Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cologne, Germany

Peter's surgery went well, praise God!  We asked our surgeon about post-operation care for Peter and he actually encouraged us to get out and travel a bit.  The day after Peter's surgery, he was already feeling better and trying to run all around our hotel room.  We decided that a 2.5 hour trip to Cologne would be perfect- and that being strapped down in a carseat during the long car ride would help us keep our energetic little man from overdoing it! 

The weather was absolutely perfect.  The sunshine and cool breeze felt fabulous!  Our destination in Cologne was the Cologne Cathedral.  It was absolutely breathtaking!  This cathedral is Germany's most visited landmark, visited by 20,000 people every day.  Construction began in 1248 and took until 1880 to complete.  It is the largest gothic church in Northern Europe. 

Inside of this beautiful cathedral were countless side chapels, statues, gorgeous stained glass windows, and beautiful architecture.  We arrived just in time for mid-day prayer.  We prayed the Our Father and the Angelus in German and "listened" to a homily in German (okay, okay, I spent that time nervously trying to keep Peter entertained and quiet).

The Cologne Cathedral is also home to the relics of the three wisemen!  These relics are housed in a ornate gold box.  How amazing!

After exploring the cathedral, it was time for lunch.  We were all famished, so we decided to hop across the street to grab a quick lunch at McDonald's.  We took our burgers and fries "to go" and ate lunch in the square in front of the cathedral.  It was a perfect picnic spot- we were able to watch the crowds of people enjoying the beautiful weather and take in the grandeur of the cathedral.

After lunch, we spent some time enjoying the city of Cologne.  I loved Cologne much more than I anticipated.  I thought it would be a stressful, busy big city.  But even though it is large, we did not find it overwhelming at all.  It felt very traveler friendly. 

We found the Church of Saint Gereon next.  Saint Gereon was a Roman soldier in Cologne in the 4th century.  He was beheaded for not sacrificing to pagan gods.  This church was built on the site of his martyrdom.  His tomb rests in the crypt of the church. 

Inside of Saint Gereon's Church

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