March 8, 2017

European Vacation 2014, Part 5

Dear Reader

I've felt guilty for not finishing my 2014 vacation posts. As soon as I got back, the mama needed me in ways she hadn't before, and that's the deal now. However the vacation was epic and this is how I remember things, so I'm going to go back and fill in the timeline. I did write parts of the text while we were on vacation, so I'm picking up where I left off.

Friday [this would have been 10/24] was a blitz.

When we got back to the hotel with our botanical prints I realized they weren't going to fit in my new suitcase. Shoot. A call to our paper conservator friends to ask about the location of a UPS store led to their telling us to come to the studio so they could ship for us. So lucky!

During the Bonn deinstall I'd gotten to see the studio. Our friends have everything you can imagine and can do any technique. Reconsolidating materials using isinglass (fish bladder)? No problem.

They always have amazing works in the studio that they're fixing. Last time it was Stan Lee comics and original documents of Frederic Barbarossa. This time around we got to see a Warhol Electric Chair print and some Gerhard Richter pieces. Due to the sensitive nature of the working relationship between conservator and client, I can only tell you about the pieces, not show them to you.

After touring the studio and getting the prints shipped (thank you!!!!!!), we headed over to Cologne Cathedral for a tour. This was absolutely the highlight of the trip. Our friends had done work for the cathedral, and through them we met with the head curator of the cathedral and were given a special tour that took us up through the scaffolding on the outside of the building, then inside the roof, and finally on top of the roof. I am afraid of heights, and coped by laughing hysterically most of the time. The views were tremendous.

After the tour, we went out for a traditional Cologne dinner at a brewpub. I ate meatballs (why?) and was intimidated by a German Bathroom Frau who shouted at me for not having money for a tip. Nobody warned me. Geez. I did go back and tip her but had PTSD for the whole trip when I heard anyone yell "HAllo!" in that particular tone of voice.

In Cologne, they bring your Kolsch on a rack, in little glasses, and they keep coming whether you want them or not.

After dinner we went to an opening of an exhibition about the Three Magi. Cologne Cathedral has the relics of the Three Magi, and the story of the relics and the Magi is now an obsession. It is the 800th anniversary of the "translation" of the relics from Milan to Cologne. It's a big deal. I'm obsessed with the Three Magi now.

One more stop was a bar near our hotel where our friends ordered "tall drinks" and we enjoyed Gin Mare, from Spain. Then we talked about the composition of Mongolian paper, shared photographs and had a generally great time catching up with our friends (or meeting them, in the case of mrguy).

What a great day. When I talk about this day in Koln, I keep thinking that if this was the only day of our trip I would have gone home completely satisfied.

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