How are you? Well I hope. I am now home again in snuggly little Kendal all safe and sound. Back to being a country mouse.
But yowzerrs did I save the best to last! Cologne was fabulous and being able to enjoy it with my cousin R’i and her family made it extra super.
One of the downsides of travelling solo is evening meals so it has been lovely when visiting both Prenzlau and Cologne to have cousins who have gone out with me and taken me to places for dinner. Vielen Danke!
On Friday night in Cologne R’i and W’g took me to a beautiful riverside restaurant for an al fresco supper. Just the sort of place I love where you can people watch and chat. Afterwards full with a hearty German meal – needless to say I have loved the food here – and a glass of Kolsch we tootled off for a floodlit walk of Cologne. Amazingly beautiful.
But then … I was diverted into another world….a Jazz Cafe! Flippin’ Heck it was hilarious and brilliant and I don’t think I stopped laughing all the time we were in there.
Into the tiniest space was crammed a good proportion of Cologne (or so it seemed), wedged on balconies, squidging around the bar, packed up to the minuscule stage. Atmosphere in heaps and then to crown it all was a live band playing traditional Orleans jazz and blues. All this and another glass of Kolsch. What more could a girl (erm mature lady) want? Absolutely nothing.
Photos cannot fully convey the sweaty loud joyfulness of it all. These are the best I could do.
That’s what I call a Friday night. A good time definitely had by all.
Saturday saw me polishing up my halo and re-asserting my blue-stocking credentials. Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom) and Romisch-Germanisches Museum here I come.
Cologne Cathedral has such significance to residents and visitors alike. As the trains coming into Cologne station pass right beneath its towering spires travellers crowd the windows to get that first glimpse of her and when they do they know they are home. It is difficult to find suitable adjectives but Cologne Cathedral surpasses anything I have seen. It is also certainly a triumph of Long Now thinking as it was begun in the mid 1200s, worked on until the late 1400s and then completed to the original design in the 1800s.
And amidst the grandeur are the small details created with love and pride.
It was magnificent and I needed to have frequent little sit-downs just to absorb as much of it as possible. And before you ask I did not go up the 533 steps into one of the spires! I did that in my twenties so no need to do it again…that’s my excuse I am sticking to it.
From Gothic to Roman in a couple of steps (if you have extremely long legs) as the Roman Museum is right next door to the Cathedral. The museum is built on the site of a Roman villa and was designed around it’s famous centre-piece the Dionysus Mosaic. In addition to the mosaic it has fabulous displays of Roman glassware:
And these superbly exhibited ‘Guardians of the Tombs’
I was in my Roman seventh heaven.
A happy but sad to go family afternoon and evening completed my fabulous stay in Cologne. Time for bed and the final train journey from Cologne to Amsterdam to catch the ferry home.
After bobbing about on the choppy waters of the North Sea I arrived safely in Blighty. I have had the most marvellous few weeks in Germany. It has fulfilled and exceeded expectations.
I hope you have enjoyed travelling along with me.
Until next we meet,