Discover travel destinations of travelers writing a travel journal on FindPenguins.
Add to bucket listRemove from bucket list
Travelers at this place
    • Day75

      Cologne Cathedral

      July 9, 2022 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.
      Read more


      very interesting and spectacularly beautiful





      6 more comments
    • Day51

      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!
      Read more

    • Day49

      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!
      Read more


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


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

    • Day75

      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.
      Read more


      touching memorial





      4 more comments
    • Day26

      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
      Read more




      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.


      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

      Abend in der Altstadt

      October 25, 2021 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 13 °C

      Köln die Mitte der Erde 🌏? Am Abend wollten wir noch die Altstadt und ihre Kulinarik erkunden. Den Turm von Gross St. Martin ist in der ganzen Altstadt sichtbar. Die Figuren Tünnes und Schäl sollen Glück 🍀 bringen. Esstechnisch haben wir und mit einer Currywust 🌭 und Rievkooche 🥔 mit Lachs 🐟 verköstigt. Richtig typisch kölsch. Zum Schluss haben wir die Brauereien der Altstadt ausprobiert. Reissdorf, zur Malzmühle, Peters und Pfaffen. Pfaffen war mein Favorit. 😋 Sion hatte leider geschlossen. Fun Fact: Im Hotel zur Malzmühle könnte man Zimmer mit eigenem Zapfhan buchen. 🤭Read more

    • Day6

      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!
      Read more

      Nicole Elmiger

      well done!


      Sieht ja grossartig aus, geniesst es weiterhin!

      Martin Harlacher

      Herzliche Gratulation - super Bilder! Erholt euch gut ...

    • Day33

      Day 33: Cologne, Germany🍺🍺⛪️🌙

      August 5, 2022 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

      We had a great night of sleep and decided to sleep in until about 9:00 AM as we were having a sort day of only 27 miles to Cologne. We had a nice breakfast on the back patio with Thomas. After breakfast Thomas gave us a picture show and stories about his 100-day bicycle trip from Berlin to Iran. What an amazing adventure he had! We got pedaling toward Cologne at 11:45 AM (our latest start of the trip.) The ride along the Rhine was chilly, damp, and very bumpy. We stopped for a picnic with the sandwiches we made at breakfast within 5 miles of Cologne, and also shared a sweet treat from a bakery. Cologne (1.1 million pop. Is the 4th largest city in 🇩🇪) was also crowded, especially around the Cathedral, Kölner Dom, which receives tens of thousands of visitors per day. The Cathedral is an amazing site, and I recommend you learn more about it. “The towers for its two huge spires give the cathedral the largest façade of any church in the world.” It is believed by many the remains of the three wise men are contained within the cathedral. After that Lisa and I took turns exploring the cathedral’s interior and then we navigated our way through the busyness to our Warmshower Lar’s and Sabine’s flat. They live in a car-free neighborhood which was very interesting to learn about, and experience the quietness of such a living space. No cars parked on the street, no traffic, only bicycles and walking. The evening was a beautiful walking tour with Sabine and Lars filled with talk of past adventures and future dreams of travel. We ended at a special local pub/restaurant called the Golden Cabbage. At the Golden Cabbage we had a true local experience of a Cologne Brauhus. We drank Kölsch style beer which technically can only be brewed in Cologne from the traditional .2-liter glasses which are brought to you automatically by the waitress once yours is less than 1/2 full, and as long as you don’t cover the top with your coaster. We experienced the lively atmosphere of men watch the first league soccer game on the tv, and cheers of excitement when their team scored, or almost scored, as we enjoyed local dishes of blackened pudding, and sauerbraten. One man who had been a patron of the pub for nearly 60 years practiced his English with us. He welcomed us to Cologne and wished us a wonderful trip. At the end of our adventure in the Golden Cabbage the waitress found out we had been cycling for nearly 5 weeks and we’re from America, so she gave us some gifts from the pub. The Kölsch experience was something we had never experienced in Germany, and will be a special memory forever. The evening ended with a nightcap on the terrace of Lar’s & Sabine’s flat as the time was approaching midnight. This like all days was another very special experience! 🍺🚴🏻‍♂️❤️🇩🇪Read more


      Hahaha I agree! F*ckin’ crazy!!!

    • Day7


      May 15, 2022 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

      Left Koblenz early morning and cruised up to Cologne arriving just after 12, the position is very central near the cathedral and the rail bridge, famous for all the padlocks attached to the railings along its, full length. A quick visit to the cathedral but as a service was in process only the entrance area was accessible for visitors. In the afternoon we found the Wallraf-Richartz Museum Gallery. The main exhibition was early church art from the churches in and around Cologne. The painters working in Cologne at that time are known, but none of the frames are signed so they are unable to attribute the paintings specifically. These had been cleaned as when compared to those in the cathedral which were dark and dull the condition of these were excellent and the colours particularly bright and vibrant depicting the bible stories. There was also a good collection of impressionists, with Renoir’s, Cezanne’s, a Van Gogh and a Munch. The plus was entry was free because it was Sunday.Read more

    • Day21


      September 11, 2022 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 66 °F

      Cologne was just a quick stop on our way to Switzerland. We had just enough time to check in, walk around town and grab dinner and a couple drinks. It looks like a great town even though it was raining. They desperately need the rain. The Rhine River is at record lows.

      Kolsch beer is the rage here, and they serve it in small narrow glasses. Too bad we're not staying longer because drinks are about half price compared to Denmark! For dinner, it was Sauerbraten for me and Salmon in
      a beurre Blanc sauce for Deanne, along with some German wines.

      Cologne's most famous landmark is it's gothic cathedral. We just made it inside before closing time. It's extremely tall and quite impressive. But after seeing a few of these, they tend to all look alike. I know.... sacriliege! After seeing that, we stumbled on a cafe called "Funk Haus" and of course Dr. Funkhouser and I HAD to stop in for a drink. Nobody in Iowa is quite sure, but they think it means Radio Station. We are asking several people what the surname means and have heard Radio Station and Fire Station. This cafe is named after the TV station that was in the building before. Maybe we'll find out in the Emmental valley of Switzerland where Deanne's family came from.

      More photos and videos are here.
      Read more

      We enjoyed a terrific breakfast at Funk Haus last November. Sent you photos, I think. 😀. Slax. [Slax]


      I'm just loving all your posts and photos. And admiring your energy levels. Keep 'em coming! Linda B [Linda]


      They come alive at night!


      You would know Mrs. Beasley!


    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Sülz, Sulz

    Join us:

    FindPenguins for iOSFindPenguins for Android