Sunday, it was time to hit the road rails again and head south to visit my dad and his kid brother near Dortmund.

So we left our cozy little nest –
(Ha - kidding! That's the Cologne cathedral, Mother of All UFOs (swatched blessed for commencement in 1248; stalled by 1560; miraculously not frogged bombed in WWII; finally finished in 1880.) Six HUNDRED-plus years. Does that make any knitters out there feel better?

Here's our cozy little nest (behind the three second-floor windows):

Headed up the quiet Sunday street:

... shattering the silence with our rolling luggage thundering over the cobblestones.

And then -- whee! -- we're off.

Spent a lovely, cold afternoon wandering through a living museum site with booths of handmade items from artisans. [Managed to get away without a set of pinocchio-style super-tall hats for egg cups made of molded felt. Perhaps that was a mistake. Definitely should have gotten the eyeball keychain for Snej. Out of felt. Don't think I'll EVER run across anything like that again!]

A divine dinner that served as a reunion of sorts for the Crazy Germans who go to France every other summer... with nice wine, good beer, and hands down some of the best pasta I've ever had -- inside or outside of Italy.

Then, the next morning, we had to tear ourselves away and jump another train.
I mean, really,  how could you say goodbye to these two?

 We only managed it because we were headed for scenes like this:

(We're moving to Koblenz. That's all there is to it. Two famous wine rivers converging? Roman ruins? Gothic bridges? Short hop to Belgium, land of chocolate? Sign me up.)

If my father ever decides to quit his day job, he'll have a great second career as a travel agent: he had us booked on a great train that whizzed along the southern bank of the Rhine, ending in Frankfurt central station. Just enough time for a hot lunch, then we were off again on one of the fastest trains in Germany -- the ICE (make that ICEEEEEEEEE!) from Frankfurt to Cologne in 1 hour and 23 minutes.

Alas, there were no public spedometers on the train, but we guessed we were rocketing around at about 150 mph.
Here's proof:

Quick change of train in Cologne - just enough time to see how God is doing these days.1499159-1219646-thumbnail.jpg
He must be doing well, because he's got that whole real-estate thing down pat.
Location, location, location: great idea to plunk a cathedral down right next to a major railroad hub.

After that, it was dark and quiet and boring, perfect for napping (Boy) and sock finishing (bini).
Home by 10, lights out by 10:30...

and today Herself arrives from Denmark, ready to eat her fill of vegetables after a week of bread and cheese (what's  a vegetarian to do in Scandinavia?).