When my parents first told me they were planning a trip to visit us over a year ago I promised them I’d make the money spent and time away from work worth it! So, I figured a good way to battle jet-lag the first day was to keep them occupied until it was bedtime here in Germany.
My parents flew into Düsseldorf which is 4 hours from our home. Normally I would recommend that people fly to Frankfurt which is only an hour and a half away, but when an airline like LTU has regular international prices for $209.00 you are willing to drive a little further! Besides, it gave us a chance to visit Cologne or Köln to Germans. It has been on my list of places to visit for some time.
Our first stop was the Köln Dom, a massive Gothic Cathedral. Here’s a little travel trivia for you: Köln is Germany’s fourth largest city and sits on the Rhein river. The Rhein was the northern boundary for the Roman Empire. A Roman temple stood where the cathedral stands today. You can also thank Cologne for pleasant smells such as Chanel No. 5 and Eternity for Men. “Eau de Cologne” was first made here by an Italian chemist in the early 1700’s. Imagine if it had been made in Herodsfoot, England instead of Cologne, Germany! Question: does a rose by any other name smell as sweet? It took over 600 years to complete the catherdral and, despite being hit by 14 bombs during WWII it managed to stay standing. Amazing!
The inside is just as ominous! Rick Steves says this about it: “If you feel small, you’re supposed to. The 42-meter-tall (140 foot) ceiling reminds us of our place in the vast scheme of things. Lots of stained glass- enough to cover three football fields- fills the church with light, representing God.”
In the next post I’ll tell you about our visit to a German Kartoffel festival. Yes, we went to a potato festival (if you don’t get it, keep in mind we are from Idaho).