Cologne – The Last Post   18 comments

Start of the long journey home. We could have made it all the way home from Berlin to Hereford in one day. A 6am start, 5 trains and a taxi to get home at 11pm wasn’t all that appealing so we decided to break the journey in Cologne. I had no real desire to go there but it was en-route and the timings meant we’d at least get half a day to have nose around. The morning was gorgeous and the light in the station was stunning

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Our ICE train arriving to whisk us to Cologne via Dortmund

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We travelled first class again and very luxurious indeed. You even get tea in proper china cups. Fancy!

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We stepped off the train in Cologne into a furnace. It was almost as hot as Rom at 32C! In Rome we had the luxury of aircon in the apartment. In Cologne we were only staying one night and anticipating cold northern Europe weather had gone cheap. Our room was also like a sauna but it was a rather nice room right on top of the roof. A kind of penthouse suite with about ten windows, all of which were immediately opened! It even had a little roof terrace with views across the station to the massive cathedral

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We headed straight out into the heat for a look around and went directly to the cathedral. I’ve read that it’s the largest gothic cathedral in the world and it’s absolutely immense

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The stained glass was stunning

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It was very dark inside so my photos aren’t the best but its a truly magnificent building both inside and out

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Such is its scale its pretty hard to grab a photo. Its huge!

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The centre of Cologne is nothing to write home about. Shopping-precinct-anywhere you might say. We wandered down towards the river Rhine where things were much better. Aside from lazy, broad sweep of the Rhine there were old buildings, squares, enticing restaurants and parkland

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Dominating the river view was the massive Hohenzollernbrücke bridge that carries the railway and a footpath

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We dropped TJF back at the hotel and despite the heat climbed the 600+ steps up one of the towers of the cathedral. Well, you know by now I wasn’t turning that down

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The views across the city and especially the Rhine were amazing

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No idea what this building was but it certainly caught the eye

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Three became one as TJS and TBF left me to my own devices so I walked across the Hohenzollernbrücke. That colourful mosaic pattern on the railings are padlocks. Part of this craze of saying “I love you” by locking a padlock to a bridge. We saw it in pretty much every city but here it was beyond comprehension. There must have been several hundred thousand here. I don’t get it. Not sure why a trip to B&Q or wherever to buy cheap padlock and then pointlessly locking it to a bridge shows eternal love. There must have been approaching a £1m attached this bridge. Imagine what that money could have done if used more appropriately. They are grossly ugly as well and here despoil a fine bridge. What a waste. I don’t get it

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Anyway, the views from the bridge were grand

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A cormorant or shag (or whatever), think he’s a long way from the sea

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One of the huge barges that ply the Rhine

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Another shot from my penthouse terrace

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We headed out for our last meal and couple of pints of the local brew

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The night-time lights were really impressive although again more practice needed with the photos

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The cathedral looked especially impressive

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Even the station looked rather good

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And a final view of the cathedral from the roof to close out our last day and the end of the trip. Cologne probably doesn’t have enough to detain you for more than a day but on a hot summers afternoon it was pretty splendid and I’m glad we paid it a visit

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All that remained was the long journey home via Brussels (where the picky bastards confiscated my Leatherman multi-tool), London, Birmingham and Hereford

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A last slice of first class luxury on the train to Birmingham

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And that was that. A truly fantastic and memorable trip. Something totally different for the family. I wasn’t sure if it would work out but it was a huge hit and success. Amazing sights, great experiences, history, fabulous food. But the thing I really remember was the laughter. We laughed. A lot. In public much of the time, probably embarrassingly so. I’d hoped the trip would be different, educational, enlightening, enjoyable. I never thought it would be so much fun. I’d love to do it again.

Well as luck would have it we are! I’ll give you a break from my city posts while we head off tomorrow for a week in Barcelona. 🙂

 

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18 responses to “Cologne – The Last Post

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  1. The cathedral certainly is impressive. Your photos certainly portray and present things wonderfully.

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    Brenda-Dawn Linney
  2. I’ve enjoyed your posts. I also envy the amount of holiday time you get! Three weeks touring Europe and now a few weeks later another week in Barcelona! I wish we got that much holiday time here in the US. Enjoy your next trip!

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    • Thanks Bob, I’ve always thought you never get enough holiday in the States. We get around 5 weeks standard in the UK although I take a bit more (I work for myself so I have more flexibility). I do always make sure that every day off work is on holiday somewhere

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      • Everyone from Europe or the U.K. That I know always says the same thing. They don’t know how we manage with so little time off. I agree that we need a better work/ life balance. What do you do for a living? You’re in IT, aren’t you? Just curious. Do you have you’re own consulting business?

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        • Yep, I’m an independent contractor in IT (project manager), working under my own company. Means I can take off what time I like (within reason!). We also get an enforced two weeks off over Xmas and New Year so I’ve started heading off for some winter sun. I hate spending holiday time at home just sitting around doing nothing

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Great pictures 🙂 Glad you enjoyed Cologne – the Kölner Dom is very impressive! I’ve been living around Cologne my entire life – but still enjoy standing in front of the cathedral and looking upwards in awe.

    By the way, the building that has caught your eye is called “Colonius” and is the TV tower of Cologne. Until the mid-90ies, you were able to go up to the observation platform and visit a revolving restaurant.

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    • Hi Carmen, thanks for stopping by and for the kind words 😀
      I felt the same about the cathedral, you just can’t take your eyes off it. I should have taken some better pictures of the inside.
      Glad I know what that tower is called now. Me and my friend reckon every building above a certain height should be forced by law to allow people to see the view from the top!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I thoroughly enjoyed all your photos and stories from this great trip. Makes me want to book a flight “across the pond” and see it for myself. And now you’re going on another fun trip. Can’t wait to hear about that one!

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  5. You have captured the beauty of Cologne Cathedral incredibly well, considering the dark interior and its closed in position in the city. My favourite shot is on the roof looking up into the top of the spire. Your night shots are quite spectacular too. I look forward to your photography of the Sagrada Familia.

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  6. We’ve seen those padlocks on quite a few bridges in Europe. Think they just look gross tbh. We also saw one bridge where they were being cut off, as they had added so much weight to the bridge, it was becoming dangerous!

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  7. Smashing cathedral and glass-work. Same as any craze really- like every female of a certain age pouting in selfies. Why? Another thing that bugs me is folk with no discernible talent whatsoever becoming highly paid reality TV stars on a range of different shows and really talented folk with a dazzling range of skills getting over looked or sidelined completely- something that happens with increasing regularity these days where bland mediocrity is praised and rewarded..

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    Blue Sky Scotland
  8. Brilliant trip around Europe brought straight to my laptop!! And Barca next, now that is a city although its a bit rocky at the moment!!

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    • It was a pleasure – glad you enjoyed the journey 😀
      Just waiting for my flight home from Barcelona. Fantastic city, so much variety. We were watching the anti-independence march today. Quite surreal to move on from there to the beach where you’d never know all this was going on

      Liked by 1 person

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