How happy was I to have Mittagessen with Christine. We wanted to go to Cafe Rico, but today was 'Ruhetag' or Day of Rest. I am not kidding. In Germany, even restaurants get a break. Rico was closed, so we found another cafe, and enjoyed lunch outside on the cobblestoned patio near Rudolphplatz. The same accordion player that serenaded us last night at Cafe Bauturm was there, bless her heart. She was so bad, we considered paying her to stop. I think Christine probably wished the blueberry spritzer she ordered had been spiked!
The best treat of all came after the serenade. What follows lunch in Germany, when you are on vacation, or even when you aren't? Exactly: Kaffee und Kuchen. So ... we made our way to Royale Cupcakes. I ordered the Carla Bruni. Though the photo doesn't show it well, this one had glitter on it. Edible glitter, apparently imported from the U.S.A., because there is no such baking item in Germany. There was another cupcake store across the street. Not that I am thinking at all about work, but I couldn't help but ponder: 'Cupcake Cluster'? Apparently the one across the street bakes according to the French pastry style, while Royale Cupcakes (which we at the Travel Frau Headquarters recommend), are baked in the English tradition. None of this to say we have anything against German baked goods - they are sehr lecker, but we are on vacation and are not averse to trying new things.
Compliments to Christine for capturing so artfully our Kafee und Kuchen experience.
The Rheinauhafen project was indeed impressive, and it was good to take a nice, brisk walk after the Carla Bruni. But there was no shopping. Only restaurants and spas below, condos and apartments above, all with amazing views of the Rhein. It made for a nice backdrop for a VW promotion event. There were several rows of the new Volkswagen Touran lined up, all shiny, having their pictures made be the river.
A quick trip to the DM (Germany's version of a Rite Aid), then I was ready for a nap. I'm ever grateful to Bill for sharing his apartment with me. At least I can pretend that I live on one of the poshest streets in Köln. And since I couldn't shop at Rheinauhafen, I did a little damage on the Ehren and Pfeilstraßen. To kill the guilt, I was ready for my Biergarten date with Martina and Harald. I worked for Martina back in the day for a stint in Corporate Communications at Deutsche Welle. We have also spent time together on the Ehrenstraße. Clearly Martina and I now have a strong bond, considering we've done some high-end shopping together.
Martina and Harald are a wonderful couple. They inspire me with their love of travel, and their genuine goodheartedness. I was very sad to learn that my vacation ends just as their annual Sommerfest begins. They will celebrate their anniversary and Martina's birthday, and I hate to miss the festivities. It was a lovely evening in the Stadtgarten with the two, and I even got a break from speaking German, as they are very good with English.
Now I must close this post on the blog, right as the South Carolina gubernatorial primary polls are also closing. Though I am tired (it's about 1 a.m. here), I am eager to stay up and follow the results of the race. I voted absentee. By the time I get to Norway tomorrow, we will know who the Democrat and Republican candidates will be for South Carolina's next governor. Ich bin ja gespannt!