Cologne - a Cathedral and Altestadt

On leaving the train yesterday evening we once again got a strong icy blast as we had in Hamburg.

Front of Cologne CathedralThe front entrance to Cologne Cathedral

The Arctic wind seeemed to have followed us. What we were pleased to discover as we left the station was that the Cathedral is on the same square so we had only to find the Altestadt or Old City. It was well sign posted so we found it along the banks of he Rhine just behind the Cathedral..

 Church in Old TownA church in the Old City or Altestadt

Jan von Werth FountainThe Jon Werth Fountain in the Altestadt

 Our hotel was very modern with lots of chrome and laminated wood. We were told of all the security measures in place including one that prevented unwanted persons using the lift. Well, it did not work quite as they said it should. The system was activated by your room key card. There is a slot into which you put your card and then pressed the floor number. In theory, it will stop only your floor. If anyone else entered the lift they had to follow the same procedure or the lift would not stop on their floor.

Entrance to our hotelThe entrance to our hotel

The buffet breakfast was very large but not the best. The cappuccino was lukewarm, the scrambled egg was dry and the fruit looked as if it had behat it wouen prepared some days ago but the rest was delicious. The night before I had tried to complete the form to report my camera stolen on-line but no matter what I did it would not accept the train number on my ticket. We thought it might be because we had travelled on a Danish train and we were reporting it in Germany. On asking at the L&F Office though they said that it was correct. We returned a third time later that morning and they finally agreed to enter the information in to their system.

On our way to the station we stopped at the French Rail Company which was in the same square. The German representative had prepared a suitable itinerary with a connecting train between 2 main stations in Paris and plenty of time to catch the train bound for Lyon. At the French office, I handed the paper with the proposed bookings on it to the young lady and requested the same. She said it was fine and finalised our booking. I did not notice that she had not booked a connecting train to Gard du Lyon but gave us just a half hour to take a taxi there. (Do remember this as it caused us to be conned in Paris).

Anyway, we left all these activities to go and enjoy Cologne itself. In 2010 we had passed the city on our way to Liege so we were looking forward to seeing it today. It was a great help that the Cathedral is on the same square as the station and just a few blocks from our hotel. The Cathedral is a most amazing building. The height of the ceiling and the beauty of the stained glass windows were indescribable. At first, we sat in a pew and tried to take it all in. It was wonderful to see that the altar has been brought forward to the front of the sanctuary making it feel more congregation friendly. This is not something seen in many cathedrals that we visited.

2 stained glass windows2 of the Cathedral's many stained glass windows

Cathedral spiresTwin spires of the Cathedral

Gilded altar backingA gilded Roderos in the Sanctuary

Having spent a couple of hours walking through the Cathedral admiring the workmanship that had been put into the creation of this amazing building we went out and found the route to the Altestadt or Old City. We spent another couple of hours just wandering through the Old City and along the banks of the River Rhine, something which we really enjoy doing, just ambling around absorbing the atmosphere of a place.

Rail bridge over the RhineRail bridge over the Rhine in the Altestadt

tourist boat on the RhineA tourist boat on the Rhine which is boarded in the Altestadt

At about 5pm we returned to the station to find some fruit for supper. We had been told that there was a shop there was a very nice young man who sold us bananas and apples which were really sweet and filling. We then stood totally mesmerised at the door to the station as we watched a seething mass of humanity going in and out of the station.

Statues of the Magi and Christ with their giftsStatues of the Magi and Christ




















About Me

I was born into the early part of the Baby Boomer generation, the 3rd of what came to be a family of 6 daughters. Although both our parents, who are now deceased, had been raised in rural Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal) and the 2 eldest daughters were born in a country town, the other 4 of us were all born at home in Durban. Read More

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