Two degrees and snow were waiting for us

Community Highlights Family Travel Two degrees and snow were waiting for us

After the busy week in Athens, we arrived in Germany and headed to a town close to Cologne. The night we arrived the temperature was around two degrees and it was snowing. The children were super happy because they had wanted to see snow but they didn't realise how cold the weather was going to be.

We managed to get the tickets for the right train from the airport. I think in this country it took us less time to understand how the train system worked and how to get the tickets out of the machine. The trains in Germany, most of the time were on time, and were clean and super fast.

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We stayed with my best friend Erika Natalia, both of us have the same first name and the same last name, and this is how we met at university only a few years ago, hahaha, well only 20 years ago. We have been extremely blessed that we have met with her in many countries around the world, in Colombia (obviously), England, France, Spain, New Zealand and now Germany. During our time at university we used to talk about travelling and these dreams have come true. It was so beautiful for me to see her and meet her little boy Jakob. To see our children play and spend the nights talking to her like old times was a highlight of our adventures.

Maya and Leo had the opportunity to help get the Christmas tree up and decorate it. This tree was real, super big and smelled fresh. To open the wrapping and stand it up was a mission and we had a lot of laughs. In Colombia, the 7th of December starts the season of Christmas with the candle night, where the families meet together to light candles, pray, dance and have fun in general, so we decided with my gorgeous friend to celebrate the Candle night with the arrival of the tree in her house.

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We explored the place where we were staying - Bergisch Gladbach which is a small town that has a nice shopping centre. There was also a nice Christmas market, which is typical in this country and had yummy food and gorgeous gifts. We were in Germany for the sixth of December, which is Saint Nicholas’ Day. That day the children get a stocking full of chocolate and an orange. Maya and Leo met some Santas around the town and were happy to get the treats they handed out.

Cologne is a nice city, one of the biggest in Germany. We had the opportunity to visit the gorgeous Cathedral, many large Christmas markets, shops, lights and an amazing place that sold Lego. The day that we walked around was freezing cold but we survived. This city has interesting museums and the downtown is friendly to walk around. We enjoyed Germany, a little cold for the children but this was a great experience to start the Christmas period under the snow and see stunning lights everywhere. For me, to see my friend was a big blessing. I miss her a lot and it had been a few years since I had seen her. Hope to visit her again soon.

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The downtown was surrounded by a big wall and inside was a lot of fun to get lost in its small streets. There were gorgeous churches, markets, shops and big playgrounds. Next time, we need to rent a camper van and explore the island more. This is a place that I recommend visiting during the winter season in Europe because even I got sunburned, so summer might cause a lot of problems.

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Our last destination was Madrid before our main stop. Madrid is a gorgeous capital city, the transport is amazing, and the children enjoyed using the metro train to get around the city. It was cold again but not as bad as Germany. There were Christmas lights everywhere, amazing museums, nice cafes, the architecture was stunning, and the markets were great. We also visited a large playground where the children burned off some energy. The metro system reminded me of the tube in London and it was fun to see the map and check which metro line to get. We also had the opportunity to learn a little bit about the history of Spain and Europe in the museums. Leo enjoyed seeing the police on horses outside the royal palace and Maya enjoyed seeing all the clothes in the shops. The Christmas markets and the ice skating were also a highlight.

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Our busy time travelling will have a short break for the next month as it is time for us to slow down and enjoy our family in Colombia. I felt extremely blessed to have visited many places, everything worked much better than we thought it would. The children (and us) had to practice resiliency on a few occasions, we learnt to accept each day as it comes. Each day, place, city, … was magical. We met many angels on our trip around the world, we ate yummy foods, and we experienced different kinds of businesses, … I am writing this blog from home and when I hear the children talking to their cousins about this part of our trip, my heart smiles. Even I felt blessed with needing the crutches for Maya. At the beginning of the trip when we knew that Maya had to bring the crutches for her injured foot I was disappointed and worried, but now I can only say “thank you God” for this gift. Our life travelling was much easier with the crutches because in most of the airports Maya was given a wheelchair which also carried most of our hand luggage, we avoided having to make the long queues for Immigration, we had a person pushing Maya and they showed us the way to enter or exit the airport, many times these angels gave us advice on which ATM machine to use, which transport to take, etc. To be the first people onto the planes was a luxury. And the most important Maya’s foot had time to rest and recovered very well. Thanks to all of you for your prayers and for supporting us in this crazy dream.

Our next blog is going to be our lives in my busy home city of Bogotá in Colombia.

This featured blog entry was written by erika_simon from the blog Simplicity, Inspiration and Angels.
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By erika_simon

Posted Wed, Jan 17, 2024 | Spain | Comments