We set sail early this morning from Koblenz to Cologne.
On the way, we passed the World War II tower remains of the Remaden bridge. This was bittersweet to Carey in that his father was part of the campaign there serving under Patton. His father crossed the bridge before it collapsed. Charles and I will try to find the 1960’s era movie documenting this sad chapter of the war.
Arriving in Cologne, Ann and Carey took a beer tasting tour while we opted for a walking tour of Cologne’s historical district and the Cologne Cathedral. Noteworthy is the fact that the district was almost totally destroyed (90%) during the war. Allied forces tried not to destroy the Cathedral, but some bombs directed at the nearby train station accidentally hit the church. Yet only minor damage resulted. Over the years the entire town was rebuilt with only a handful of original 16-17th century structures still visible today.
The Cathedral was packed today as this is a Saturday, but our guide directed us through an interesting interior tour. It is another UNESCO World Heritage site and definitely the city’s most recognizable landmark. It was built in the 1200’s to house the reputed relics of the Magi, and was the tallest building in Europe until the Eiffel Tower was constructed.
The day concluded with the ship’s “dress-up” Farewell Dinner. Good food, good wine, and great fellowship preceded a relaxing evening in the lounge. We had the first rain in several days as we entered the dining room, and a lovely rainbow appeared as we were leaving Germany cruising toward the Netherlands, our final destination.