Stories of this Canadian girl's adventures exploring Europe...join me!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

trés bonn(e)!

The wait is over. It finally snowed! I woke to a powder-sugared, wonderland of white, and it made me happy. The banks of the, now swollen, river were all white. The cathedral and burg, all lovely and white, were covered with heavy white snow. And, as I drove to Mickey’s weinhaus to pack up wine to send to some very late customers, I laughed at my grumpy co-workers who weren’t at all happy about the snow. But, unfortunately, by the afternoon it was basically gone, with only slushy remnants left behind.

On Saturday evening, great guy and I zipped off (after he put in another long, long day at our baustelle) to Bonn. I really wanted to experience a bustling, new-to-me city on the Rhein, packed full of history…and Christmas revelers. Bonn used to be the German capital city, before the wall came down in 1989, giving the capital city reigns to Berlin. The architecture of Bonn’s buildings in the altstadt is beautiful, and along with a flowing design of the pedestrian zone along the river, it has a comforting feel about it.

‘Magical’ is surely defined by the Oxford Dictionary as ‘wandering the evening streets admidst a German Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market)’. I had heard that Bonn had an amazing markt, and it did not disappoint! In three different squares of the altstadt huge, 10 meter tall, wooden Christmas pyramids were turning, displaying shepherds with their sheep, mary and joseph heading to Bethlehem, angels trumpeting in star-filled skies. The markt stands were full of happy, glühwein drinkers and tourists purchasing Christmas ornaments and last-minute gifts. We walked arm-in-arm, soaking in the amber glow of the street lanterns, sipping at terracotta mugs filled with steaming wine while snacking on baked, sugary almonds. Yum yum.

Our weekend was book-ended by two wonderful parties, one at max and bärbel’s on Friday evening (I think max turned 29 again) and the other on Sunday night at jülchen and rock ‘n roller’s (jülchen actually turned 29, or is she only 28…oh man, I feel old). Both fests were filled with terrific, new-to-me, very nice people; such as kerstin#43 (everyone here is named ‘kerstin’…it’s like the American ‘linda’, only much prettier sounding) and dave, the half-breed (his dad is American, and as jülchen introduced us, she said ‘dave, say hi to nina, she’s from Canada!’-he said hi-it was magical).

The best thing about both evenings, other than being in the homes of wonderful friends, was that great guy and I just laughed. Especially Sunday night. It is a great thing when someone just wants to see you laughing, and whether it’s because of snow falling or great guy’s silliness, it feels so good to laugh. I hope that wherever you are today you will share a laugh or two with someone you love…or don’t. Just laugh.
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