The most rewarding responsibility of being a gruncle (that’s great uncle) is exposing your nephew to his first travel experiences in Europe. And we’re on a roll now.From Mat’s first European destination of Amsterdam, we took him on his first international European train adventure to Cologne, Germany. And that’s where we had the chance to see his first great European cathedral, the Kölner Dom. (I’ll admit, we almost studiously avoided the relatively austere Protestant churches of Amsterdam so the first one would have maximum impact.)
Our guidebook calls the Kölner Dom “the Mt Everest of cathedrals.” With its soaring towers of gothic stone tracery, it is a stunner. Mat actually let out something of a gasp when he first sighted it through the panoramic windows from inside the train station. And he gushed appropriately at the cavernous interior. And struggled for breath as we climbed the hundreds of steps to the viewing platform in one of the towers.
We’ve had a lot of firsts on the food and beverage front, too, and Mat is really a trooper when it comes to trying new things. He is willing to try anything. And he ends up liking most things. And being pretty crazy about a surprising number of the odd things we are sending his way. Aside from lots of Dutch and German specialties, we’ve already been through Argentine, Italian, and Lebanese meals as well. We intend to throw quite a bit of other new cuisines his way. And we haven’t even gotten to France yet!