Friday, May 15, 2020

Day 2--Rhine to Cologne

So, today started with a stau (traffic jam) that made us late for our first activity, a cruise on the Rhine. I was really looking forward to the river cruise, so that was a bummer.   The bus did get ahead of the boat, and where we waited was at least pretty!

(Obligatory Globus bus picture)

We missed maybe half of the cruise, but did catch the boat at the next stop, 

so we at least got to enjoy 45 minutes or so.  

(View from the boat of the lucky stop where we caught it)

We did see some castles from the river--so that was something at least.

We also saw the Loreley--a cliff in an area where lots of boats wrecked.  

Legend has it a siren, Loreley, caused the ships to sink.

(coming in to land and then disembark in this cute town!)

After disembarking, it was a two hour drive to Cologne.  

We went to a brauhaus (included in tour) 

right near the big cathedral to try the local Cologne beer, called kolsch, and some appetizers for snacktime. 

I'm not a big beer drinker, but it was okay (for beer).   

Next on to the Museum Ludwig, a modern art museum.  Also not my thing, but Katherine wanted to see the Picassos.  

(Musketeer and cupid, 1969)

(Head of a woman reading, 1953)

Many Picassos, in more mediums than I was aware he had done.

(Plate with bird, 1963)

(The owl, 1952)

(Woman with pram, 1950)  Rather like something from a nightmare...

Also other modern art.  This was one of our super quick museum visits.

Ah, culture.  Next, on to the real draw--the Cathedral. The museum was behind the cathedral so we walked along the side

 to the front.

Cologne Cathedral (officially known as the Hohe Domkirche Sankt Petrus, or the Cathedral Church of St. Peter) is the largest gothic cathedral, second tallest church in all of Europe.  It took six hundred years to finish--construction began in 1248 and continued until 1473, but then halted until building restarted in the 1840s, which the church finally completed to its original plan in 1880. 

Apparently it was bombed 15 times, but the building actually flexed which saved it.  

The cathedral desplays the Crucifix of Bishop Gero, from the 10th century, the oldest above the Alps.

Also a reliquary, the Shrine of the Three Kings (traditionally believed to hold the remains of the Three Wise Men), set behind the altar.

We saw another church, St. Andreas, while we were waiting for the Globus bus (after a quick dart in to look at perfumes--unsurprisingly a thing in Cologne).  

This 10th century Romanesque church is an interesting comparison to its ultra gothic cathedral neighbor.

The Globus bus took us to our hotel (which was in a just ok location--but probably a 25 minute walk from the cathedral).  We wanted to see more, but needed to check in to our hotel room and get our room keys.   

We headed back out walking the long trek back towards the Cathedral, passing by the Altmarkt 

and then the Fishmark

right by the Rhine River.

We crossed the Hohenzollern bridge to the other side of the Rhine to take pics from the top of an office building.  You can pay to take the elevator to the top of the building.

(picture taken earlier in the Ludwig Museum, but here is the bridge and the office building)

(the bridge was covered in love locks)

The sun was just starting to go down--but the glare from the glass on top of the building was pretty bad, so we didn't end up with the gorgeous pictures we were hoping for of the Rhine and the Cathedral, but I did manage to clean up one of them.

After crossing back over,

we had dinner at the same place we had beer (a Rick Steves recommendation).  This time we were in the very cool main dining room.

There had been a last minute included dinner with the tour, but we wanted to be able to see more of the city on our own, so we skipped it.  

I had sauerbraten with potato dumplings and homemade apple sauce. 

 We also tried shots of schnapps.  

We had a long walk ahead of us back to the hotel, but first...

We waited around the church so we could get some nighttime photos!

We also saw some street art being drawn while we were waiting:

Our tourmates later told us that they had chicken for dinner--which was the first chicken meal of a few chicken meals, so, in hindsight, we were sure we made the right choice to skip an included meal and instead go exploring.

1 comment:

  1. This post was a rollercoaster of emotions, LOL. I feel like I'm going to have a bajillion random thoughts.

    • Our first stau. Of so very, very many. :(. I still remember using the GPS on my phone to track our progress as the bus inched along, and seeing our chances of catching the boat slip away. And also Mario's growing agitation, because we were sitting near the front of the bus, haha.
    • Very scenic photo of the Globus bus to add to your collection.
    • The little town where we actually caught the boat (Bacharach, I think?) was super cute though. Very quaint. It would have been fun to wander around and explore.
    • Ah yes, the group outing to try the kolsch. I also was not a fan. I feel like the snacks were really good though (although I can't remember what they were...).
    • Sorry that I always make you go to weird modern art museums, LOL. *facepalm emoji*
    • "Ah, culture." LOLOL.
    • I'm still impressed that your camera could get the entire front of the Dom in frame.
    • That stupid viewpoint, haha. What a complete waste of time. I realize that that particular "adventure" was 100% my idea, and it was super far away and so I whined the entire time walking over, and then the views totally sucked and it was a million degrees and filthy up there (with gross toilets), and so I whined the entire time trudging back. It is moments like these when I wonder why you travel with me at all, hahaha. Your photo is nice, though! None of mine were really salvageable.
    • I think tonight's dinner was my first sausage + sauerkraut meal. So good. I miss German food.
    • I completely forgot about the Schnapps shots, and I still don't really remember them. But you have photo evidence and so it clearly happened. :-P.
    • LOL at our disappointment at the underwhelming nighttime illumination of the Dom. We waited around all that time for it to get dark, and then were like..."That's it?"
    • SO much bemoaning of chicken during this trip. But they really should have had more authentic German dishes at the hotels.

    Tomorrow is the worst vacation day we've ever had, can't wait to read all about it!!


Thank you so much for your comment! I hope you have a wonderful day :)