A romantic gesture and a football stadium – first published 19 September 2014

Commando had finished the Cologne Marathon and I’d had a lovely walk along the medieval walls. With a late flight ahead of us we had one more day to explore Cologne. Of course, after Commando’s twenty six point two mile run and the fourteen miles I’d walked while he was doing it, we didn’t plan on a great deal of walking. This ruled out the Chocolate museum, much as I’d have liked to taste it, I mean see it. Commando had a plan though, he wanted to see the football stadium. After running all that way the day before I thought he should get his wish. Continue reading A romantic gesture and a football stadium – first published 19 September 2014

The medieval walls of Koln – First published 18 September 2014

The medieval walls of Cologne were proving far more illusive than I’d expected. When I stumbled upon part of the marathon course I wondered if I should give up and just follow the marathon. In the end I decided to give it one more go. If I couldn’t find the next bit if the wall in the next ten minutes, I’d abandon my quest. Continue reading The medieval walls of Koln – First published 18 September 2014

walking the medieval city walls – first published 18 September 2014

September 2014 and Commando had been lost somewhere amongst the crowd of runners at the start of the Cologne Marathon. Now I had around four hours to explore the city. Cologne is filled with tourist attractions, the cathedral, churches, museums, interesting buildings and river tours, almost too much choice for such a short stay. When I go sightseeing though I like to find more unusual places to explore and, given the lack of information available on the city walls, I thought this might be an interesting walk while Commando ran his marathon. The sun had come out and it was beginning to get warm, bad news for the runners. Just walking across the bridge had made me hot and thirsty. I was pretty sure I’d seen a Starbucks near the cathedral so I set off across the bridge to find it. Continue reading walking the medieval city walls – first published 18 September 2014

Cologne Cathedral, 4711 and berliners – first published 17 September 2014

In September 2014 Marathon day minus one was mostly about sight seeing and relaxing. After all we were still slightly tired and jaded from a day of travel. We set off after a hearty breakfast of granola with lots of seeds nuts and cranberries. As ever, Commando ate far more than I but then he was carb loading. The last thing I need to do is load up on carbs. There was no real plan although Commando wanted to check out the finish line as he’d read it had been erected by the Cathedral the night before. For me it was more about a trip down memory lane. Continue reading Cologne Cathedral, 4711 and berliners – first published 17 September 2014

In search of chocolate milk and Kölsch – first published 16 September 2014

We’d made it to Cologne for the September 2014 marathon. We’d collected the race pack and, after a bit of chilling in our hotel, Commando went out for his last training run. This would take about half an hour and, while he was out, I decided to do a bit of exploring on my own. This was part reconnaissance and part mission to find somewhere that sold chocolate milk for his post marathon recovery drink. Surely somewhere in Cologne had to sell chocolate milk? Continue reading In search of chocolate milk and Kölsch – first published 16 September 2014

Goodbye England, willkommen in Köln – first published 16 September 2014

In September 2014 we were off to Cologne. Commando was going to run the Cologne Marathon and I was looking forward to exploring a city I hadn’t seen for thirty years or more. The sun was coming up as we boarded the plane, orange skies competing to outdo the orange Easyjet plane. Thankfully it was only an hour flight so it seemed as if we’d hardly taken off before we were landing.  Continue reading Goodbye England, willkommen in Köln – first published 16 September 2014

Vintage cars, fire alarms and streets of gold – first published 13 September 2014

In mid September 2014 we were due to fly to Cologne. Commando was running   another marathon and I was looking forward to exploring a city I hadn’t visited since I was twenty. With just a week to go I hadn’t even begun to pack and time was running out.  In an epic piece of bad planning, our trip came after a shorter weekend than normal because of a change to my shift. Of course this meant a rather fraught but interesting week.  Continue reading Vintage cars, fire alarms and streets of gold – first published 13 September 2014

Barrie, food, art and au revoir, not goodbye

12 May 2017

Our last stop of the day was the city of Barrie. On the map it looked like a huge sprawling thing, at least in comparison to Gravenhurst and Orillia. According to the sign we passed it had a population of 136,000, a little over half the number of people living in Southampton. There’d been precious little time for proper research so we really had no idea where to go or how easy it would be to find somewhere to park. More by luck than judgement, we ended up driving right into the centre of town where we found a car park on Lakeside Drive.  Continue reading Barrie, food, art and au revoir, not goodbye

Orillia and little black flies

12 May 2017

Yet again I was awake not long after five this morning. As it was our last sunrise on Gull Lake I sat on the balcony to enjoy it. When Commando woke up we had a leisurely breakfast and returned to the balcony for a coffee and a last whistful gaze at the wonderful view. Not knowing when, or even if, we’d be coming back it was bitter sweet. This wonderful country has really stolen our hearts and we were sad to be leaving.  Continue reading Orillia and little black flies

From the trail to the lake

11 May 2017

Like the trees clinging so tenaciously to the rock, I am not normally one to give up and turn back in the face of adversity. Today was not a normal day though. If I’d been on my own I may have tried to find a way around the blocked trail. This might have led me to become hopelessly lost. It might not. Although Commando wasn’t complaining, I knew his leg was still giving him pain and I didn’t want our short walk to turn into a very long one, especially as we have to drive back to Toronto tomorrow. The only thing for it was to turn back.  Continue reading From the trail to the lake