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Friday, November 6, 2015

GAWA Day #51: Koblenz and Koln

Koblenz is known in the U.S. as Koblenz, and in 1992 celebrated its 2000th birthday.  We only stopped for a short walking tour at night.  Here is Emperor Wilhelm:


It was dark.  Today we are now in Koln, or Cologne.  This settlement began before Jesus Christ was born and became a Roman colonia soon after He was Resurrected.  Thus, colonia, or Koln, which sounds like Cologne.

Supposedly, this is what Koln looked like in 1411, more than 600 years ago:


In 1248 their cathedral was designed as the largest in the world when construction began.  However, it took 632 years, and by 1880, it only looked like a large and old church.  My blue bar is either that courting male or the female with the cathedral in the background:


I might add that my blue bar gave a lecture near the cathedral:


Cologne has no relationship to perfume and has a population of just about a million, similar to the City and County of Honolulu.  Well, actually, 4711 is a traditional German eu de cologne produced since 1799.  Proctor and Gamble began selling 4711 in 2006.

Now back to the subject, Cologne has the distinction of being the most heavily bombed city in World War II, being hit with more than a million bombs.  Sort of like Nagasaki, which got  Fat Man because Kokura was clouded over.  Hamburg was supposed to have been the primary target, saved by fog.  Cologne lost 95% of their population, although most evacuated.  But even though the church is located right next to the major train station and central bridge, the structure largely survived:


Cologne is known as the pickpocket capital of Germany, and this cathedral being close by the train station makes this courtyard a danger zone.  The building for theater arts is also located close by the cathedral, and because the architecture is despised, but also because there is a resemblance to daily reality, the structure is popularly known as the Garbage Bag:


Our main stop was to:


As you can see, this museum is right next to the Koln Cathedral.  Their showpiece is a floor from around the time of Jesus Christ, which was found only in 1941 when Germany was building bomb shelters:


So what did they do?  They built this museum over this historical marvel.  Another surprising fact is that our alphabet has not changed in two millennia, and more.  This etched stone was also created not long after the Year Zero:


Our letters still look the same today!

We had our farewell dinner tonight, although tomorrow night is the final night on the ship.  Here is Tauck Tour Director Lynn with the captain of the ship and head of the rest of the staff:


She was a sea of calm when emergencies occurred, and, yes, I have not reported on them yet.  I'll review this two-week river cruise after Amsterdam tomorrow, providing the low spots and highlights.

Margaret and Dan from Australia joined us for dinner tonight, which featured salmon, foie gras and beef, with a chocolate dessert:



The cognac added to the red and white wines.

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