My parents are celebrating 32 wedding day today and I dedicate this post to them. My mom recently got her own phone, which she happily keeps at home when she goes out. But she has learned to read SMS (yet to learn replying) and was quite excited to read Diwali wishes from her dentist. So I just sent her a SMS this morning. Dad loves to watch old movies and listen to religious discourses. Which I am planning to get once I go back to India. Their big celebrations usually involve going to temple, meeting my grandma and a modest meals at a nearby restaurant.
Altenberg Hotel near the cathedral
I usually like the mid part of the these days, in which I freak out for not having enough details ready to write the travelogue. Preparing for it meant going through the photos choosing the ones to post and checking the pamphlets or tickets I saved during the trip for details about the place. If I remember something the guide had said, then I would double check (thanks to Google) before posting it. I work best when deadline is near.
View from resturantOn Saturday morning we had a hefty breakfast in the Koln hotel’s restaurant soaking in the view of railway station and Dom. Then we took a half a day city tour on a “open-top-double -decked” bus around the city. The cold wind against my face was fun, only for half hour. Then my ears pained, nose watered and fingers went numb. The tour wasn't that significant to say, but there were few places (which we choose to visit later) worth mentioning. I would write them in the next and the last post of the travelogue. (Gils note)
Later, we had a quick lunch at the mc Donald’s and started to Altenberg, a small city few kilometres away from Koln. It was only 5 of us in the bus including the driver. The bus was similar to the one we took before. But we were happy to sit in the upper deck as the driver set the automatic sheets to cover the roof.
On the way to the cathedralAfter about half an hour we alighted at Altenberg Cathedral. Its tower from medieval times peeked from lush greenery as if to welcome us. While we walked we saw a bride and groom posing for photo shoot in front porch of the cathedral. We could hear the beautiful choir from the cathedral, even at the distance. I don't know whether it’s just me or the place that felt quite romantic.
Newton’s 4th law should be: when you like a place and want to take numerous shots, the battery dies out. And 5th law should be: The only shop available there won’t sell use and throw cameras. R cleverly handled to take few shots which were satisfactory.
Altenberge CathedralThe cathedral is the church of the former Cistercian abbey of Altenberg from 11th century. It had richly decorated interior and beautiful field around it. The surrounding had nothing much except couple of restaurant, souvenir shop and a hotel by the parking lot.
It was lovely to sit here listening to the musicians by the alterIt used to be the resting place for pilgrims on their way to the distant Santiago de Compostela. I was reading Paulo Coelho’s The Pilgrimage then, which talks about this sacred route. And out of umpteen tours of Koln we choose this! It’s like God wanted me to be there! After all nothing happens at random.
The river of magical forestWe had to cross a bridge over a small river to get to the foot of the hill. The small hill was covered in dense forest and it felt very quite.
You dont need pumpkin chariot to get there a tour bus would do, pic courtsy internetThere is a family attraction called “Altenberger Märchenwald” (Altenberg Fairytale Land) on top of the hill that features some of Grimm’s tales.