Our day started with breakfast then a German lesson. I learned enough to know to answer “Nein” if asked do you speak German!
We arrived in Cologne about 10:30 am. As we cruised past other ships tied up along the shore we seemed to be headed towards a narrow dead-end channel. Sure enough, we slowly made our way down to the end where we tied off against a concrete wall. The wall was high enough that the gangway had to be set up on the top deck. Not only was the channel wide enough for us, but another river boat rafted up to us in the afternoon.
Shortly after docking we loaded onto buses which took us to the downtown area of Cologne. There we had a walking tour which took us around the cathedral and through the old city. The cathedral, which was closed for a mid-day prayer service, is an imposing structure. Dating back to the 1200’s, it managed to survive the war with relatively minor damage when roughly 90% of Cologne was devastated by bombing.
The old city, which was rebuilt after the war, is quite picturesque with lots of shops and restaurants.
Following our walking tour we returned to the Skadi (our boat) for lunch. While there were shuttles taking passengers back to the downtown area, Rick, Linda and I opted to walk. It turned out to be a good choice as it was a beautiful afternoon and only about a 20 min walk. As we crossed a bridge, Linda spied my friend Wayne strolling on the top deck of the Viking Delling. Wayne and Jean are doing the same trip but on a different boat. We hollered down to him then went down to let him know our plans.
From the Delling we made our way to the cathedral which was now open to visitors. It is equally magnificent on the inside.
In front of the cathedral we met up with Wendy and Brent. Wayne also joined us at this point and we were off in search of a beer. We found a lovely restaurant with a terrace, right on a square. We enjoyed a very pleasant hour or so enjoying our beer and watching the happenings in the square.
As the walk over had been pretty easy we elected to walk back to the boat, depositing Wayne on the way. We spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the sunshine on Skadi’s top deck.
After a delicious dinner we were entertained by an excellent trio playing classical music. Another great ending to another great day.