TUESDAY 12 JULY 2011
We sailed through the night and this morning we were able to have a bit of a sleep in. We arrived in Cologne late morning.
We passed quite a lot of industrial areas on the way.
The sight of the Cathedral and bridges is quite stunning.
After lunch we were met by local guides who took us on a walking tour of the old city. We were each given a head set, which linked into the guide’s set. They are brilliant, as we can all hear without having to get really close and them yell.
Like most of the main cities along the Rhine, it was founded by the Romans.
The old fish market square was our first taste of the old German architecture. Just lovely.
Of course, the Cathedral, or “Dom” is the most imposing building. 90% of Cologne’s old city was destroyed during WWII, but fortunately the Cathedral survived.
It dates back to the 13th Century and is considered one of the finest in Europe. The 510 foot high towers were only added in 1880.
The beautiful medieval stained glass windows were removed in WWII and put in safe keeping for the duration, so are now back where they should be.
There is a major archaeological dig taking place of the old Jewish Quarter of the city.
In our free time I explored the more modern section of the city.
Meanwhile, Mick climbed to the top of the Cathedral tower. It is 503 steps and, as the day was quite warm, he said it was quite hard.
After such an effort we had to try the local “Kolsch” beer at one of the local beer houses. It is light and refreshing and comes in 200ml glasses.
Then it was back on board for the daily six course dinner before being entertained by a Belgian string trio. What a treat. They were rather wonderful, after which we set sail overnight.