First day- Bonn
11.11.2012 - 13.02.2013 -1 °C
The best part about travelling for me is to board the place and let go of whatever is bothering me in my life. I mentally prepare myself to experience new miracles that come from visiting somewhere new. Looking out the air plane window, knowing that soon you will be with different people and in different surroundings, has always mesmerised me. Every time I am on the plane, I have another extraordinary and strange experience, something changes inside me. It is amazing to be surrounded by clouds, feeling weightless. The sky was really beautiful and the colours were so wonderfully integrated together that I could not find any vivid distinction between them. I was so enchanted with the sky that it came as a shock that the plane began to descend for landing.
Went to have dinner in a Chinese-Mongolian buffet restaurant. There was various buffet options to choose including the grill buffet. You could go round and pick up whatever meat, seafood, vegetables, spices and sauces you liked. Then you had to wait for some minutes and watch the chef to grill it in front of you. I liked everything about this place, my favorite was precooked battered fish. My sister can't eat fish if it smells of fish ( wired), however she could eat it, because it was wonderfully spiced.
I have not had that much food for ages, I even felt greedy and guilty. The price was really cheap, and the quality was great. I could see the surprised eyes around me as I returned for another portion and yet again another full plate.... I could not say no and resist the temptation of having more and more of the best-ever tiramisu.
I had decided to eat as much bread as possible, I can't find the German bread in the UK. The first morning I tried about four different types of bread, and this one was the best.
"Wesseling is an industrial German city on the Rhine bordering Cologne city on the south. Wesseling originates from the Latin „Wasliacum“ which means "Village of Waslica" The story that Wesselig originates from "changing of the rope" (German: Cologne-bred:Wechsel de Ling from when Rhine boats were pulled by horses is something like an "urban legend" because the name Wesseling is centuries older than the horse-changing station, which was located in Wesseling in the 18th century. In addition to 4 subdivisions, Wesseling has the industrial areas "Rheinbogen" and "Eichholz". Home to several chemical companies including Evonik, and Basell, and a Royal Dutch Shell oil refinery; the city was a bombing target of the Oil Campaign of World War II." (Wikipedia)
We decided to go to Bonn without a detailed plan, guidebook or map. The only thing we had was the GPS on my mobile phone and the address in Cologne to return to. It was a beautiful sunny day, therefore we decided to walk to get to the train station. I like many things in Germany, but two things stand out for me: bread and wide roads. It is really nice to drive and be able to see what is coming towards you. You might find this comment odd, but trust me, if you had lived in the British countryside where you have to reverse in a bendy country lane for 5 minutes to another car pass you would have loved wide and sensible roads. You can even sit next to the road without being worried of the cars running you over or beeping their horn.
Beethoven House, Bonn
Beethoven was born in a small room at the back of this house in 1770. The front part, at that time, was a pub called Im Mohren, which is why that is written across the front of the building.
The twelve rooms of the original house are now a museum about Beethoven's life and times. Off to one side there is also a new building which houses a computer room, where you can access their entire collection and for instance listen to excerpts of Beethoven's music while looking at his handwritten score on the screen.
In the basement of the new building there is a highly unusual room called the Stage for Music Visualization. Here you are given 3D glasses (which you can wear over your regular glasses, if any) and can listen to excerpts of Beethoven' music which take on what they call "an optical acoustical shape" in the form of abstract figures which move to the music.
Altes Rathaus - Old City Hall, Bonn
This old church from the 11th-13th century was built on a Roman burial ground.
In front of the church are two interesting sculptures of the heads of Saints Cassius and Florentius.
According to Wikipedia this is the legend behind the sculptures:
Originally the Minster was the collegiate church of Ss. Cassius & Florentius, who were Roman legionnaires of the legendary all-Christian Theban Legion. The legion's garrison, according to legend, was in the Egytian town of Thebes. Roman Emperor Maximianus Herculius ordered the legion to march to Gaul and assist in quelling rebels from Burgundy. At some point during their march the legion refused to follow the emperor's orders to either kill fellow Christians or to worship Maximianus Herculius as a god. As a result, a large number of legionaries were martyred in Agaunum, now named Saint Maurice-en-Valais after Saint Maurice. According to legend Saints Cassius and Florentius, who were under the command of Saint Gereon, were beheaded at the present location of the Bonn Minster for their religious beliefs.
I could find the best Stollen cake ever, yummy.
"For the uninitiated, Stollen is a bread-like fruitcake whose shape is meant to symbolise the baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes. It is made with yeast, water and flour, with candied orange peel and candied citrus peel, raisins, almonds and spices such as cardamom and cinnamon added to the dough. Other popular additions are sugar, butter, vanilla and marzipan, but any deviation from the traditional recipe automatically disqualifies the product from the official AOC, the Stollen Schutzverband (an association of Stollen bakers).
Only 150 bakers belong to this association, and they’re all in the Dresden area, for this is the city where Stollen was originally created, over 500 years ago. That original recipe (first documented in 1474) was very different to the product we know now. Composed of just flour, oats and water, it was the sort of thing you might use to hold doors open, but in those days advent was a time of fasting, and more luxurious ingredients were forbidden." (http://germanyiswunderbar.com/eastern-germany/stollen-germany%E2%80%99s-christmas-cake/)
THE CHILDREN OF LIR Sculpture
The peak of my time in Bonn was this Christmas shop window. I could feel the child inside me was excited while watching this magical and wonderful scenery and imagining herself to be in one of her favourite fairy tales.