I am Still in Germany

I´m still in Germany and found a few minutes to leave an update. I hope Stephen has kept yáll entertained with the punk duck.

Work is sort of sporadic here; there´s not much to do between tests, but the tests themselves can be long days. Tomorrow will be a very long day as the test starts at 6:30am.

I want to get off the boat.
It hasn´t been all a chore though. We went on a nice boat ride up to Mosel from Bonn and had a lovely view of the German countryside. This would have been a nice 3 hour ride but after 6-1/2 hours I wanted off the boat. We finally stopped in a little wine country which would have been fun if any of the vineyards or wine shops had been open. Then we had to get back on the boat for another 4-1/2 hours back downstream. I wanted to jump overboard. Here´s a picture of the boat and the website. Highly recommended if you love boats and are over 70 years old.

Köln CathedralToday the meetings didn´t start until the afternoon, so we decided to go lunch in Köln (Or Cologne as Americans spell it). The idea was to visit the Schokoladen (Chocolate) Museum which was fascinating. They actually have an actual tropical rainforest room with cacao beans on one side of the museum and a chocolate factory on the other. Don´t tell my wife, but I bought her some more chocolate so she´ll be set for a while.

But oh my goodness, what made the trip was getting off of the train and seeing the Köln Dom (Cologne Cathedral). I wasn´t expecting it, hadn´t even heard about it, and stepping off the train and seeing it for the first time was absolutely awesome. Completed in 1332, it´s the largest Gothic church in the world at over 3 acres under flying buttresses (I put that part in ´cuz I know Sean likes flying buttresses) and its spires soar over 500 feet in the air. It was the tallest structure in the world for 500 years until the Washington Monument overtook it in 1884. I could have spent all day long here admiring the architecture. As it was, I only had about 1/2 hour to visit so if I have the chance I´m going back.

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5 thoughts on “I am Still in Germany

  1. Hey- the first two links are in German! Nice pics though…. I am sufficiently jealous. Best place I’ve been sent for work is Chocolate Bayou.

    A little different from the chocolate museum.

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  2. You won’t be back in time to see Serenity opening day. 😥 But that’s OK, because it needs to do well at the box office the second week, too.

    Oh, and about the cathedral…don’t you just love being someplace where all the buildings weren’t built in the last 60 years?

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  3. How about being somplace where a building project lasts 600 years?

    Yeah, baby – talk about job security.

    Michael and I have read “The Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follet.

    It’s a great novel based in England about, among other things, the building of a medieval cathedral.

    Highly recommend it. Some of these buildings are still unfinished – the cathedral at Bologna, for instance and almost all of them have unfinished towers. Ona good note, is that in the last twenty years we have had the national cathedral in Washington D.C. finished and Gaudi’a Familia Sagrada (sp?) nearing completion in Barcelona (this being a building only Gaudi could have designed, and a 20th century cathedral). Even Houston is having a cathedral-like revival, with the Diocese building one downtown (blechhh.) and St. Martin’s was finished this year. Here’s a link to St. Martin’s on how we “mimic” the 12th century stone structure in the 21rst century – http://www.pubs.asce.org/ceonline/ceonline05/0405feat.html. I guess there aren’t a lot of medieval stone masons about these days.

    I see these new designs as a great stride forward and away from the lack of ceremonial space (bleacher seating) prevalent in churches since the 70’s. I cut my teeth on church architecture in the early 80’s and the demise of the ceremonial axis (IMHO) led to all sorts of confusion in the space. I was married in a church without a central aisle – it was down one aisle and up another. What does this say about the ceremony? – a circuit, a revolving door, a loop? Nah, gimme that old time religious building.

    Now, if I can only convince people to use flying buttresses again…..Architect’s dreams.

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  4. Courtney – I get one of these trips after 100 trips to Peducah Kentucky. Nobody is envious of those trips, though.

    Sean – I’ll have some pics when I get back, courtesy of my business traveling partners.

    Jo – I’ll try to keep Serenity on the charts. And here even the new buildings are more than 60 years old.

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