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  • Day114

    St. Ursula

    May 7 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Nach einem sehr gelungenen, aber hier nicht visuell dokumentierten, Konzertabend (O Yuki Conjugate und Drew McDowall) sind das hier die besten bzw. touristischsten Bilder eines schönen Wochenendes in Köln.

    Die Knochen auf den Bildern stammen von "elftausend Jungfrauen".
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    Marie-Luise FLACH

    sehr beeindruckend

    Sandra S

    Eine echte Attraktion. Eines der größten Beinhäuser südlich der Alpen oder so. Hier schleppen wir alle Gäste hin.

    Michael F


    Sandra S

    you're welcome!

    2 more comments
  • Day76

    K Ö L N

    July 25 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 26 °C

    A peine je sors de la gare que j'en prend plein la vue avec la cathédrale supeeeerrrrr imposante ! Mais c'est tout pour le coup, je trouve pas spécialement de charme à cette ville même si elle est sympa a visiter
    La première chose que je m'empresse de faire c'est trouver un biergarten en revanche car je peux pas quitter l'Allemagne sans ça naturellement ~
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    Roselide TOMASI

    Ach, déjà zum Khöeln, tu globtrotte very scnell mein libchen

    Yves Silberberg

    Tu as visité la cathédrale ? Elle est très jolie vue de l'extérieur...

    Noémie Silberberg

    ah non j'ai pas eu cette occasion

  • Day50

    Fünf Fotos- Köln Day 2

    June 2 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    After a great night's sleep, we walked to Rico, an outdoor café in the neighborhood for breakfast. It was fun to watch the city coming to life, although this neighborhood is pretty sedate overall.

    We decided to check out Köln's Botanical Gardens as the day was sunny and cool. The grounds were really beautiful, and we enjoyed seeing the different plants, those familiar and unfamiliar.

    Since the launch of our trip, we have sent photos and videos back to our granddaughter, Olive, of one of her favorite storybook characters, Pete the Cat. Jim C found the book at the local library about a year or so ago. In the first book that we read to her, Pete is wearing his brand new white shoes and through a series of mishaps, he stains them as he steps in the different obstacles (🫐, 🍓, mud and water). Regardless, Pete remains undaunted and sings a ditty that embraces his altered footwear. The story ends with a great moral: "No matter what you step in, just keep walking and singing your song."

    We created a bit of an amused stir of those observing us place Pete strategically on a statue in the garden. It was fun to attempt to explain what we were doing to a German audience.

    I have a purpose to my lengthy birdwalk (catwalk?): Olive is 3 years old today. It is bittersweet being thousand of miles away, but we have been making weekly Zoom calls to stay connected in addition to our "Pete" texts. We love watching Olive grow. We cherish the opportunity to be Opa & Papi. Olive has lived most of her young life amidst the pandemic, and yet she is one of the most joyous souls. And as we celebrate Olive, we also celebrate our bonus grandson James who Olive adores.

    So today, rather than just getting lost in our latest attraction, we took time to celebrate our family and the life waiting back home for us in Portland.

    Our life is muy Rica es the café reminded us today. Guten Tag!
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  • Day75

    Cologne Cathedral

    July 9 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 73 °F

    This is the big sight to see in Cologne. Christians have been worshipping here since Roman times.

    It's the tallest Gothic cathedral with two towers (Cologne loves its records). It was started in 1248 and took 631 years to complete.

    It survived Napoleon because he used it to stable his horses, and it survived the extensive bombing of Cologne in WWII because it was used as a marker for the pilots.

    Its biggest claim to fame is that it purports to house the relics of the Three Wise Men.

    The slender, soaring columns reminded us a little of the Sagrada Familia.
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    Pamela D.

    very interesting and spectacularly beautiful

    Pamela D.


    Pamela D.


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  • Day51

    Fünf Fotos-Köln Day 3

    June 3 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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  • Day49

    Fünf Fotos-Köln Day 1

    June 1 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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    Richard Isaac

    Thanks for the info about the Judensau, antisemitism, etc. Interesting, hadn't known that was there.

    Jim Fotter

    Yes, it was a disturbing thing to learn. We were translating the panels that were on display.

  • Day75

    Walking Tour of Cologne

    July 9 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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    Pamela D.

    touching memorial

    Pamela D.


    Pamela D.


    4 more comments
  • Day26

    Cologne Germany

    July 13 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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    Myra Fisher


    Myra Fisher

    Wow, they could use a cleaning. Our first time in France and in Paris in 1985, they were cleaning the exterior of Notre Dame. We were back in 1989 and the job looked completed.

    Myra Fisher

    Too many items to focus on so I will just write that Chris is holding up on the journey. You have both seen many sights on this cruise. That's what make river boat trips so special.

    9 more comments
  • Day3

    Kölner Dom

    October 25, 2021 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 7 °C

    Nach der Fahrt von Duisburg nach Köln haben wir als erstes gleich die bekannteste Sehenswürdigkeit besucht. Den Kölner Dom. Mit seinen 157m hohen Türmen ist er das dominanteste Bauwerk der Stadt. Der Bau dauerte über 600 Jahre. Noch heute ist der Dom ein ewiges Bauwerk, selten sieht man ihn ohne Baugerüst. Mit seiner Grösse hat er uns jedenfalls imponiert.Read more

  • Day3


    October 25, 2021 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

    Nach dem Dom sind wir über die bekannsteste Brücke 🌉 von Köln. Diese Eisenbahn-Brücke 🚅 führt zum Hauptbahnhof in Köln. Für die Fußgänger 🚶🚶‍♀️ führt eime Spur neben der Brücke entlang. Diese ist vor allem durch die Liebesschlösser bekannt. Hier hängen die verliebten Paare 👩‍❤️‍💋‍👨 ihre Schösser 🔒 hin. So soll ihre Liebe für immer halten. ❤️ Nach der Brücke haben wir unser erstes Kölsch probiert. 🍺Read more

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