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    • Day 51

      Fünf Fotos-Köln Day 3

      June 3, 2022 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 22 °C

      We had another unscheduled day which we are really loving. We decided to take a walk in the neighborhoods after breakfast at a nearby café.

      I suggested that we visit a museum that I had read about:NS-Dokumentationszentrum der Stadt Köln (The Nazi Socialism Documentation Center).

      Before we reached the museum, we saw a strange site, a Golden Winged Ford Fiesta on top of a city museum. We learned that it was a quirky art installation. After passing the winged vehicle, we arrived at the EL-DE Hause.

      The EL-DE house at Appellhofplatz 23-25 ​​was the headquarters of the Cologne Gestapo from 1935 to 1945. The house is named after Leopold Dahmen (LD) the original owner.

      His name became synonymous with the Nazi reign of terror in Cologne, and later dealing with the Nazi history of the city after 1945.

      The experience was quite heart wrenching to see the prison cells and interrogation rooms and to know that many brought here had no idea why they were being held and interrogated. Many of the original Jewish captives' writings on the walls of the cells remain intact.

      Hearing stories are always powerful, and this was certainly no exception. We followed the story of a young French woman who gave birth to her child while in prison, and the child was given to nuns to raise. It wasn't until many years later that the mother and daughter were reunited..

      There were stories of those who survived and who visited these cells decades later. I just can't imagine going back to a place where so much trauma occurred.

      The prison tour ends in the courtyard where hundreds of Jews and other suspected political dissidents were executed. An art installation was added to enhance the impact of the courtyard, it is filed with mirrors. Everywhere you look, you see yourself. It was a powerful and startling portrayal.

      The museum also housed a series of photographs taken by a youth who captured much of life in Cologne prior to the war and the emergence of life under Nazi Socialism. The boy was involved in the Hitler Youth movement. It was a broad portrayal of every day life and a society that became oblivious to the growing atrocities under this dictatorship.

      We left the museum and wandered past a Romanesque style church which has a considerably different style than the Gothic architecture of the Cathedral.

      After a test this afternoon, we enjoyed dinner at a nearby Vietnamese restaurant. We sat next to a young couple who had recently telecommuted in the LA area for four months to escape Cologne's cold wet winter. The raved about California, and we were remarking about all the wonderful aspects of Cologne. We both mused that we sometimes fail to acknowledge the treasures in our own back yards. It was a fun conversation to end the evening.

      We have loved Cologne, and we look forward to our next journey to Amsterdam tomorrow.
      Guten Nacht!
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    • Day 49

      Fünf Fotos-Köln Day 1

      June 1, 2022 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

      After a farewell breakfast we disembarked from the M.S. Geoffrey Chaucer. We really loved cruising on the Rhine and we saw many wonderful sights. It was nice being taken care of by the staff, and we appreciated the flexibility to do what we wanted on the excursions.

      This cruise reinforced for us what we've previously thought. When it comes to travel, we're generally not fond of being part of the herd. The cruise served as a nice transition point, but we have generally preferred our own scheduling and independence.

      We headed into Cologne by metro, and we decided to store our backpacks and go back to the Köln Cathedral. The Cathedral really does reach high into the sky. In the 1880's it was the tallest building in the world.

      One of the sections that closed before we could enter last evening purportedly holds the relics (remains) of the Three Kings (Wise Men). Admittedly, I'm a bit of a skeptic about such things; however, the artwork and the triple gold sarcophagus were beautiful.

      We did find some of the interplay of sculptures and other artforms to be a bit bizarre. Some appeared a bit whimsical and out of place given the somber setting. For example, there was a figure that we assumed to be a Bishop kicking back in apparent leisure underneath a painting of the crucifixion.

      In one of the side areas we saw panels describing the German churches actively contributing to antisemitism in their words and art. Despite that revelation, those images have not been removed and are seen as part of history. We were reminded of parallel debate of whether the Confederate flag or statues portraying Confederate officers should exist. And the argument here also seems about eliminating heritage without due regard to ceasing to elevate oppressors or images that have perpetuated destructive narratives. When I was talking with Jim C about it he observed "It's not acceptable to hold up as a legacy those who were on the wrong side of moral judgment. In history, we will not forget Robert E. Lee. He should not be celebrated."

      We learned that disturbing antisemitic woodwork carvings still remain in the choir benches in the Cathedral. Here's a further reference:…

      We left the church and took a stroll into the Heurmarkt (Haymarket) for a bite to eat. It was fun to watch a newly married bride and groom having their wedding reception at a nearby outdoor restaurant.

      After lunch, we made our way to the penthouse flat where we are staying. The place has spectacular views, and we learned that the flat owner also owns German restaurants a few miles away.

      We both took a long nap, and then we decided to go out for dinner. We were both feeling a little homesick for food back home so we chose an Indian Restaurant. That choice might seem odd, but it reminded us of going to an Indian restaurant that we frequently visit in Portland.

      We ended the night with a trip to one of the gay neighborhoods in Cologne to go for a drink. We haven't been in this kind of space since our time in Madrid, and it was nice to be able to go out and relax without feeling an obligation to self-censor.

      It's been another good day, and we look forward to exploring Köln over the next few days
      Guten Nacht!
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    • Day 75

      Walking Tour of Cologne

      July 9, 2022 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 75 °F

      This was a fun tour. Our guide was very sarcastic, which went over well with the girls. Éowyn spent a lot of time collecting sticks.

      91% of Cologne was bombed by the Allies in WWII due to its proximity to the Rhine.

      Make sure to watch the video with the NASA monument.

      We learned that the tram line that runs under the cathedral has to slow down at that section, because at faster speeds it was creating vibrations that caused the towers to sway up to 6 meters.
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    • Day 26

      Cologne Germany

      July 13, 2022 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

      Tour of the city. The main attraction is the Catholic Church which is third tallest in the world called Dom. We even had a special visit from the Pope! In front of the church a young artist painting flags of the world & promoting peace (love it)
      Tonight the Crew is putting on a show for us will send more pictures later
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    • Day 2

      Allez, en route vers Berlin Zool. Garten

      April 7 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 20 °C

      À la deuxième tentative d’embarquement de train bondé on a pu doubler tout le monde avec une stratégie implacable malgré la tentative du train de s’arrêter plus loin que le marquage prévu sur le quai. Tout le monde est content, surtout Noam! En plus on est à côté du bar 😇Read more

    • Day 20

      And the travel goes on...

      June 29, 2023 in Germany ⋅ 🌧 20 °C

      Leaving Wiefelstede and Oldenburg to Bruchmühlen, meeting Sarah's parents, enjoying a nice afternoon in the garden (and meeting the friendly cat Fluffy) farewelling Simon and taking the train to Cologne to see Astrid, Andreas' mumRead more

    • Day 19

      Back to Amsterdam

      September 1, 2023 in Germany ⋅ 🌧 17 °C

      And as the summer season ends, our trip in Germany does too! ☹️ Todays the first day of autumn as we make our way back to our new home in Amsterdam. We enjoyed a delicious slice of Baumkuchen and did some final shopping in the city. Thankfully we had only a small delay with our train but we were still able to make it to our bus on time! We arrived back at 10:00pm here to rainy weather 🌧️

      We couldn’t be more thankful to everyone who let us stay with them during our time in Germany and for providing us with the best food, fun and activities. I have learnt so much about the culture, country and most importantly, met all the lovely people in Joshes family. So a BIG thank you to all of you for welcoming us here ❤️❤️
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    • Day 18

      23,000 steps

      August 31, 2023 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

      Today we did a lot of walking! We walked from Oma Astrid’s along the Rhine River, stopping for an Eiskaffee at the Lindt Chocolate Museum. Then we walked through the Altstadt which was very cool. I saw lots of interesting Blackletter/Gothic script on the buildings which was inspiring. We went to the best spot for Mettbrötchen, which I thought was very tasty!! After more walking we explored a few old churches and did some sightseeing before deciding to get some spaghetti eis 🍧 Josh and I did a bit of shopping and ended up getting a puffer jacket each which will be great for the upcoming winter months in Amsterdam…☁️Read more

    • Day 6

      One Last Time along the Rhine

      September 6, 2022 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

      Moinmoin, die letzte Etappe steht an. Nach einem ausgiebigen Frühstück haben wir unsere letzten 93km in Angriff genommen. Ohne Wolken und teilweise Rückenwind - auch am 6. Tag spielte das Wetter mit! Wir überquerten den Rhein zweimal mit der Fähre. Nach knapp 4.5 Stunden konnten wir dann einen ersten Blick der Kölner Skyline erhaschen und sind dann wenig später im Hotel (direkt beim Dom) angekommen. Nach einem wohlverdienten Abendessen haben wir und schon bald bettbereit gemacht.
      Fazit: Nach 518.2km ohne Panne, zwei kleinen Stürzen und viel Spass sind wir erfolgreich am Ziel angekommen. Nun geniessen wir Köln und genehmigen uns (wohl eher nur ich (Michele)) ein Kölsch. Tschö!
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    • Day 11


      May 25, 2023 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

      Donnserstag 25.5. Köln, Ruhetag. Gediegenes Frühstück in Konfiserie “Eigel”, just delicious !!!
      Über die Deutzerbrücke dann hoch auf den Ausichtsturm “Triangle” mît grandioser Rundsicht über ganz Köln. Dem Rhein entlang über die Zoobrücke ins „Weinmuseum“, sehr lehrreich, als Belohnung zum Begehen des Rebberges auf dem Dach ein Glas „Grauburgunder“, sehr fruchtig und erfrischend. Dem Rhein hoch zum „Kölner Dom“. Bauzeit von 1248-1559,
      = 300 Jahre, dannPause ! Erst 330 Jahre später, ab 1842 wurde das Werk mit den ursprünglichen Plänen zur Vollendung gebracht. Bauzinsen ???. Ein grandioses Prachtstück hochgotischer Architektur und Sinnbild der nationalen Einheit der Deutschen. Vorbild war die Kathedrale von Reims. Etwas Ruhe im Zimmer und zum Abendessen deutscher weisser SPARGEL, mhhhh
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Köln, Koeln, Cologne, Keulen, ኮልን, Colonia, كولونيا, Горад Кёльн, Кьолн, Colònia, Кёльн, Kolín nad Rýnem, Cwlen, Κολωνία, Kolonjo, Kolonia, کلن, Koloin, קלן, कोलोन, Քյոլն, ケルン, კელნი, ಕಲೋನ್, 쾰른, Kölle, Colonia Agrippina, Kelnas, Ķelne, Келн, क्योल्न, Кӧльн, ကိုလုံးမြို့, Colonha, ਕਲਨ, کلون, Colônia, Culonia, Kiolns, Kolín nad Rýnom, Këlni, கோல்ன், కొలోన్, โคโลญ, Көлн, Kolon, Кельн, کولون, Kyoln, Cołogna, 科隆, קעלן, 古龍

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