New Year’s Eve in Köln is kind of like the 4th of July (in America), but on steroids. To most people it means it’s time to go out and buy FIREWORKS! This is a novel idea to us coming from drought- dry San Diego where all (private) fireworks are illegal because of the danger of fire (you can’t even find tiny sparklers!). For New Year’s here, you can find fireworks everywhere.
Fireworks at the local grocery store…
Simon is like a kid in a candy store!
Now THAT’S a Sparkler!!
The girls enjoyed these Böller (they look like dynamite sticks from old Western movies) the most. Kiera even asked if we could save some for her birthday…
We walked down to the Rhine waterfront in front of our place to set off some rockets earlier in the evening. Simon and his Dad get excited as little kids about Fireworks- it’s quite a sight to see! There’s the Dom in the background.
Off it goes!
Quinnie and her Wunderkerzen (Sparklers/ “wonder candles”).
Around this time the pre-celebration fireworks started getting too loud for Kiera and she was so scared she started crying- so we headed back home. Snapped this pic of our place on our way there. We got to watch the major fireworks from the top of the tower. It was AMAZING.
Bärbel was in town performing a play (she’s an actress) and stopped by with friends. She grew up in The Weckschnapp from the age of 4- her Dad is the architect (Uncle Martin) who designed and built the home around the medieval tower.
The girls tried SO hard to stay awake until midnight but they just couldn’t do it. Quinnie made it until 11:30. I wish we had woken her up because she would have never forgotten seeing those fireworks from the top of the tower. The next day the first thing she did when she woke up was start sobbing- just distraught that she’d missed them. I hadn’t realized how important it was to her. Once you see the videos below you’ll realize how impressive it was that they actually slept through all that noise. It was INSANE.
Climbing up the stairs to the top of the tower (this is the room above our bedroom).
My shadow on building next door (standing on top of the tower between turrets).
Crowd outside on the street along The Rhine.
Happy New Year! Let the craziness begin!!
The pictures don’t do the experience justice so here’s a video that will give you a better idea. Keep in mind that these are all private citizens letting off their own fireworks- not professionals. It went on at this pace for over an HOUR! It was INCREDIBLE- I’ve never seen anything like it. I feel so lucky that I got to experience this from The Weckschnapp- especially since it was our last year to do so.
Somebody gave these plants to us for New Year’s. The chimney sweep and the pig (and clover or course) are all symbols of good luck in Germany.
We wish you and yours all the best in 2014. Happy New Year!