Cologne -- Are You Still With Me?

Hey everyone!  Before I do anything else on this post, I just want to do a shout out to all my Texas blog friends.  I've heard from some that they are out of harm's way, but there are still some I'm wondering about.  I hope you are all safe, and my heart goes out to those who found themselves right in the middle of this disaster.  You are in my prayers.

As I begin this post, continuing our Rhine River Cruise and tour, I truly hope you are not bored to tears.  I love sharing our experiences and know that recording it this way will make putting a scrapbook together so much easier.  I guess if you aren't interested, you are not obligated to read it, right?  Well,  one of these days I will be finished with this and be back posting diys and home decor.  So until then, this is what you get!

Cologne Cathedral and the Music Dome (a concert arena) have been visible and tempting us with their grandeur even before we docked.

Lucky for us, our docking spot is well within walking distance of so many things to see and do.

Cologne was one of the most heavily bombed cities in Germany during World War II; the Royal Air Force (RAF) dropping 34,711 long tons of bombs on the city.   The bombing reduced the population by 95%, mainly due to evacuation, and destroyed almost the entire city. With the intention of restoring as many historic buildings as possible, the rebuilding has resulted in a very mixed and unique cityscape.

There were so many restaurants along this promenade.  Dark clouds and bright sunshine were playing hide-n-seek with each other, and we did get just a bit of rain, but not enough to deter these former Oregonians!

Please remember the rust-colored building on the left, because we will be revisiting that one.....food and beer may be involved -- just sayin'.

This beautiful building is undergoing lots of construction & excavation for artifacts.  It's the Town Hall (Rathaus), & among all the equipment & scaffolding,  we discovered several brides and grooms waiting their turn to "seal-the-deal" in a simple ceremony.  
No photos of these private moments -- it just didn't seem right.

The world-famous Cologne Cathedral (K├Âlner Dom), one of the largest Gothic churches & one of the largest cathedrals in Europe, is breathtaking.  Cologne's towering landmark, also called the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Mary, is a masterpiece of High Gothic architecture.   It was started in 1248 and is considered the most ambitious building project of the Middle Ages.  Sitting in the center of Cologne, massive and dominant and black from soot and war, it's very imposing and made me rather dizzy trying to look up to the top.  In WWII, when everything around it had been bombed to rubble, this majestic beauty stood strong.  From what I've read and heard, the scaffolding on the side, close to the top is a rather constant sight -- always repairing and cleaning this magnificent structure.  I chose not to take any photos inside because it was so dimly lit & flash photography is frowned on. 

Everywhere we've been on this trip, the architecture has been so fascinating, even when the building is housing a Pizza Hut -- geez!

I'm nuts over doors!

I don't know how they keep these painted facades looking so vibrant.

Okay, do you remember this building that I said we would revisit?  It's an 800 year old tavern (restored after the war) called 
The Knuckle House, specializing in beer and brats.....well, what did you expect? 

 I happen to be married to The Man who loves brats, so we shared this plate of yumminess.....brats and potatoes.  I usually prefer wine over beer, but Koelsch, Cologne’s famous local beer,
 was very good!

This guy is the best travel companion!

Next up on this crazy expedition will be Koblenz and Mannheim!

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