Köln- a.k.a Cologne

Trip Start May 06, 2009
Trip End Jun 30, 2009

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Flag of Germany  , North Rhine-Westphalia,
Sunday, May 10, 2009

     When we last parted, it was our last night in Frankfurt. Saturday morning we got up and took a 35 minute train ride to Mainz. It cruised down the Rhine Valley to Koblenz. Aboard the ferry, we had wieners that were served with one piece of rye bread for two wieners-weird! The landscape was beautiful, and we saw over twenty old castles and beautiful half-timbered houses clustered along the river. The Rhine is amazing and full of vineyards, castles, and small towns. Half way through the cruise, about 200 Japanese people boarded- featuring SARS masks (swine flu scare has kicked in)! The boat was 5.5 hours and let us off in Koblenz, where we took a bus to Köln (but not before Juliana enjoyed her long-awaited apple, and I of course killed a cheeseburger).
     When we got to Köln, we emerged from the train station and saw the jaw-dropping cathedral looming upon us. Köln is home to Germany's greatest Gothic cathedral and its best collection of Roman artifacts. Even though WWII bombs destroyed 95 percent of Köln, it has become a bustling commercial and cultural center, still keeping its traditions in tact. We bought our museum passes and took a bus to our hotel. Hotel Lyskirchen is a 4-star beauty by the river. It has a see-through glass shower, HD t.v., a pool and sauna, and "Haribo" gummi bears are left on the pillow each morning. While taking a relaxing swim, we were approached by a couple from Phoenix. Pam and Jeff thought it was important to tell us their life stories, while we stood (freezing) in the pool--they stood above us, like impending danger. They wasted 40 minutes of our time and then finally left.
     For dinner, we went to a place we had spotted on our way to the hotel. It caught our eyes because it was full of drunken Germans, who appeared to be having a great time. It was packed. Inside, was a traditional German beer hall, with long bench tables and draft beer flowing like we've never seen before. The local beer is called Mühlen Kolsch (Köln's locally brewed beer) and we had quite a few! We were sat with a German couple that were just finishing. When they left, two other travellers sat: one from Glasgow, and the other from Liverpool (not a fan of the team though). They had already been to Brussels and Luxembourg earlier that day, and were on a mission to get drunk. We had giant Bockwurst sausage, with fries and sauerkraut- it was amazing. As we had a smoke outside, it was amazing to see that everyone who left were laughing and having a great time. Germans work hard, but party even harder. We went back to the room and got a good night sleep- we are finally on a regular sleeping schedule!
     Sunday morning. Got a coffee and a chocolate, almond-covered pretzel, and made reservations for our train to Berlin. Next up may surprise you-12:00pm mass with the Bishop- that's right, I said it! After mass, we had Arabic food and went ot the Ludwig Art Museum. It had many Picasso pieces, as well as Salvador Dali. We also visited the Romanic-German Museum, which had a fascinating display of Roman artifacts. We then returned to the cathedral to see the treasury, which are housed in the cathedral's 13th century stone cellar vaults, and then bravely climbed all 509 steps of the spire. The view of the city from up top is spectacular. We just got back to the hotel, and now finally have a chance to post this blog at the internet cafe. Sorry, but pictures will have to follow tomorrow. Off tomorrow to tear down the wall, and reunite Germany. Berlin, here we come!
Love, Paul and Jules
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johnnyq29 on

Glad to hear you guys are doing well. As you're well aware I'll be chiming in quite frequently due to the ease of access I have to a computer and the extraordinary amount of free time I have on my hands.

Loved the pics you guys posted. The buzz here is crazy surrounding the possibility of Hamilton getting the Coyotes, due to the fact it's in the hands of a Bankruptcy court in the U.S the odds are in our favour to land them, but obviously our slant nosed Commish is going to do his damndest to derail this process, but finally he is in a place of no control, bankruptcy has been declared and it's almost out of the NHL's control but surely he has some tricks up his sleeve as well.

Happy trails you two and if things work out ideally maybe we'll be celebrating Hamilton's NHL team in Madrid.


Linda on

I see Paul is standing in front of my reserved space: Saint Linda. Sounds about right, don't you think?

Wonderful pictures.

Linda on

Forgive me. I accidentally found my way to your blog. Thought I was on a friend's site and so have posted a comment which will have little meaning to strangers. If I knew how to remove my post I would. Sorry.

Still really like your pictures.

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