Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Grand Tour for 30th Wedding Anniversary - Cologne

Cologne, Germany. Wednesday/Friday 18/20-October-2023.

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Now heading back to the UK we had a couple of days in Cologne with plenty of time to look around. 

We stayed in a home exchange apartment which was "small but perfectly formed". It was in a lively area with bars and restaurants, and close to the metro for easy access into the centre. 

That evening we dined at the nearby, cosy and excellent Weinstube Morio near the apartment as recommended by our host. It was fully booked but the helpful staff squeezed us in at the end of a shared table until space for eating came free thanks to a no-show.

Next day the first stop was Cologne Cathedral. It boasts many superlatives including the tallest twin-spired church in the world, the second tallest church in Europe after Ulm Minster, and the third tallest church of any kind in the world.

This is its impressive entrance.

The day was cloudy and overcast so it was a bit dark inside and very gothic.

We spent some time inside the cathedral helped by a great little pamphlet (available inside for €1) which explained the history of the cathedral and details of the altars, windows, statues, etc.

Touristing makes you thirsty. These beers at Nippeser Gaffel Stube may only be 200ml but they will just keep coming if you don't say no! Each time they mark your beermat and at the end you pay the tally.

We followed a great audio tour which told us about the Romans in Cologne and guided us around the remains. For some time the river at Cologne marked the north-eastern boundary of the Roman Empire. Work is underway to open more of the remains to the public. On this walk we also saw a number of interesting old buildings like this one.

The new and the old in the Alter Markt which in Roman times was a branch of the Rhine, now filled in and built over.

Not a great photo but this is a part of the Roman city wall, currently undergoing preservation.

We liked this unfiltered version of the beer at Gaffel am Dom bier keller, which we found thanks to advice from the Interrailing group.

On our last night we hadn't booked anywhere to eat but managed to get a table at an Italian restaurant called Bisù, again recommended by our hostess, where we had enjoyed Italian tapas style meal, lots of little plates. 

Now heading for our last stop in Europe, Amsterdam.

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