Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Nordrheing Westfalen, Germany

Dec 20, 2018 - Cologne

Thursday 20th: Our tour this morning was a Cologne Walk & Cathedral Visit & Christmas Markets. This is a city of great contrasts. 90% of it was destroyed by Allied bombing during the WW2 but its crowning glory, the cathedral or Dom, survived relatively undamaged. It is a splendid example of Gothic architecture and for four years it was the tallest building in the world. Its two huge spires rise to about 170 metres. It was begun in 1248 and completed in 1880 and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The sandstone exterior has become very dark and...

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Dec 19, 2018 - Amsterdam to Bonn

Monday 17th: The morning was quietly spent resting and packing up before taking a taxi to the wharf to board our ship at midday. Oh, my, the Crystal Debussy is the height of luxury! We were shown to our room and our butler (!) explained all the amenities. Ours is a Petite Suite but has plenty of room for the two of us and is beautifully appointed. We unpacked quickly then went to the dining room for lunch where we were presented with champagne on the way in. We joined a few of the Travel Masters group. The variety for lunch made choosing...

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Sep 30, 2018 - Cologne and it’s Cathedral

Historic City Crowned by Northern Europe’s Largest Cathedral -- For millennia known as The Largest City in Germany showed it’s spirit today for us. We learned about the treasured heritage of Cologne and visited its spectacular cathedral, towering over the Old City in its Gothic splendor. Built on top of an old Roman village, now buried underneath! Even a Roman ship is still buried there. We stepped into the rich past here, following some of its preserved historic street pattern and hearing about its Roman and medieval history along the way....

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Aug 6, 2018 - Cologne/Bonn & Andernach

This morning was a later start as we arrived at Cologne (AKA Köln). Tracey opted to stay on board as her knee was really playing up and the rest would do it good. We headed of on our tour of Cologne. The city of Cologne is over 2000 years old and is famous for its catherdral. The Cathedral is a Gothic Cathedral and the building was started in the middle of the 13th Century, it was actually finished in the 19th Century, however the Cathedral was damaged in WW2. The twin spires were used by the allies as a marker for bombings, and the damage...

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Trip Journal

Europe Escape 2018

Jun 30, 2018 - Cologne Cathedral

During the night, we arrived and docked in Cologne, Germany. We had a walking tour of the old part of Cologne which was almost completely reduced to rubble during the bombing but some buildings close to the Cathedral escaped destruction. A great addition to this morning for Darrel and Kathy was the arrival of Silke who lived with them for a year as a foreign exchange student about 30 years ago. Our cruise director was able to arrange that she could board the ship, have breakfast with us and join the tour. She said she learned a lot of...

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Apr 9, 2018 - Walk to Bruchhauser Steine

Daisy was better this morning so we decided we would try one of the more local walks to Bruchhauser Steine. The first part of the walk was fairly easy but then it was a steep climb up to Bruchauser Steine. The site has a number of huge stones where archaeologists have found remains of a hill fort and many human artifacts which date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age around 600 to 300 BC. It is believed to have been a ancient sacrificial site and it is not clear whether the ramparts found were part of a military hillfort or were intended as a...

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Apr 8, 2018 - Exploring the local area and ending up at Biggesee

Another good day forecast. As we were all a little tired from our walk yesterday we decided to do a little driving trip into the surrounding countryside. We drove through charming half timbered villages, stopping to have mid-morning coffee in one overlooking the square, tree covered hills, rolling pasture lands but the river valleys quite industrialised. We also found the biggest lake/reservoir in the area Biggesee which was very busy with local people enjoying the good weather as well as the inevitable motor bikers, who do like to beat up...

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Apr 6, 2018 - Walk to Borberg Kirchhof

Compared to yesterday Friday dawned sunny and warm as forecast. We decided we would try one of the local walks from the campground recommended by our host. This would test the signage, the quality of the trails, and confirm the classifications for difficulty. The walk was very well marked, the path in good condition and the level of difficulty accurate. We walked through glorious open farm land, and woods to reach Borberg Kirchhof, ruins of an old church partly built on the top of the mountain with great views. Coming down the mountain we...

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Apr 5, 2018 - Rainy Day

Our first day in Brilon was wet and cold so we did some shopping, briefly explored the town and got information on walks etc. in the area. Brilon sits in the area of Sauerland which is mini alpine area with an emphasis on the great outdoors. Tomorrow is forecast to be good.

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Apr 4, 2018 - Heading into Germany

Today we left Belgium and headed east into Germany. In Koln we had to take a diversion through an industrial estate as the motorway bridge over the Rhein was being worked on and no vehicles over 3.5 tonnes were allowed. We eventually got onto another motorway going north east. The rest of the journey was uneventful, except slightly narrow roads through a few towns just before Brilon. We arrived safely at the campground. The entrance was nice and big, the owner was friendly and helpful and we were soon set up on a large flat pitch, set on a...

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Dec 11, 2017 - Inside Drachenburg

We were up early this morning and had breakfast then got our things and left the ship for a bus which took us through heavy traffic to Konigswinter. It was raining heavily and we did not get a good view of the surroundings. When we arrived in Konigswinter we transferred to a cog railway which took us up to Drachenburg Castle. We were here some years ago on a Jerry Van Dyke Cruise. Their trip took us all the way to the top where the ruins of Drachenfels Castle are situated. From there you get a good view of the Rhine and its surroundings. Do...

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Oct 22, 2017 - Kissing Frogs - Aachen & Koln

Remember the old saying that you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a Prince? The same is true of churches, synagogues, mosques and temples of all sorts. Some you walk in, walk around, leave. Some you linger. Some you embrace. Koln's Dom is a famous World Heritage Site. You can tell by the throngs of tourists clogging its interior. It is huge. It is splendid. The stained glass is excellent. The relics of the Magi lend it a particular aura. I am impressed. It is still a frog. Aachen's Dom, however, is one of a select few It may not be at...

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