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Adventures of a short vet

Beaches and Fireworks

GERMANY | Thursday, 7 July 2011 | Views [436]

Not a bad after dinner display

Not a bad after dinner display

I was sad to leave Berlin as I’d met a great bunch of people, and I hadn’t really done much of the “tourist” stuff, but it was time to head down to Cologne. Coincidentally, Heath was flying there on the same day to meet a friend and arrived around the same time. He had a few hours to kill until his friend picked him up so we met at the train station, left our gear at my hostel, and found a great little bar on the same leafy street, where we killed a bit of time enjoying the peace and quiet after the busyness of Berlin. After he headed off I managed to find a great little kebab shop – tip of the day: When looking for a good place to eat, the one with the long line is usually worth the wait! Back at the hostel I met some lovely American, Canadian and Aussie girls who invited me to join them visiting the Chocolate Museum the following day. No woman in her right mind can say no to that sort of invitation!

The Chocolate Museum was awesome, and certainly the best smelling museum I’ve ever visited! We learnt all about the process of growing the cocoa beans, harvest and manufacture of chocolate, as well as touring an example of a factory line. There’s even a chocolate fountain where you can sample the local chocolate. It’s impossible to leave without buying something from the shop on the way out – they certainly know how to market it. We walked into town for lunch and ended up at a restaurant for a meal of schnitzel and beer where we were served by a lovely old guy who was so stoked that we came back to his restaurant after checking the local menus that he gave us each a free shot of Sangria. Or maybe it was because he was serving five pretty girls? After lunch we hit the shops and visited the Dom by the train station, the largest cathedral in Germany and originally the tallest building in the world before the Eiffel Tower was built.

I got a text from Heath inviting me out to the beach the following day…in Zealand…which is in Holland and requires driving through Belgium. Okay! He and his German friend, Marianna, picked me up from the hostel and we headed off. Heath had decided he wanted to buy chocolate when he learned we were going through Belgium, so we detoured through Brussels just to visit a chocolate shop! We stopped in the CBD and found a cool covered shopping centre with some pretty trendy chocolate shops. After lunch in town we continued on our journey to Zeeland. The beach was quite nice (for a European beach), but it was pretty windy, so even though the water wasn’t too cold it was still too cold to swim as we would have frozen on the beach. We spent a couple of hours basking like lizards in the weak sun before walking down to a random lighthouse. Soon it was time for the long drive back, during which Heath spent most of the time sleeping and Marianna and I had to fight to stay awake. Coming from a country where you can drive for 3 days and not leave your state, I found it pretty crazy to travel through three countries in under three hours! We got stuck in traffic in Cologne due to the Cologne Lights, an annual fireworks show and so decided not to head down to the river as it was far too busy. Instead we had dinner at Va Piano, a cafeteria-style self-serve restaurant that serves amazing pizza. We got to watch the fireworks from the 8th floor of the carpark, which turned out to be a great viewing spot for an amazing show that almost went on for too long! I even saw a few fireworks that I haven’t seen before, including a smiley face! But no dragon like on Harry Potter.

Tags: beach, chocolate museum, cologne, fireworks, zeeland

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