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Germany, that’s where it is. My second home. For now.

Mein Mann lives there, and I, am here, with the Kids, at the heart of the Philippine Islands.  For some reason, from my difficult past, I need to get a court order for me to be able to remarry.  It’s complicated, and I go speechless everytime I think about what happened.  But really now, there’s not much we can do but wait for that court order.  And while waiting for it, our only options are for me to go and visit him, or him to visit us.

So here’s the part where where I get to visit him.  I was there for 2 separate Seasons: Summer 2010 and Winter 2011-12.

We live in Erftstadt, a half hour drive from Köln (Cologne), of the Nord Rhein-Westphalia (NRW).  First thing I did was to orient myself with the ins and outs of the town, where I go for groceries, sending mail, the town market for getting some fresh produce, the sports hall and so on … The first time was not so difficult, as Stefan took some time off from work to show me around, and of course, to meet the Family. The next time, I was completely on my own, taking my bike and go wherever I have planned to go for the day.  In retrospect, I am quite amazed at how I have managed to survive!  It must have been my pre-conditioned mind working, telling me that I am not really on vacation, but living my actual life in Germany (only this time, without the Kids!)

Weekends were my favorite part, that’s because it means that Stefan would not be at work.  And that’s the time I can go a little farther away from home.

Koeln

First to go to was the Kölner Dom, it’s where the train stops – where the Hauptbahnhof is.  We took the train, because I requested we take it.  I had to learn how to get to Köln all by myself.😀

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The love locks, at the Hohenzollern Bridge in Cologne.

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The oh-so-yummy Lindt chocolate flowing by the fountain, at the Schokoladen Museum.  See those white boxes on the table?  They are wafer sticks to be dipped into that fountain, and being a chocolate monster that I am, I went back for a second helping.🙂

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We passed by the famous 4711 building, the maker of the original Eau de Cologne (Water from Cologne).

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We also had a great time by the Jahnwiese (nearby Rhein Energie Stadium), joining others for the first Balloon Festival.  It was a very warm day, with lots of fun activities for children and adults alike.  What I loved the most was the exhibit of vintage Benz, Porsche and BMW cars, and a sales display for Volvo.

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This is one of the things I love about Germany, the cars!  Oh, you probably know by now that Volvo’s Swedish.  Still, it’s known for its safety, high performance and luxury, just like the German Autos.  Oh, I went gaga for a minute getting into the driver’s seat!

Strohballen

Strohballen, or balls of straw …  was what I saw during a drive to the countryside.  I previously thought they were things I can find only in a  Farmville game.

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Here is the Schloss Augustusburg, in Brühl and a few meters to it is the Schloss Falkenlust, which were built by the Archbishop Clemens August.

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Michael Schumacher‘s Kart-Center was the closest Schumacher experience that I ever got (well, we also went to his other kart center, Erftlandring in Kerpen).  Stefan never got jealous, of me being a great fan of Michael and even at times, referring to him as my ex-bf.

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Another town in the NRW state is Bad Münstereifel, one of the many historical towns in Germany.

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Here’s a higher view of the small town, surrounded by a luscious landscape.

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My favorite ride! One can just pedal one’s way to the market or grocery, or the Sports hall for an hour of Zumba.  But I never did venture into the forests (and sees) alone. If I did, no one would be able to take this picture!

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At last, it’s wintertime and in December, one can find a lot of Weihnachtsmaerkte – – – Christmas markets all around.  You’ll find an assortment of toys, wares, food and souvenir items sold in Christmas markets.  Mmmm, I suddenly miss the Reibekuchen and the Gluehwein!

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One day, I asked to go with Stefan to Düsseldorf.  He didn’t agree at first, because it was a workday and I would be left alone along Königsallee.  Eventually, he agreed – especially after I promised that I would only be window-shopping! Lol.  We met for lunch, then went to the Medienhafen. Unfortunately for me, a fire alarm was triggered inside a building, across the Hyatt in Medienhafen. His boss called, and sounded happy to know that he’s nearby.

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That’s me, taking a pic of myself while admiring a piece of architecture, and he’s busy working on a blasted fire alarm system.  It didn’t take him long to figure out what the problem is though, and we still had a great time together before we headed for home.

For one who’s been living in a country with only 2 seasons: dry and wet, the most awaited part of my winter stay in Germany is … the Snow! Yay!

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All throughout that winter, snow fell only a few times in the area where we live and never really stuck on the ground. :(  The sun always came up and melt the snow.  They said, I brought the sun with me that when I left in February for the P.I., it started snowing during Karneval (you see? and I also missed Karneval!)  Haha, the weather played a joke on me.

Now I’m starting to really miss Stefan and everything German. I only wish that my documents will be smoothened out soon so, the Kids and I can quickly fly to Germany.

Aye, that day will come!

🙂

Thanks for stopping by.

See yah!