Wake-up call was at 8:30 and inspite of the late hour we were not ready to get up. FOMO had us on our feet, however, and prepping for a walking tour of Cologne, the fourth largest city in Germany and the most flood-prone in Europe. The centerpiece of the city is its magnificent 14th century cathedral which was under construction for an astonishing 632 years! We were allowed a quick peek inside with just enough time to light a candle for Aunt Jerry, because services were being conducted on this very special morning.
Our tour guide, like all the others, was good and pointed out interesting things and told us fun stories. He showed us small brass plaques embedded in the walkways in front of homes where Jews lived before they were forced out…never to return. Each plaque has a name on it. The remains of a Roman sewer system were interesting as were the little naked bottoms mooning pedestrians from their places below statues high on the walls of city hall. Some date back to the 1400s. We passed a large memorial dedicated to elves. For real. You know, the ones that do our chores while we nap and stream Netflix.
Back to the ship for a light lunch and a gift exchange with Walter and Cleone. After we’d eaten and opened our gifts, Walter shared a little tribute he had written to Cleone in honor of their anniversary later this week and gave her a Kissing Chocolate. Cue smiles, oohs, and aahs.
Our afternoon was pretty open. Dan relaxed. I worked on the blog, attended a lively lecture on Germany, and took a walk along the river in the direction of the chocolate museum. I got back just in time to shower, change, and don my Santa hat for Christmas dinner.
Tonight’s entertainment was by far our favorite. A pianist accompanying a fantastic violinist had us spellbound. The concert was over just in time to bundle up and go outside to see the cathedral lit up as we passed under the bridge and continued our journey north. A perfect way to end Christmas Day.
… For the Record …
Cologne’s airport has the only runway in Germany that is also
an emergency landing site for NASA shuttles.
The first bottle of eau de Cologne was created here in 1709
by a young, newly immigrated Italian. I kid you not.
Sunrise: 8:34 a.m. / Sunset: 4:29 p.m.
The locks along the Rhine are free and open 24/7.
On this day in 1776 General George Washington crossed the Delaware River and surprised the Hessians (German troops hired by the British).
2 thoughts on “Cologne, Germany (Christmas 2019)”
What a Christmas to remember! I so enjoy all the For the Record tidbits! 😊
I loved the pictures you posted from this day. Great fact about the flooding
Matt Mongeon, PMP, Technical Project Manager II
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