Germany Album 2004, Page 6
Our six-week house swap in Mülheim an der Ruhr.

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Relevant weekly journals:
September 7, 2004: Landschaftspark at night, Gasometer, going up the Kölner Dom.
September 13, 2004: Wasser-spielplatz, goodbye to the matsch, returning home to San Diego.

Gasometer. Peter, Klaus, und Marlies took us to the Gasometer in Oberhausen, a giant storage tank, 117.5 meters tall and some 67 meters in diameter. Like Landschaftspark, it was almost torn down, but was turned into a unique exhibition venue. The exhibit when we were here, was the Breitling Orbiter 3 balloon which successfully circumnavigated the world. The view from the roof of the Gasometer is a spectacular show in itself. By the way, the image of the ribs on the Gasometer combine with your monitor’s screen to create a moiré effect on the thumbnails; the actual structure does not have circular designs.
Going into the Gasometer in Oberhausen Gasometer: the slender green tube is the original maintenance elevator for two men Gasometer: looking up at the Breitling Orbiter 3 balloon Gasometer: the Breitling Orbiter 3 balloon from the top looking down Gasometer: inside the Breitling Orbiter 3 capsule Gasometer: Peter and Roy on top Gasometer: Roy rode the glass elevator to the top Gasometer: need a penny? Gasometer: Peter, Klaus, Ondine, John, Marlies, Roy, Leo Gasometer: Leo and Roy share an apfelsaft
Click here to join John and Peter climbing 592 steps to the top of the Gasometer. (5.73 MB, about a one-minute trip to the top)

Köln Dom, Deux. We took another train trip to Köln (Cologne). This time, the skies were blue and it was quite warm. John and Roy climbed 509 steps to the observation deck on the south spire, 97 meters above street level (the spire itself reaches over 157 meters).  Köln Dom (the Cologne Cathedral) was started in 1248, but took 632 years to build. When it was finished, in 1880, it was the world’s tallest building. There are eight bells of different sizes in the main bell room; the bell you see in the third photo, Petersglocke, is the world’s largest free-swinging bell (24,000 kg). Roy and John were in the bell room when the half-hour chimed! That was startlingly loud, and that was just two bongs on a small bell! You can catch a snippet of the chime on the video clip. They were in the tower when the bells struck 12:00. The view from the top is panoramic and spectacular. What a great experience! Later we explored the outside of the Roman-German Museum, which had interesting castings on pedestals and a section of the actual Roman road that went through the city.
Koeln: Looking up at the spires, in 1880 the world's tallest building Koeln Dom: a side view Koeln Dom: Petersglocke (St. Peter's Bell) is the world's largest free-swinging bell Koeln Dom: looking out over the Rhine from the South tower Koeln Dom: new construction across the Rhine. challenging the cathedral Koeln: Ondine, Roy, und Leo - Roy seems to be eyeing Leo's apfel stueck Koeln: playing in the exhibit of Roman artifacts Koeln: when in Rome ... Koeln Hauptbahnhof, waiting for a train
Click here to join us on the ICE train to Köln! (5.30 MB)
Click here to join John and Roy climbing to the top of the south tower (4.21 MB)

Gabi und Jonas were friends from the Tuesday morning music and movement class through AWO.
Gabi und Jonas at the matsch-spielplatz in the MueGa

The wasser-spielplatz at MüGa was a great place. The boys loved the matsch so much, that we didn’t get to the wasser-spielplatz until the very end of our stay. The first photo shows perhaps one-third of the wasser-spielplatz. The second photo shows Leo playing with a joghurt bucket and a circular gate in one of the many channels that wind through the spielplatz. The third photo shows Roy jumping on a jump-pump that squirted water in all directions.
The wasser-spielplatz in the MueGa Leo at the wasser-spielplatz in the MueGa Roy at the wasser-spielplatz in the MueGa

Goodbye to the matsch! The matsch-spielplatz at MüGa is one place the boys will really miss. In the first photo, you can see part of the Schloss Broich in the background.
The match-spielplatz in the MueGa Leo and Roy at the matsch-spielplatz in the MueGa

Gyros mit Patricia, Gregor, und Veronica. What a delicious meal, and our last local German bier. And, what a bittersweet feeling to say goodbye to our friends.
Delicious gyros Patricia und Gregor Leo (left) interrupting Roy and Veronika pplaying Kalle Kangu

LTU Kinderland at Düsseldorf International was a great place to let the kids run off some energy before boarding our flight (1530, DUS to LAX). John’s sister Patty picked us up at LAX (and ended up having to make two trips).
Kids at play in the Kinderland, provided by LTU

Home sweet home. No matter where we go, San Diego is one fine place to come back to. The first photo shows the garage banner Doris (our neighbor across the street) made to greet us; the second photo shows the balloons Barbara and Bill placed on our front lawn for the boys; the third photo shows the sign Barbara made for our front door. It was great to be in Mülheim, and now it is great to be home in San Diego!
Welcome home! Back on Barker Way Home sweet home
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