Buck's Blog

The Stream-of-Consciousness Journal of a Wargamer

Cologne, German

The next morning, 24 November, we were docked on Cologne, Germany. From the Viking daily, “An intriguing mix of old and new, Cologne reveals its Roman heritage in its city layout and the ancient ruins that lie scattered through the town. Cologne’s modern plazas and Hohe Strasses, a pedestrian-only shopping zone, host welcoming shops, enticing restaurants, and of course, cologne boutiques. Of particular note is the city’s 14th century cathedral, a stunning example of Gothic artistry… Spared Allied bombs during World War II, the cathedral’s imposing twin spires are visible for miles; stained glass windows felt he interior with brilliant colored light. Its 509 steps lead to the 312-foot platform with astounding views.”

The cathedral.

Being Sunday, most of the shops were closed, but we did get some food in a bakery. Some of the stores catering to tourists were open, so we did a little shopping. We also found a cafe for a nice lunch.

One of the entrances to the cathedral.
The cathedral is an active Catholic Church.

Cologne is renowned for its wealth and boasts over 100 traditional brew pubs. While Bavaria is famous for the large mugs of beer, in Cologne small glasses are common. In Cologne they like their beer cold, so they serve it in small glasses so the beer doesn’t get warm. The waiters will keep bringing beer when your glass is empty unless you place a coaster over the glass.

The Christmas market wasn’t open yet for the year, but we saw a lot of the construction and preparations.
One of the many squares in Cologne that would be host to the Christmas market the next weekend after our visit.

From the Viking daily, “The history of Cologne’s signature beer is an interesting one. In 1603, the city passed a law stating that only to-fermented beers — that is, ales — were to be brewed within its limits. The reasons for this are unclear, thought many hypothesize that, without any means of refrigeration, the city’s climate was not able to accommodate lager brewing’s necessary fine-tuning of the beer’s fermentation temperature. Whatever the logic behind it, this law allowed few medieval styles of German ale — forerunners of today’s Koelsch to survive into modern times. The first instance of the word Koelsch used to describe the city’s trademark brew can be tracked to 1918.”

Another view of the Cologne cathedral from the side.

The term “cologne” originated in the city of Cologne, and we purchased some as a souvenir; although, we were told that the scent is considered old fashioned these days.

A mostly crew in Cologne.
We had a nice lunch in a restaurant near the cathedral before wandering back toward the boat.
Prost!
The stained glass window of our restaurant.
After lunch we walked through the old part of town looking at the preparations for the Christmas Market and looking at the various shops, restaurants, cafes, and brewpubs along the river.
Greg and Nicole in the tall building overlooking Cologne from the opposite side of the river from the cathedral.
Candy and her trophy husband.
A view of our boat from the tower.

After our walk, we returned to the boat for a little down time. While everyone else was being a slug, I put on my running gear and ran along this side of the river. The path ran along the river, and there were lots of German walking, running, and pushing strollers. I ran through a few parks. Later we had another great dinner about our boat as it began our journey for the night.

While we were walking around Cologne, the crew was busy decorating the boat for Christmas.
Cologne from about our boat just before leaving dock.
The four of us in the lounge that evening before dinner.


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