West Germany: A Weekend in Bonn and Cologne
West Germany is great for enjoying both urban life and nature. Bonn, the former West German capital, is a small town with lots of parks and hip pedestrian streets. Cologne, one of Germany's largest cities and a host to carnival, has a cosmopolitan population that enjoys both tradition and modernity.

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Most Romantic Bridge in Germany

My wife and I just returned from our annual trip to Europe to visit Christmas Markets. Our first stop was Cologne, Germany. In researching Cologne several months ago I read about the Hohenzollern Railway Bridge, which crosses the Rhine into central Cologne. The bridge has gained a new romantic image, since couples began placing locks on the fence separating the railroad and the pedestrian walkway over the Rhine. I've seen several bridges around the world where this is done, including Spain, Estonia, Paris, and even the Great Wall of China, but nowhere in the volume of the Hohenzollernbrucke. Since our stay in Cologne was on our 45th Wedding Anniversary, I thought I would surprise my wife with this addition to our itinerary. She was both surprised and eager to take part in the tradition. So, we found a lockshop, picked out a lock and had it engraved with our names and "45 Years". We walked to the bridge, and were absoluted stunned at the number of locks of every sort, size and shape. The number has to be in the tens of thousands. A definite testament to love. We even had a difficult time finding a recognizable place for the lock. Finally, we completed the tradition by locking it, and tossing one of the two keys into the Rhine. If you are going to Cologne, don't miss seeing this.

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