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    • Day 1

      Day 1

      May 31 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

      We boarded the boat at 12.30, had a lovely lunch and then settled into our cabin. We explored the boat, walked the top deck, found the Gym and the Wellness centre went to lounge and had a couple of drinks and met a lovely Canadian couple Steve & Jen. We had an amazing dinner at 6.30 , I tried the pickled Herring and loved. More wine, met another couple over dinner from England Julie & John.Read more

    • Day 4

      Cologne Walking Tour

      May 25 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

      Romanesque from year 1000. First church to
      Metal anchors support the building. 30,000 Ford workers in Cologne. Cologne is a daughter of Rome. Colony of Rome. Roman city was recycled. One if the oldest cities in Germany. French Gothic style. Late Gothic. Old Roman wall. Romans had concrete. Rediscovered concrete in late 19th century. Cleaning not really possible. 8 kinds of stone. 520 steps to top. The sculpture is a one to one copy of the top. Started in 1250. Golden shrineif the bones of 3 magi. Around year 800 crucifix changed to suffering cross. In medieval times was very colorful. After a hundred years they painted them away. Church #5 in this spot. Oldest 300 AD. We stole 3 magi. Pilgrims financed it. Reformation stopped the pilgrims. Stopped building.1824 they finally started again with German unification as a result of defeat from Napoleon. Gothic means barbaric German tribe. Gothic style prevalent across the country. Then finished it in 1840 to 1880.The original architect had made drawings they kept and finished that way.Build replicas of statues. Clean stones are new replacement stones. War destroyed much of the city and. Prior to that Victorian style. Cathedral was preserved. Air Force had order not to destroy cathedral. Used Church towers as a point of reference for daylight attack industrial stuff. Wanted modern architecture. Collective desired amnesia. Biggest cities are ugly in Germany. East Germany preserved more of the old architecture.

      Each Brauhaus serves their own Cologne beer. Oktoberfest is only Bavaria. Cologne does Mardi Gras. Cologne glasses are small to keep it fresh. Empty glass in front of you is an order for more beer. Put coaster over glass to stop more beer from coming.

      Perfume based on alcohol invented here. Eu de Cologne. 300 years. Farina same scent.

      Old market square from 1050. Fountain late 19 th century.

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    • Day 2

      Day 2

      June 1 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

      We got up early and had breakfast, so we were ready to board the coach for a day tour of Alkmaar. We visited Windmills and got to see how you would have lived in a working Windmill. It was so cold and windy, at least that ensured the Windmill was working.Then visited a beautiful little town, we had a guided tour and then wandered around for little while, bought a coffee and in the Cafe was the most expensive bottle of Balsamic vinegar I have ever seen. We got back on the coach and headed back the boat. I had nap and Jen went the lounge to listen to a String Quartet.Read more

    • Day 3


      September 2, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

      Taking a bus from drop point to the cathedral in Cologne. Toured the cathedral and saw the remains of Roman walls and streets. Back on board for lunch then toured the chocolat museum. Took the chocolate train back to the town center. Shopped a little then took the shuttle back to the ship.Read more

    • Day 37


      November 1, 2015 in Germany ⋅ 🌙 11 °C

      Zons is a small, walled medieval town on the west bank of the Rhein, just 10 or so miles south of Düsseldorf. It's seen a lot in its 600 year history, from French occupations to plagues. The thirty years war left enduring, physical marks on the walls and buildings of the town which are still visible today. All in all, it was a strange autumnal day in Germany, where the sun sat low and cast a lazy haze over much of Zons. Blue skied and chilly, it was the perfect place to spend a slow Sunday morning.Read more

    • Day 7

      Schloss Benrath

      June 10, 2015 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

      I went on a daytrip to Holland today. It was for work. And then later in the evening I visited Schloss Benrath. I really can’t complain.

      Schloss Benrath was built in the late 1700’s and sits on the bank of the Rhein a couple of miles south of Düsseldorf. It takes roughly about a year and half to get there on an apocalypse tram. Or, to be more precise, about 25 minutes. But that is a lot of time when you’re in a race against the setting sun.

      I got to Benrath at about 9m, so only had about an hour and a half to play with before darkness set in. I didn’t get a chance to see much of Benrtah, the town itself, or the enormous palace gardens, but both seemed really nice. Tonight, I was here just to see the palace.

      Pink, Baroque, lovely. The palace sits, raised slightly, in front of a circular, tree lined pond. Geese and goslings, ducks and ducklings swam about the pond, which reflected the pinkness of the palace and the pale orange of the retiring sun. There are two wings on either side of the palace, which curve about the perimeter of the pond.

      To the back of the palace is another pond; a long one that seems to stretch on forever. Here nature has been tamed and controlled, in a very French, ordered way. A mini Versailles. The lawns were full of people, sitting watching the world go by or walking their dogs. (One person, would you believe it, was walking a bear. A barking bear! I jumped, ever so slightly, when I saw that beast.)

      There is an Englischer Garten too, full of roses and tulips and other flowers I couldn’t put a name to. An Englischer Garten with tulips. You see, Mum, there really is no excuse.

      Then there was an orangerie, an enormous orangerie. I’m partial to an orange myself, but these lots must have taken it to a whole different level. The orangerie was larger than the actual palace itself.

      Schloss Benrath seems to get overlooked. It isn’t on most people’s radars. Whilst my spinach ravioli was cooking (two days down, six to go), I was studying the new Düsseldorf street plan map that I’d just bought. I was trying to figure out the best way to the palace, when a housemate walked in and offered to help me. ‘I’ve been once,’ they said, ‘but that was over ten years ago, and I was there only by accident’. That was coming from someone who had lived in Düsseldorf all their life. So we worked out the best way to get there, and off we went.

      It is worth remembering, though, that this is the Rhein land. Palaces here are a plenty. So if Benrath should fail to get the attention it deserves, it’s because it’s a small fish in a big pond. If you head south there are palaces and castles scattered across the entire landscape. I remember travelling from Koblenz to Strasbourg, and for much of that journey the train followed the Rhein. On both the French and the German side, there were palaces and castles and fortresses almost every 200 meters are so. This patch of land has, over the years, been fiercely thought over. Although watching the geese paddle around the Schloßweiher, you would never have thought so.
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    • Day 37

      The Rhine at Zons

      November 1, 2015 in Germany ⋅ 🌙 11 °C

      The volume of traffic the Rhine carries is incredible. It's constant - the long, low barges slowly making their way down stream, or the large cargo ships travelling upstream with cargo destined for Rotterdam and the world beyond. All through the day and all through the night, the boats trail the winding river. one after another, one after another.Read more

    • Day 26

      More photos of Cologne

      July 13, 2022 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

      Photos from Chris from today
      Tomorrow Amsterdam
      We leave Friday at 5am for airport- fly out at 9:50 IF flight is on time!!!

    • Day 4

      Welcome Cologne Germany

      September 18 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 75 °F

      Cologne, Germany is a mix of old & new, it reveals its Roman heritage in its city's layout & the ancient ruins that lie scattered throughout the town.

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