Friday, January 1, 2016


We arrived at Cologne overnight so we could take a nice walking tour of this largest city in the Rhine area. Cologne had another magnificent cathedral and even with a population of 10 million and major destruction by bombing during World War II, it still has an interesting town center.

First settled by the Romans, the city has a great Roman museum. One street corner has a section of the underground water line that was pulled out of the ground for display. One can also take a tour of what remains of the water system.
Gargoyles are always intersting

Saturn Company paid for this window.

The cathedral is another great example of the Gothic style. It also has a lot of stained glass in its windows some of which are quite modern. The modern donors follow the tradition of including a part of the window honoring themselves. 

Cologne’s residents used to have a reputation for being lazy workers. They even have a story about their work being done by elves while they slept at night. Unfortunately, one curious woman decided she needed to actually see the elves so she snuck out one night with a lamp. She did see the elves and they left the city. The city likes the story so much that they built a monument to the woman.

Cologne is also the home of Kolsch beer. More than a score of brewhouses are wonderful brewpubs which sell only their own brew. We did a short pub crawl in the evening to enjoy some of their brews. It was fun to see some of the places where the locals hang out. Our tour guide said he uses the tours to have another excuse to go out and drink beer. I’m not at all sure he needs the excuse, but it makes a good story. 

One of the brewhouses we visited
A combination of curling and bocce ball
This Christmas market has artisans showing how they work. They were selling monogrammed horseshoes.

This hop-on/hop-off trains travels between the different market locations
Civil weddings are required in Germany. They happen every 15-20 minutes at the city hall.

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