As I mentioned in my Thanksgiving post, November was packed with so many great adventures and visits. It’s hard to believe (to me at least) that I’ve been here for 2 months and have already done so much. By the end of the year I will have visited 5 different countries – 3 of which are new to my country list! The Netherlands, Belgium, and Austria.
In early November, Maggie, took the long journey to Germany to visit! I was taking my intensive German language course at the Goethe Institut during this time, so in the mornings I was busy but I hurried back to meet her and wander Bonn. We walked the Rhine, explored the shops and looked at all the unique delicious and funny food they have in the gourmet shop here. We of course also went to the HARIBO store to see the nearly hundreds of varieties of HARIBO gummi bears and products. We enjoyed some tasty coffees, walked to the Poppelsdorf Palace and hung out in the town square at the French market that was in Bonn for a few days. Importantly, we set out on a mission to find the best advent calendars in Bonn – we found chocolate, gummi bears, LEGO calendars, beer and wine calendars, jewelry and makeup, calendars for your cats and dogs etc etc etc. The advent calendars are taken very seriously here. So fun to see!
I unfortunately caught a cold and was feeling pretty miserable and moving slow, but over the weekend we visited Cologne, saw the Dom/Cathedral, went to the Chocolate Museum for a drinking chocolate, and tried the local beer, the Kolsch!
Then on Sunday we hopped on the train to visit Brühl and visit the Augustusburg and Falkenlust Palaces, another UNESCO World Heritage site.
We took the tour and unfortunately weren’t allowed to take pictures inside – the tour guide certainly would have kicked you out if you’d tried. For anyone familiar with Glee, our tour guide WAS THE German Kurt. IT WAS AMAZING – he was so cheeky. When someone on the tour was wandering or lagging too much, Kurt would pause and patiently wait until they noticed what they were doing wrong. He had a radio in his back pocket that was just waiting to call the palace authorities. We saw it in action. A child on the tour, being a child in a palace, toddled over to a giant tapestry and put his hands on it! Alarmed, Kurt ran over to the kid, said some things in German, looked at the parents, whipped out his radio and POOF they were gone. Bye, bye non rule followers with the dirty handed unruly child. I understand the need for preservation of these old things, but it was amusing to watch this unfold because Kurt had quite the attitude.
The palace was insanely elaborate! The owner, Archbishop-Elector of Cologne, Clemens August of Bavaria, built the palace in the Rococo style at the beginning of the 18th century to assert his power and to have his memory and rule live on history forever. Quite narcissistic. Though in my future home I will also have a painting commissioned of myself sitting on a throne in the clouds and placed on the ceiling for all of my guests to enjoy. This guy also had a Rococo hunting lodge built a short walk away called Falkenlust.
The palace gardens were lovely even in the fall – we’ll have to visit in the spring when everything is lush. We enjoyed our stroll and came across some lovely scenes. including a wedding party taking pics. What a setting for a wedding! The gardens were designed in 1728 according to French models. Today it is considered one of the most authentic examples of 18th century garden design in Europe.
We made lots of animal friends here – I really wanted this pup and Maggie would have taken the cat home. Sean was concerned for us befriending strange animals, pbsh.
After visiting the palace and wandering the gardens a little bit, we strolled to Falkenlust, the hunting lodge. It was a really beautiful autumn walk. We were a bit tired of walking and kind of freezing by the time we got there and back, but it was beautiful, and woo exercise.
After our palace adventure we headed to the center of Bruhlto see what was there, and find a warm place to relax before heading back to Bonn. it was lovely little town. Some might even call it adorable. We were excited to come across a little Christmas market that was already open! We experienced our first taste of Gluhwein and a tiny Christmas market. I’m glad we got to see it together, and Maggie got a glimpse of an authentic German Christmas market.
Thanks for visiting, Maggie!! I wish I hadn’t gotten sick, but I’m so glad you came!!