Tuesday 6th September
Another short hop south along the Rhine and we’re in Cologne. It’s a dedicated stellplatzen with water, waste and rubbish priced at €10 per night. Immediately in front of us is a very busy cycle track which took us all the way into Cologne.
And we have a grand stand view of the Rhine and can watch the ships passing us by.
It was less than a 20 minute bike ride along the flat and then we’re looking at the cathedral. It took 650 years to build and was only finished in 1880.
Gross St Martin
We think that this is Snow White and the Six Dwarves (we counted, there were only six dwarves, Sleepy overslept and missed the modelling) but there were no signs and “someone” left the English version of the city map that she found at the Stellplatz behind. (It’s the Heinzelmannchen Fountain.)
After walking round the shopping centre which was pretty impressive, lots and lots of shops we decided to go into the cathedral. We’ve been in a few cathedrals and first impressions weren’t great but on closer inspection it got better and better. The Stations of the Cross were the best we’ve ever seen.
The mosaic floors were beautiful. There were also mosaics on the walls.
This screen is very important and has a fascinating history but as usual I can’t find out any information about it when I need it. I think it was taken by the Nazis and hidden in a tunnel and then George Clooney and Matt Damon rescued it from under their noses. The Cathedral is Germany’s most visited land mark with over 20,000 visitors everyday.
Next to the Cathedral is Hohenzollernbrucke (Hohenzollern bridge to you and me) where lovers place a padlock on the railings and throw the key in the river.
There were quite a few padlocks.
Look closer and you’ll see that they stretch all the way across the Rhine. I couldn’t see any ball and chains though.
I’m typing this Tuesday evening at about 9pm. We haven’t got a clue about what we are doing tomorrow although another night might be on the cards with another bike ride into the city. This time we’ll take the map and have a rough idea of what we’re looking at, unfortunately, for the Germans, the RAF visited Cologne a number of times and Cologne suffered the effects of the very first “1,000 bomber” raids which resulted in the destruction of 95% of the city. The twin towers of the cathedral survived, they were perfect visual positioning aids.
There is a free city wide wifi network so may well use that to send this and yesterday’s blogs off so you don’t start missing us. On Thursday our “Feel at Home” package is activated for Germany so it might be easier for us to send blogs off in a more timely manner.