03 August 2007

Day Sixteen. Cologne/Bonn Airport

So, I managed to get my bike into the Oversized Luggage blah blah blah, and I had to check my other pannier on account of my shaving cream (I didn't realise that they have done that bloody stupid regulation here as well), and security eyed my bike tool, but they were not fascists about it. Fortunately, I also did not have to take the pedals off of my bike to get it into the bag because I do not have a pedal wrench.

So now I've got about half an hour till boarding (and half an hour of Interwebs left. I'm rather impressed with T-Mobile) so I am digesting the day.

I climbed -almost- to the top of the K├Âlner Dom. I counted my steps on the way down to see how short I was. There are five hundred seven steps and I went up three hundred ninety-two. Why did I stop so close to the top? Because the staircase to the -very- top was a two-foot-wide spiral staircase out of which I could see the the floor about a hundred feet below but with enclosed sides. So, it got my claustrophobia -and- my fear of heights at the same time. So I took pictures from about three quarters up, and I am very happy with myself for going that high. When I got down, my legs were twitching from the exertion. Nice.

Last night I had dinner with my cousins Martina and Lutz. I hadn't met Lutz as the last time I saw Martina was at Aunt Carol and Uncle Willie's wedding twelve years ago. They are really cool; we ended up talking about current events a lot, as well as random normal stuff. Martina told me that my grandmother spoke, as she put it "brilliant, but eighty-year-old German" which I had not thought of. Martina was entertained by the fact that Grandma had referred to her plane as "eine Luftschiff" rather than "eine Flugzeug." "Luftschiff" is the word for "airship" or a zeppelin, whereas "Flugzeug" is airplane. It makes sense, though, because Grandma was taught German by a father who had not been in Europe since the early twenties and a mother who was born here, and then did not come in much contact with more modern German.

Martina also says that the rest of the family ought to leave the Scheunstein and come visit her and Lutz, as well as Edgar and Ilse. I'm inclined to agree.

What else...Oh, apparently I really do look almost like Aunt Carol; I told Martina that to recognise me, I looked sort of like Aunt Carol, and she said that I look almost exactly like her. Sorry, Mom and Dad. At least y'all have Sarah.

So, my itinerary for the next week, about, is as follows:

Tonight and tomorrow: London
Sunday and Monday: Canterbury
Tuesday: Bath
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday: Cardiff.

After that, I am either going to Inverness (home of Loch Ness and also a bunch of Scots history) or I am going to get a train to Pembroke and take the overnight ferry to Ireland and hang around there until time to come back to London next Monday. I really want to go to Inverness, but it will be a long train ride which equates with expensive. I'll have to look at my budget. Right now I have a mass of Euros that I need to change to Pounds Sterling, but Britain being Britain, I know it will be expensive. Glad I have more money than I need.

Also, Ryanair will fly me to Aberdeen for about twelve bucks, so perhaps I can get a train to Inverness from there. Or Edinburgh. At any rate, I know that I've got a week and a half before I get to be home, and in the interim, I get to move around a lot, and that makes me happy.

I have solved the problem of the bike, I think: I'm going to leave it at The Bird's Nest, which is the hostel I was at the first time I was in London, and the home of Sammy the Manager, who will likely let me leave it there on account of his crush on me. But, if I can find somewhere safe at Gatwick, I'm going to leave it there instead of lugging it around.

All in all, things seem to be working out; I'll be in London in about three hours, at which point I am going to find a Pret a Manger and get dinner. The End.



Anonymous elise said...

ah yes, the last set of stairs in the koelner dom was a little much for my uneasiness as well, I don't care to see the floor that far away. i went up to the first landing i think there. far enough i figured. still a nice view. my grandmother and her cousin had a conversation in old german and probably gibberish when we were there, i think they were the only two that understood it. funny.

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Ferrari said...

Your grandmother's 80 year old German brings back memories of my Grandmother, and her weird mish-mosh of Spanish and English that sometimes even my parents couldn't decipher.

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Sigh...why couldn't Grandma have taught Mom German?

Oh, the Red Bull Flugtag is going to be in Austin on the 25th, and I was wondering if you wanted to go (my friend Whitney and I are going). You can Google it to find out more.

9:37 PM  

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