Monday, October 13, 2008

Day Ten - Cologne

(If you missed the post from yesterday – Sunday – when we left Amsterdam, look below as I have had to post 2 days at once).

We set the alarm for 8:15 this morning. Even though we have adjusted to the time, this still seemed rather early. We opened curtains to find the German countryside passing by. The river is fairly narrow at this part and the water is down. They have an early risers breakfast, a normal buffet breakfast, and then a late continental breakfast. At the rate we were moving this morning I was afraid we might miss a meal, so I went down to the buffet and made up two plates for us. They have these trays that one can you to take your food up to the sun deck, so I used one to take it back to our room. Breakfast was very good. While mom showered and got ready I went down to the fitness room and did 20 minutes of cardio. It was great, but I did get a little over heated. I had to run back to get ready as there was the 10:30 briefing on the entire rest of the trip. We’ve had 2 casualties this morning – mom’s watch battery has died and when I plugged in my flat iron via the converter there was a load pop and electrical smell. Not good. I then started to worry because I had plugged in my computer last night to charge and was afraid it might have seen the same fate. Fortunately everything is okay. Mom said she didn’t think she could handle me if something had happened to my laptop – probably very true. We had the trip briefing which was very informative. I have to say you are never at a loss for information, and there is often narration along the way. We have signed up for the option trip to Heidelberg, which is a few days away. Tomorrow is Marksburg castle, but I don’t think we’ll do that as there are over 300 stairs and uneven terrain. We met a couple from the UK after the meeting and sat and chatted a while. Then it was time to eat, again. Today’s lunch was German meatloaf, leek mashed potatoes, and lemon chicken. The food was excellent. It is nice to have a buffet style lunch where you can pick and choose a little of everything. We are now seated up on the sun deck enjoying sunny weather in the 60s. Supposedly it should be up around 70 today – hard to believe for this area, this time of year. We will arrive in Cologne around 15:00 and depart for a walking tour. I will hopefully have internet and can post.

I am now sitting in an internet café in Cologne. I am so excited to be in the internet. As I am typing I am instant messaging with Hunter, downloading today’s pictures and video, and posting from yesterday! Talk about multi-tasking! However, I need to do it while I can.

We have just had the most wonderful 2 hour tour of Cologne and the cathedral here. It is absolutely stunning. Mom decided to stay on the boat since it was a pretty decent walk. After being on the tour I realized that she probably could have handled it with ease. I have taken a lot of video so she can experience it that way. The town is very interesting, but mostly new. The majority of it was destroyed in WWII. The cathedral was saved since it was used as a marker for the planes doing the bombing. It’s hard to describe I truly awe inspiring it is. It is also where the 3 Magi are buried, or so they say. There is a gold coffin in the front with their bones. There is stained glass, painted glass, and some very modern hand blown glass. I will let the photos speak for themself.

I will be heading back to the boat shortly, possibly by KPM (the Wedgwood of Germany) to see what kind of trouble I can get into. Watch out Hunter! Supposedly the thing to do here is have a Kölsh beer here, so I may have to drag mom back out to one of the restaurants on shore to have a beer before we leave. We don't set sail until 1:00 am, so I think we could make it!


David and Lisa Fowler said...

What a great time we have had reading and seeing the pictures and videos.

It is so wonderful seeing the smile on your faces.

Love you both,

Lisa and Dave

gillberk said...

Cologne lies on the River Rhine.Cologne is a major cultural center of the Rhineland and has a vibrant arts scene. Cologne is home to more than 30 museums and hundreds of galleries. Exhibitions range from local ancient Roman archeological sites to contemporary graphics and sculpture. The city's Trade Fair Grounds are host to a number of trade shows such as the Art Cologne Fair, the International Furniture Fair (IMM) and the Photokina.