Königswinter | Nibelungenhalle

You might have seen on Instagram that I did a Day-Trip to Königswinter on Pentecost. I and my parents have never been to Palace Drachenburg, so we decided to visit it. As it was really nice weather on Monday, we decided it was about time to finally see it. Königswinter is about 45 minutes (by car) from Cologne. It wasn’t really clever to go there on an official holiday in Germany…it took us quite some time to find a parking place and we visited with quite a lot people.

On the way from the parking area to the Palace is a small hall, the “Nibelungenhalle“. The Nibelungen is an old German saga. Richard Wagner composed a really famous musical piece about it, and this hall in Königswinter has been sponsored by the Richard Wagner foundation Germany. Today it is in private hand, but the theme stays the same: Siegfried, the hero of the Nibelungen saga, killed a dragon. It is said, that this happened at this exact place.

In the hall are paintings that show the different acts of Wagner’s opera. They play the matching music quietly in the background. But I thought that the dome was much more impressive than the paintings. It is painted in a really nice dark blue with lead glass windows that show the zodiac signs.

When you leave the hall and keep right, you’ll enter a really dark path. As the sun was shining so bright, it was really hard to actually see the way instead of feeling out. When you finally find the way out, you’ll enter a small yard with a little pond and a stone dragon. He looks quite cheeky, doesn’t he? 😏

After that, you’ll enter the reptile house. They have a lot of different snakes, some tarantulas, lizards and some crocodiles. It was really hot in there as they have a flat roof and the sun was burning the whole day. Behind the reptile house are some aviaries with parrots and the open-air enclosure of these two Mississippi crocodiles.

I have to admit that I was not too impressed. From the outside, the hall looks really promising, but from the inside…well. I found it with 5€ for the entrance quite expensive. I think you can put some more love in it than the way they do it right now. The reptile house might be great for kids, but the hall would be boring for them I guess. For me, it definitely was, although I love those sagas 🤷🏼‍♀️ But, you can bring your dog!

 

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Königswinter | Schloss Drachenburg

You might have seen on Instagram that I did a Day-Trip to Königswinter on Pentecost. I and my parents have never been to Palace Drachenburg, so we decided to visit it. As it was really nice weather on Monday, we decided it was about time to finally see it. Königswinter is about 45 minutes (by car) from Cologne. It wasn’t really clever to go there on an official holiday in Germany…it took us quite some time to find a parking place and we visited with quite a lot people.

The Palace Drachenburg is on top of the hill, you can either walk the way up or take a small mountain railway. We walked, as it was easier to do so from our parking area, but it isn’t really hard to walk up 🤷🏼‍♀️

The entrance costs 7€ for adults, 5€ when you’re a student. You can order the adult tickets online, too, but not the reduced ones. You’ll enter the area through the carriage house, in front of the palace is a nice garden.

The first thing I did was going around the palace instead of going inside. You have a really fantastic view from there over the Rhine! And when the sky is clear, you can even see Cologne Cathedral from there!

There are two terraces behind the palace, one on the same level as the palace, on below that. A part of the terraces is a small garden with two golden deer.

The entry hall of the palace is really impressive. They have silk wall covering with great paintings on it. The entry hall is the only room in the palace that looks exactly like it did when they built it. In the 1960ies, the palace was vacant, and there was a lot of robbery. As the most rooms have painted wallpapers, they could just cut it out, right off the wall. The new owner restaurated it all, but some paintings were filled up with what could fit to the scenery and not the original scenery as they didn’t have all the plans for it.

I also recommend getting the tour guide they offer, as you’ll learn a lot more from it then by just looking. For example I learned, that it was once used as a catholic boy’s school and later as school for railroader. And that the new owner gave organ concerts in the late 70ies, which were all fake as the organ was fake 💁🏼‍♀️ They also offer an app for iOS and Android, but their guide is only in german so far, but you can get a printed guide!

When you leave the palace and keep left, you can enter a tower from where you have a great view from above the palace. It really is worth the climb! Hungry and thirsty after that? No problem! The palace has a small bistro, seats are on the terrace on the backside of it. For example you could have a tarte flambée for 8,50€ or potato pancakes for 4€, which is not really pricey.

You can bring your dog on the area, but as they are not allowed to go into the palace, Hugo stayed home. I just didn’t see much use to bring him then 🤷🏼‍♀️


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Cologne // Köln | sunnysu

I went to my favorite waffle stop today: sunnysu! When you read my post about Bubblewrap Waffle in London, you might know, that I love those bubble waffles even though I am not really a sweet tooth. Sunnysu in Cologne offers a similar waffle, although they call it egg waffle.

In London, they turn the waffle iron, which makes the “bubbles” hollow and really crispy as the waffle is quite thin. At sunnysu, they just leave it as it is and don’t turn it, so there is more dough and the “bubbles” are filled 🙃 I like both types, but maybe the crisper ones (= Bubblewrap) a little more. Altough they both taste great!

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My choice this time: Classic dough for the waffle, strawberries and melon as toppings, raspberry sorbet, caramel and strawberry puree as sauces

 

For 5,90€ you’ll get your egg waffle with frozen yogurt, two toppings and two sauces. For 6,70€ you can choose from their ice creams instead of the frozen yogurt, which might be something fancy like black vanilla or caramel with roasted almonds or (the more normal) fruit sorbet like mango, raspberry or strawberry.

They have a great variety of fresh fruit, chocolate, cereal, cookies et cetera as toppings and some great sauces like caramel, strawberry or raspberry puree, mango, and some more. Also, they offer different dough that you can choose from, like the classic one, red velvet, one with blueberries…there really is something for everyone 🙃 Don’t mind, when you need some time before you  order, it is kind of overwhelming (so many possibilities!).

As I never go in the city with Hugo, I don’t know if dogs are allowed, but I fear not. In the shopping arcade is also a supermarket, and in Germany dogs are not allowed in supermarkets 🤷🏼‍♀️ But in summer they have a seating area outside, where you definitely can sit with your dog.

 

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Cologne // Köln | Racecourse Weidenpesch

Have you ever been to a Horserace? It has this special, almost magical feeling. If it weren’t for the big LCD-displays you could think that you’re right back in 1930. Horse races have been big back then, just remember the movie “Seabiscuit” or “Secretariat” (even though he was already in the 1970ies). Crowds and crowds of people running for the betting office, having their all-time favorite racehorse, knowing exactly which jockey works for which stable, and being excited about the next race. They wore their best clothes on the racecourse and celebrated it, in front of the radio or on the course itself.

Although horseraces are not really a thing anymore, the racecourse in Cologne Weidenpesch is well-frequented on every race day. My parents went there with me for the first time when I was a baby and since then I am hooked. When I was a little girl I always had to go and see the horses as I was that typical horse-girl. Now I love roaming around, betting against my friends, eating potato pancakes with applesauce, but mostly watch all the people. There are so many different kinds of people, it’s awesome. Some wear their everyday clothes, some wear hats and dresses or suits. Some come and sit on the stands, some have a picknick on the lawn before the stands, even with the beach shelters they brought. I think it’s great to see how everybody gives these events their own touch. There is no right or wrong way to “do horseraces”. That’s the best part: it is for everybody. You can bring your dogs, your own food and drinks, it can get a small family holiday or a day out with your friends.

When I go there, I do bet on the races. Not to win money, but to make it even more exciting. Normally, I bet on the horses with the funniest names, the best tricots, or a jockey that I know. Sometimes I even look at their statistics from their last races, but that’s rather unusual. I always bet for 1€ and I am already satisfied when my horse was faster than the one of my friends 🙈 When I went there at the beginning of may, I lost every single bet. And still, I think I’ll stick to my strategy 😉

There were times when the racecourse was really bad frequented and I was afraid that it might get closed due to it. But people found out about this place again, they did a really intense marketing (although the only part I like about it was the re-design of their website…) and the place became more lively again. I am still waiting for a repaint of the stands, maybe they read this and will paint them after that 😉

 

Prices

Food and drinks on the racecourse are not the cheapest, so it’s smart to bring at least your own drinks with you in the summer months. I paid 3,50€ for a Fassbrause, Softdrinks like Fanta and Coca-Cola are at 3€, Water is 2,50€. For my potato pancake with applesauce, I paid 5€.

The admissions differ a bit. You have different options to go with, as I love the main tribune I am paying 10€, which is their students offer. The normal price is at 12€. You can find their prices here. I think it is a really good price for what you get, a whole day full of fun!

I can totally recommend a day on the racecourse! It is not too pricey, you can bring your own food and drinks, it’s no problem to bring your dogs (but: not without a leash!), you can spend a great day with family and/or friends.

 

Cologne // Köln | Horse Racecourse | Sightseeing | Holiday | One Day Off | Weekend

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London | Bubblewrap Waffle

I think as most of us, I saw Bubblewrap Waffles on Instagram first. As it has been a while since I have been to London, I decided to go there last autumn in October. I found a quite cheap way there: by bus! You start on Friday night, drive through the night, at around 3-4 am you’re at the ferry. Dover at around 5-6 am, London at 7 am. The whole day in London, returning at 10 pm, same way back. You should be well aware that sleeping on the bus might go wrong, but I found it great for getting that “London vibe” ☺

So, when I went to London in October, I had Bubblewrap Waffles on my list, just like Milktrain Café. But this happened:

Well, I guess I wasn’t the only tourist that follows their Instagram that day in London 🙈

BUT! I returned! 💪🏻 I went back to London for a day this January, and this time I had the goal to try a Bubblewaffle! And what shall I say, I did 😏

I have to admit, I did not try too many fancy toppings and had no ice cream with it (I just recovered from food poisoning that week…lucky me…), so I only had strawberries, raspberries and caramel topping, but it was great! As they turn the waffle irons during baking, they are really crisp but not filled out with dough.  I liked that a lot, it tasted really different to the filled ones from sunnysu in Cologne.

We were kind of lucky on the second try for Bubblewaffles, as we somehow made it there when only very few others wanted a waffle. It “only” took us like 20 minutes to get ours, which we spend on deciding which toppings we would have. Maybe it’s better when you don’t go there on a Saturday 😅 But you should definitely try one!

The only downside is the small place itself, you line up in two rows and it is really really narrow. There is no place to have a seat, so you have to eat it “on the go”. A little bigger would not hurt, but of course, it doesn’t change the taste of the waffles 😉

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Domburg | Markt Zes

I have been to Markt Zes in Domburg now quite often and witnessed around 3 owners or at least 3 different styles for the restaurant. It is right in the middle of Domburg, which makes it really good accessible.

When I have been there the first few times, it was more the bar kind than a restaurant. You could try hundreds of different sorts of beer – at least it seemed like that. I had a beer favorite back then, a raspberry one from Belgium. I could never find it anywhere else, so that was kind of all I was drinking there. We never ate there, but mostly because they didn’t really have more than snacks. We watched the European Championship (Soccer) there, the match between Germany and the Netherlands, which was quite fun. We Germans watched it on their outdoor seatings, the Netherlands watched it indoors – as Germany was playing quite good and won that match, a walk to the toilet indoors had to be done real quick 🙈

When I returned the next year, everything changed. They had a new style and – most of all – a new menu. Now food but unfortunately no more Belgian raspberry beer. Bummer. But of course, we still tried the food – it’s not really pricey but I found it way too expensive for what I got. I think it was a salad with goat cheese, but I am not really sure, it’s been a while 😅

As it changed its appearance again on my last trip to Domburg, we decided to try it out again. So we went to have some drinks after our dinner at the Brasserie and I was really pleased to see that they now have more fruit beer on their card again! Of course, I tried them all 😌 They were good, but I’d love to try something different than Kriekbier (Kriek = Cherry).

On our last day after the beach, we wanted to try out the new food menu. I really had problems to decide on something, as the prices seemed to me not really relatable for the food they were offering. I went with the tarte tartin with sweet potatoes and was not too fond of it. It looked really nice, but something was missing for me. It came with some kind of seagrass (Salicornia) which I just really don’t like. My mother had the salad with goat cheese this time and was really pleased, so maybe I just picked the wrong dish (again).

They are really dog-friendly. The first thing to happen when we entered with Hugo, they brought him water. Later, one of the waitresses came over and cuddled with him. They’re allowed indoors and outdoors ☺

Although it is not for me for eating, I love their beer card! You can try different sorts of beer without having to commit to a whole sixpack of it (like you probably would have to in the supermarket). Just want to go out for a drink? I recommend! Food? Well, not my first choice 🤷🏼‍♀️

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London | Sky Garden

 

Sky Garden London is one of my Pinterest finds. Like Bubblewrap I wanted to go there on my first visit, but I couldn’t manage to figure out their booking system. Maybe I am always too late? Or it doesn’t work for Saturdays? I just don’t know…

But although I could not reserve a slot on our visit in January, we were really lucky. We’ve been there just a short time after they opened and as they were not booked out then, we could get in! 🙌🏻 And wow, what a view! When we left the elevator, we immediately stopped again as we could not believe what we were seeing. You have an awesome view on the river Thames, PLUS the garden inside! It really is beautiful, and the sun was shining while we were there, which made a perfect morning in Sky Garden for us.

Of course, we had some tea there. Even their tumblers fit perfectly in this surrounding:

You want to see London from up above? Some nice tea, some plants and flowers and – even though it’s filled with people – a place for relaxing? I can only recommend you Sky Garden. I loved it there and I will definitely try to get there every time I visit London from now on!

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Domburg | Pizzeria Milano

In April 2018 I was in Pizzeria Milano in Domburg for the first time. We never made it, as the small Italian restaurant was always booked out when we arrived (we don’t use to reserve a table). I think that it changed a little in the last few years, for example, is it not possible anymore to reserve a table and I think they changed the interior quite a bit.

The restaurant has a small front room, with tables placed right beside the kitchen. They also have a larger room which kind of extends the front room, but it was closed when we arrived, so we got that kitchen table. As it is right in the entry to the kitchen, it’s not really a calm place, but the great smell of freshly baked pizza, lasagna and pasta is definitely a plus!

It took me a while to decide on what to eat, they have a lot of different pizzas, but not really much of anything else. I wanted to go for pasta, but as I am a “little” picky it took me quite long to decide. For example, I love Spaghetti Carbonara, but I am not really fond of the raw egg – but asking them to leave it away kind of seemed as an insult to me. So I went all basic – with pasta aglio e olio. My parents both ordered the lasagna.

We got our food in an acceptable time. As the lasagna was freshly made, it – of course – took its time. When my dish arrived, I was quite pleased to see, that they packed it really full  🙃  more food is always better I guess! And it tasted really good! I was glad, that no date was on the plan for that night and that I was in Domburg with my parents 😅

As dessert, I tried the Dame Blanche, but that was definitely no masterpiece. It was not really good vanilla ice, really little chocolate topping and really much whipped cream. Would not order again 🤷🏼‍♀️

The staff was really nice and quick with our beverages. The prices were really okay for the food, my pasta was around 8€, the lasagna around 12€. As Hugo stayed in our apartment, I don’t know if they are dog-friendly, sorry! But as most restaurants in Domburg are open for dogs, I think you can bring your dog, just ask them 🙃

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Domburg | 15. – 18.04.2018

Welcome, all you!

First travelogue everrrr! And it’s about my favorite place in the Netherlands: Domburg! I have been there already so many times but never get bored of it. Also, it is a great place for a One-Day-Trip to the sea 🙃

This time, me and my parents went there rather spontaneous for 4 days, we booked it like 2 weeks ahead. As there was no holiday in Germany or the Netherlands, and as it was only April, we were lucky and had no problem getting our favorite apartment there. Around here, April is a month that can deliver any weather at any time. You had sun yesterday and it was soooo hot? Well, might be that today will be the worst of rain. And it’s even worse at the coast! I rarely look at my weather forecast when I am at Domburg, it just doesn’t work. Weather is changing way to quick there! And I have to admit, I was expecting rain. Every time we stay there for even one night it rains. All. The. Time.

Day 1

When we arrived on Sunday, everything looked like that was going to happen again. It was a little cloudy and quite stormy when we arrived. When we had breakfast at “Bij Juls”, I already joked about visiting my favorite stores in the next bigger town, Middelburg.

We spent almost the whole day at the beach, as we couldn’t get into our apartment before 3 pm. But my mom booked one of the small beach houses where you can store all your stuff, have deckchairs and a windshield in it PLUS you have shelter when it starts raining (it came in handy when it started dripping that day…)! We could “move in” there right when we arrived, which was great, as we could pack all our beach stuff in there instead of first into the apartment and then carrying it there.

When we moved into the apartment, the first thing I did was entering the store right beneath it – it’s called Dogsmopolitan. Guess what – dog toys and treats and all the nice things my dog doesn’t own. When we walked past it after breakfast when Hugo needed a little walk, I already tested, what he would like. The only thing he really was interested was a small blue ball by Chuckit*, which I then bought for him. He was so happy when I gave that ball to him, no toy I brought with us was good enough after that 🙄

When we parked the car in the garage of our apartment – which is a little walk away – we went to the supermarket to get something fresh for the beach and food for our breakfast the next day. I love their supermarket!! They have so many good things that we don’t have, for example super fresh super good roastbeef or delicious chocolate or fancy cookies 😍

We ate at “The Domburger” that night, a quite new Burger restaurant. It is a little pricey, but the atmosphere there is quite nice, just like the staff. I am not that into pickles, so I ordered my Burger (“Say Cheese”) without it, which was no problem at all. It was ok, but actually not even close to my favorite burger restaurants.

Day 2

First things first, my dog needed a little walk, so when I woke up, I headed to the beach in my PJ’s. As the beach is only away like 500 meters, it didn’t take me really long to get there, but as my dog is really picky with his “bathroom”…let me say, he needed time.

When I came back, my father already left for the beach, but my mom and I didn’t want to leave right on, as it still was quite windy, so we decided to visit some of the shops first. Domburg has some cute little shops, some are really pricey and some are in a normal price range. In one of the shops, I fell in love with a knitted jacket. I had to visit it two more times to be sure that I should buy it – but I did finally! The seller even recognized me when I decided to buy it the next day, as I again was sneaking around 🙈

When we were finished with walking through the stores, we picked up the dog and left for the beach. It was mostly sunny but windy, so it wasn’t really warm. I hid behind the windshield the whole time, just so I could leave my jacket off 🙈 Friends of my parents were in Domburg, too, so they visited us at our cabin, and my parents went to have a drink with them at one of the beach pavilions.

That night we ate at one of the Italian restaurants, Milano. The pizza seemed to be their bestseller, but my parents and I went with the pasta and lasagna. My pasta aglio e olio was really good! The staff was really nice and served quite fast. I tried the Dame Blanche, but that was definitely no masterpiece, sorry to say.

Day 3

Started again with bringing my dog to his bathroom. On the way back I went to the local bakery. No dogs allowed inside, so I had to tie Hugo outside. He didn’t really understand that he is not allowed to follow, so he sat on the carpet in the entry of the bakery. I was just getting my stuff as the other lady told me to get the dog out 🙄 I mean, I was just about to go anyway, there was no food around my dog, why?

As they were digging out the sandbanks – right in front of our beach cabin of course – my mother and I again decided to look through the stores, we went to the few ones missing from the day before. And again, I looked after that jacket. You see, it didn’t leave me alone. I wasn’t sure about the colors and the price and if I would wear it and when yes then with what – but sometimes it happens, that you know when you don’t buy something, you’ll regret it 🤷🏼‍♀️ so when we were at the beach, I decided that I needed to have it.

My parents and their friends again went to the next beach pavilion, De Stenen Toko. When Hugo needed to visit his “bathroom” again, because he needs grass for it, I needed to leave our beach cabin. And as I had to move all our stuff inside, I decided that I could go to that pavilion, too, and have some lunch. I got whole-grain bread roll with goat cheese, which was really really good, and a Liefmanns fruitesse – right now my favorite fruit beer around there.

For dinner, we met up with my parents’ friends. Of course, I wore my new jacket, what else 💁🏼‍♀️ We went to Brasserie Domburg, and as I wanted some fish for dinner for days, I decided to go with the fish & chips – they were awesome! And, absolutely must at that restaurant, creme bruleé! SO GOOD!! After that, we went to Markt Zes, which is just right across our street. You can drink fancy beer, and I love to test fruit beer, so I tried two of those.

As we had to check out the next day, we had to pack our stuff already. But as I did not pack too much, I was really quick. Hugo did notice that somethings changing again and was a little unsure what to do. Sometimes I wish you could just tell them what’s happening, that would make things so much easier…

Day 4

On our last day, we had to bring back the keys at 10, so we had to get up earlier. I got the car, we packed everything in there and brought the key to the hotel. We planned to park our car on a free parking area, but when we arrived there, it turned out, that they are currently under construction. So we had to change our plans from free to 12,50€ and parked right at the beach.

We had a great day there! It was super warm, nearly no wind, full sun. Hugo was still confused though, and I think he had enough of our short trip.

For our lunch, we went to the local beach pavilion again, De Stenen Toko. I just went with the same thing I ate the day before, whole-grain bread roll with goat cheese.

We packed our stuff around 4 pm and put everything into the car, then went for the last dinner for this time. We decided for Markt Zes. I could not find anything on its menu that wasn’t super pricey or things I really liked, so I went with a tarte tartin with sweet potatoes. It was okay, but…well, I’d rather have had some fries from across the street 🤷🏼‍♀️ My mom had a salad with goat cheese with what she was super pleased, so maybe I just made a bad decision. Next time I will be wiser 💪🏻

Well, after that we already left Domburg! But be sure, little town, I will be coming back in summer!

 

* this is an affiliate link: you don’t pay extra for it, but if you order, I get a small amount of money 🙃

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Domburg | Les Maisons – Noordstraat 6b

We have been to this apartment in Domburg now the second time and I have to say: I love it! It’s right in the heart of Domburg and it never takes you long to get anywhere. The beach is like 500 meters down the street, the supermarket around 600 meters in the opposite direction. Right around the corner is the main street with all it’s little shops and restaurants.

It is kind of spartanic, but it has everything you need. Noordstraat 6B has two bedrooms (one with double bed, the other with two single beds).  It has a nice living room with a small kitchenette, that has even a dishwasher. The living room and the bedroom floors are Vinyl, which makes it really easy to keep clean if you stay a little longer.  Only thing I missed this time was a proper broom to clean up all the sand I brought home from the beach.

The favorite thing of my dog in this apartment is probably the large windows in the living room. As the living room is turned to the street, you can watch people strolling down the small alley from there. It happened more than once that I heard a screech and then something like “Look, a dog!”. It is the perfect spot for Hugo to pursue his passion, observing people.

The bathroom is really nice, it has a large shower (no bathtub, though) and looks really good, all black and white.

 

The beds already have sheets on and they even give you towels, which is not being the rule. They also have a washing machine in the hall. They have a garage where you can park your car (you can only park on the main streets if you have a resident parking permit…) and shelter for your bikes. You can also rent one of the small beach houses, which I really can recommend. You can bring all your stuff there at the beginning of your stay so you don’t have to carry it every day, you have shelter when it suddenly starts to rain and there are deckchairs and a windshield in it!

Really dangerous for the dog owners: right below it is now a dog store (Dogsmopolitan)…first thing I did – even before clearing out the car – was buying a new toy for Hugo. Like, I mean, he has no toys. Just exactly like he never gets pet or fed…

 

I have to admit, that I am not sure if you still can bring a dog to this flat if you haven’t been there before. I think we’ve been lucky as we stayed there before. But I guess it’s best to ask them! They have a lot of other vacation apartments and hotel rooms in Domburg. They are really nice there and always try to help you out! It also might get pricey if you want to stay there during official holidays in Germany or Netherlands, but if you go off-season, it is quite affordable! We paid around 260€ for three people plus dog for 3 nights.

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