“Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Liberty” (Day 16)

May 3

~ Cologne

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[As Facebooked:   Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Cologne (as in “Eau de . . . “). [We] visited the cathedral (after John got his quiet box exchanged), whose dark exterior color is the result of two things: burning coal and burning coal. The exterior cannot be cleaned as a result of one thing: it is built of sandstone. See the little green ladder at the top of the left tower – NOT ON YOUR LIFE!]

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[Yes, this is where the product name originated.  I have never had need for such product because I naturally smell like cookies.]

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[. . . John getting his quiet box fixed.]

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[The Dom Hotel is adjacent to the Cathedral.  You will see more shots of it . . . it’s an inside joke with  DOM 1.]

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[A view from the “next” side.]

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[Worldwide, scaffolding has become the new architectural chic.]

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[As you can see, it’s the Romano-Germanic Museum.  The Romans had a settlement here upon which today’s Cologne is built.  I’ve heard you can say that about a lot of places?  It’s adjacent to the Cathedral and we’ll return here in a bit.]

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[Oh, here’s the little green ladder . . . leading all the way to the top!]

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[We’ve moved along now – this is on the side of City Hall . . . ]

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[JFK visited here June 1963.]

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[City Hall, as is everything in Europe, is under repair/renovation.]

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[This the entire city, under glass, in City Hall.]

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[At some previous time and place, I mentioned our new friend Eric from Australia, who had never seen snow in his life until this trip.  That’s him, second from the right in the dark glasses.]

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[This was some special stained glass in City Hall.  It was unique for some reason, but now I can’t find anything about it?]

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[City Hall Tower]

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[You will note the bottom of the middle figure.  “Mooning” is feature of many (several?) such structures in Germany – it’s the sculptor or architect making a political statement.]

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[Museum Ludwig . . . I know because that’s what it says on the building.]

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[We’re on a walk through town back toward the Cathedral, looking back at the City Hall Tower from whence we have just departed.]

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[Aaaah, the now well-known Dom Hotel – we’re on familiar ground here.]

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[So, now a quick peak into the Romano-Germanic Museum, with the Super, a/k/a, “Parnelli” Ruthie, checking out her favorite modes of transportation.]

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[The museum was designed around the famous Dionysus mosaic, which dates back almost 2,000 years.]

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[And if you aren’t quite sure, yup, we’re in the Cathedral now.  It represents the epitome of “high ceilings.”]

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[And, of course, any self-respecting Cathedral has to have stained glass . . . lots of stained glass.]

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[And gold – don’t forget the gold!]

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[Just another magnificent structure . . . ]

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[With better than average floors.]

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[Helen and John share a moment with the Tomb of Engelbert von der Mark.  I have no other words for this.]

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[Oh, there’s Aussie Eric again in the center of the photo.]

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[The Shrine of the Three Kings]

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[The previously noted and abundant stained glass.]

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[The Shrine of the Magi]

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[Did I mention the floors?]

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[The Altarpiece Triptych of the Three Kings by Stefan Lochner]

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[As Facebooked:  Cologne is also famous for its chocolate museum. Now why would I want to go there? After the long walk back to the boat, it was time to just put your feet up and and enjoy the view of the cathedral.]

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[So while the Cathedral is Cologne’s main entree, the Chocolate Museum is its dessert.]

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[First, a little chocolate latte in the dining room with a view . . . ]

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[Taken in honor of “Karin” Berg, a SAWA and winery music soul mate.]

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[Then, to the goodies!]

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[The neighborhood out front.]

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[And the museum exterior . . . ]

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[The view back toward city center.]

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[Waiting out front for the train . . . ]

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[Still, shots of the neighborhood.]

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[And here comes our ride!]

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[All aboard!]

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[On the train, traveling to downtown.]

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[And we’re back at the Cathedral.]

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[On the 3rd visit to the Cathedral on the same day, I feel qualified to “present it”to you.]

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[Now we’re walking back to the boat.  As I recall, it was farther than we thought.  This is the main railway station.]

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[A last look back at the Cathedral.]

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[At the river now, our boat’s the last one down there.]

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[Relaxing back on board, feet up, “Good-bye, Cathedral!”]

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[Rollin’ on the river – Good-bye, Cologne!]

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[Oompah time back on board the boat.  You betcha it’s local!]

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[Helen checks social media . . . ]

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[The Super checks fine dining!  Always first in the room  – nobody better take our table!]

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[Now here’s a centerpiece that should be mandatory on every table!!]

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[The guy with the hat – maybe not so much.]

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[Oy, there’s a mustache that could use a trim.]

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[Weakie, this should settle any food display issues??]

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[Oompah, oompah!]

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[OK, that should take care of any further discussions about an oompah shortage!]

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[Meanwhile, back at the bread bowl.]

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[The wine rack, I assume covers just a single meal.]

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[This was the first cruise I recall that the passengers were invited for a tour of the kitchen.  It’s quite an operation, in what I would define as a small space, to simultaneously feed over 200 people three times a day!  Here Tom checks the guy in the hat.]

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[The Super and the head chef.  I already forgot what the hat day was all about?]

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[As were we told, it was all in the kitchen design, into which obviously a lot thought was given.]

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[And the dining room.]

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[A now we’re going to leave Germany . . . ]

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[Heading for the Netherlands.  This photo is now this computer’s wallpaper.]

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If you look like your passport photo, you’re too ill to travel.  ~ Will Kommen

Up Next:  Europe.

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