Lara. We had such a great time sitting and talking with them the time flew by way too fast and we had to get on our train back to Dusseldorf.
The next morning we had a lovely breakfast with Cornelia and then my cousin Nora and her daughter, Vicky picked us up and we drove up to Essen. I have 6 cousins, ( I have met 5 of them ) and they all live in Germany. We spent a nice couple hours visiting Tante
Linde before going to Gundi and Volker’s which was where we were staying in Essen. We spent the day at an Outdoor Museum, a heritage village where we had some fresh baked bread and brewed beer for lunch. We also got to see an old styled rope maker make a cotton
spun rope that was red and white in honour of us. Gundi was very generous and bought it for our RV (aka Rolling Villa!) We then had a nice final dinner in Essen with Tante Linde,
Nora, Vicky, Gundi, Volker and Nina at a restaurant outdoors on the patio. Before leaving Essen the next day we spent another few hours at Tante Linde’s apartment before heading to Nuremberg with Nora and Vicky. We had a very nice but short visit on the way with Monica and Andreas, June’s oldest cousin whom she has only met once. In the morning we had a nice relaxing breakfast on the
patio before heading into Nuremberg with Joerg, Nora and Vicky and then Andy joined us for dinner. After dinner there were too many of us for the car ride home so we went with the “Kids” on the bus and sent Joerg and Nora home in the car. On our final full day in Germany we went with Vicky to see her apartment and to watch
her play soccer. We capped it off with some local beer and wine before laying our heads down on the pillow for one last sleep. We had planned on taking the train back to Frankfurt but Nora, Vicky and Andy drove us to the airport to have a final couple hours together before saying our goodbyes and heading back to Canada!