Thursday, August 28, 2014

Cologne!!!! Koln (in German) is the city that surprised!

We had an extra day between leaving Berlin and Arriving in Bruge, Belgium.  Originally we were slated to go to Hamburg.  Many Germans said to go there, but then our friend Dirk said not to.  We said to him,  "German's said to go there"  Then other Germans on the U-Bahn chimed in that the wrong German's told us to go there:-).  So Cologne it was!  Sadly, we only had one night:-(.  This is definitely a city that requires more than 1 day.  Of course there is the gothic Cathedral- the single most visited monument in all of Germany, and one of the largest (and most beautiful) cathedrals in Germany. But then there is the cute little old town, the Rhine river, bridges, pedestrian streets, and the non-tourist areas filled with some of the friendliest people in all the world.  We had read that people from Cologne were friendly, but we didn't expect FRIENDLY!  We loved it, and intend to come back for more:-).

 Front of the Cathedral!

 Dwarves!  This is a totally cute bas-relief of dwarves working.  This is one of the two panels, plus stone sculptures of other dwarves working and lounging around.  There is also a stone sculpture of a young woman.  Possibly Snow White?  We are not sure if the idea came from German folklore or not.  This is quite old, though, and definitely pre-dates the movie.

 Cathedral gargoyles!
 Another view of the front of the Cathedral!
The spires from the front door.  They are the second highest in all of Germany (after Ulm), and very difficult to get in a photo due to their height.

 Another view of the spires, with a model of one of the filials topping the spires (massive, they are!)
 St. George is always there watching over us!
 The old town from across the river, at sunset.  One the right is the cathedral, on the left, the town hall (Rathouse in German)
 Another view of the city from across the river- beautiful!  The building with the blue lights is the Opera House.
 Rich with the Hard Rock Cafe pin we bought- it is of a lock.  In Koln, lovers engrave a lock and then place it on the fence of the bridge that services the main train station, then they toss the key into the river.
 A view of the train fence with locks!  Thousands have done it!
 Me with the Cathedral in the back ground.
Cologne has this awesome beer: Kolsch.  It is only made in Cologne, and is delicious!!!!  Rich is here modeling two glasses of Kolsch we were about to devour:-)

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