31 May 2013

Hotel

We stayed at a hotel near St. Pancras station in London before going to Cologne, to get an early train. The double room was 'UNEXPECTEDLY-SMALL'!! It was a sort of attic room and had characters. It seemed ok for single person, but think about the big mouse's body size...

Anyway, we accepted this room, because it was only for one night and luxury hotel in Cologne was waiting. Best of all, I admit it was the most comfortable bed I has ever had!!! Yes, it was the best!!!

28 May 2013

Köln

We went to Cologne during last weekend, by Eurostar and a Thalys train. It takes about 4 hours and also you can enjoy the views of four countries, the UK, France, Belgium and Germany, from the train window. The purposes of my (our) trip was to revel in the senses; touch, taste, hearing, eyesight, smell and extra. We achieved all of them.
  • touch - climb up 533 steps to the tower of Cologne Cathedral and walk around the town
  • taste - enjoy the cuisine of Germany  
  • hearing - listening the bell of Cologne Cathedral
  • eyesight - enjoy the views especially from the tower and a cruise ship.
  • smell - get an 'eau de cologne' 
As I mentioned earlier on, last Friday was a rainy day in London. This is the weather forecast for Sunday, which I saw in a hotel in Cologne. It showed nice warm weather in London on Sunday and rain in Germany!! Definitely we had travelled with rain!


Cologne Cathedral was amazing. We said 'wow' every time we saw it. It's a magnificent Gothic building! After we saw inside the Cathedral, we immediately started to climb up the tower. The narrow winding staircase requesting us to be cautious, because it was not one-way traffic. We had to keep going up, otherwise cause gridlock. When we were near the bell, we listened the big sound of a bell.



The big mouse (husband) said he gave up after we've almost done it. 'Are you sure? This is one final steps to get to the tower!' But I knew that it was hard work for him, because he has big feet for the stairs! So I started to go up by myself. The view from the tower was fantastic! I enjoyed to see a panorama view. Eventually, the big mouse climbed up the tower later, but at the same time I started to climb down stairs. We didn't meet because it was one-way traffic partly. It goes without saying that our legs felt like jelly...


We also enjoyed the cuisine of Germany. Every time we passed through the station, it smelled agreeably of sausages and I had been curious about it. We got a big sausage and pretzel as well. Another night, we had Kölsch beer and the Schnitzel (a boneless veal meat, thinned with a hammer, coated with flour, mashed eggs and bread crumbs, and then fried). Yummy:)




We also visited 'Das Römisch-Germanische Museum (The Roman-Germanic Museum)'. It has a huge collection of Roman artifacts. Unfortunately we found almost no signs in English at the museum, but  we enjoyed Roman history very much. Especially I liked mosaics.



I would recommend that enjoying the best view from the river. There are many cruises including a one-hour Panorama Cruise and evening cruises. I did research beforehand on cruises, and we made the choice of one-hour cruise. It was raining, but the inside was like a restaurant, and drinks and food are served. Some people enjoyed having lunch and beers. We could relax and enjoy the view while having a drink sheltering from rain.


We also strolled Cologne. Most shops were closed due to Sunday, but I liked walking around Alter Markt and Fischmarkt area. Now, you can see many lovely small hotels, wine bars and brewery taverns and flanked by old warehouses with stone-paved streets around there. It has a flavour of an ancient town, I could feel German atmosphere very much.

 

 



My friend who had lived in Germany told me about Love Locks on Hohenzollern Bridge. So we went to have a look:) We didn't install a lock, because we believe we are fine:) Some locks had hand-writings and some had inscription of their name! Anyway, there were hundreds and hundreds of locks of couples from all over the world.



I also bought an "eau de cologne 4711" for myself. It smell fresh and nice.


The weather was not perfect, but overall, we felt very satisfied at our trop to Cologne. We didn't condense many plans, but experienced German cultures, history, cuisines and atmospheres. It was a well-balanced trip with sightseeing and relaxation. We enjoyed to spend time at a luxury hotel as well.


Cologne is very clean, friendly and vibrant city. I would definitely say 'I Love Köln' :)



24 May 2013

Innocence

I know the big mouse is innocent...

 
but I bet he is a bad weather bringer...

We are going to Cologne, Germany this 3-day weekend. Every time we travel to somewhere, unfortunately the weather is not good... When we went to Rutland, it was a snowy day. When we went to Brussels, it was snow from a cold wave, and this time, it seems like rain... I believe that I always bring nice weather, but my power would probably be weaker than his.

See you soon! Have a nice weekend!!

23 May 2013

My Crafting Projects - A Cushion Cover

I have kept thinking about cushions in our living room. They are not comfortable cushions because they are tightly compressed by small covers. The cushions themselves are nice but covers were problem. I can easily find lovely cushion covers at shops, but they are sold in sets with cushion and cover.

I wanted to sew covers, but I left my sewing machine in Japan, which my grandmother gave me when I was a teenager. It had been obsessing for long time whether I bring it to the UK or not. I wasn't sure it works in the UK due to the difference of AC voltage, and also it's a bit bulky. I thought I can buy it if I really need it. So I gave up to add it in my parcels.

One day, I spotted nice crochet cushion cover and a bed cover in a interior magazine. I thought I can make it because I started to learn how to crochet!

Voila!! I completed one of covers alongside making blanket! I used four-colours' yarns, red, blue, white and beige, and three colours for back side. Looks a little bit like a Union Jack colour. Well... to be honest, I am less pleased with back side... I should have made the same one as front... but never mind:)



Morocco

Mind you, this is not about the country Morocco, but the name of Chanel lipstick :) Morocco (Hydrabase 37) is a bit dark colour like brownish purple. I think it is not popular colour as the world goes. But it was my favourite lipstick. It was brighter transparent colour on lips than expected and made my lips look natural. Unfortunately I can't find it anymore, I think it was discontinued.

18 May 2013

Seaside Walk

We have got hooked on walking. For three straight weeks, we have walked every weekend! This time we walked from Clacton-on-Sea to Walton-on-the-Naze. We've been to these two towns before, but it was the first time to walk along the sea show. The distance was 7 miles. It's well-groomed concrete path, you just keep walking along the sea, you would never get lost:)

+ Rote Map

Clacton-on-Sea is a seaside resort town. We had an English breakfast in a café to get the energy necessary for walking first:) We passed the pier first. There is a big wind farm across the water.



It was a cloudy day but the sea was calm.




Most kiosks were closed because of off season.



I saw some people were fishing.



There are many beach huts along the sea. I assume they need maintenance frequently. They use a special key for  which the keyhole is covered, to avoid corrosion. I saw some people maintained their huts.


We just kept walking as I sometimes went down to the beach.


  

After walking along the coast for about 2½ miles, we passed a tall radio tower. 


After that, we passed the area being covered with shells, seaweed and shingle. It looked a little bit awful because of the colour. I assumed this area might be a harsh environment when it is storm.



We could see Frinton-on-Sea in the distance.



The tree was bent and showed the severity of stormy wind. 


In a distance, I could see yellow field, windmill and cows around the waterfront. What a peaceful view it was:)


We passed Frinton golf course, we could see some people enjoyed playing golf. To be honest, I wasn't happy very much for walking around this area, because there were many insects, seemed like a small dragonfly and also a big ant fly. They were black and looked a bit grotesque. I don't know what it was, but I hate insects. My husband was laughing at me because I was making a fuss... But the view was nice. We could see the village in a distance!



We passed other beach huts, which are unusual, being built on stilts over the beach. They seemed like luxury beach huts, one was on sale for more than £30,000!


I stepped down to the beach. When viewed from the beach, the huts have a window open onto the sea. I imagined what the summer time was like. I enjoyed walking along the sands.




I came back to the path. Again there are a lot of colourful beach huts lined along the beach. It's fun to see these huts. Some family have enjoyed their weekend time in their huts. I could see there is a kitchen in the huts and they looked quite comfortable. Now and then, public toilets and rubbish bins were seen. The huts looked the same, but had individual characters. Which hut is your favourite???





We kept walking. We could see Walton pier in a distance.


Beach huts continued. Near the Walton pier, there were a few layers of the huts on a slope ground.




And finally, we reached Walton pier! Inside the pier is traditionally an amusement park.


 

It was a relaxing time in a pub to relieve the walking fatigue and wet our beaks:)

 

As the seaside town, there were records of rescues in the past.




We completed 7 miles' walk. We went back home by a train:) The view from the train window was beautiful.