I flew to New York the day before my flight to Germany. I didn't want anything to cause me to miss my flight. I had hoped to wander around downtown and see the Rockefeller Plaza tree, and some of the famous churches, but was just so exhausted from the day and excited about the trip that I just stayed in. This was the view from my hotel room.
|The shower controls took me a bit to figure out. The hot water was not on the left as it is at home. Once I figured that out, I was happy happy happy.|
I walked to a medieval Christmas market near the boat.
Then went to the Lindt Chocolate Museum. The "lotus" tree in the picture below was actually a chocolate fountain. Yummmmmmmm
After touring the chocolate museum (and buying too many chocolates) I walked farther into town to two other Christmas markets (one at the Neumarkt is the oldest and most famous Christmas markets in Köln; the other was at the Alter Markt) before going back to the ship for an almost involuntary nap before dinner.
At 6p there was a welcome and safety briefing in the lounge with Captain Doede Smit (who is from the Netherlands), Cruise Manager Darinka Kilpa, and Hotel Manager Ferdinand Selig.
Starter: Pan fried taleggio marinated in honey with apple on bouquet of green garden leaves and Italian dressing..
Soup: Clear vegetable consummé with "Backerbsen"
Main Course: Pan fried halibut topped with olives, red onions and garlic sauce served with Mediterranean vegetables and tagliatelle pasta
Dessert: Assorted German cheeses with crackers
After dinner entertainment: Piano music by the crew musician, Krzysztof, in the lounge.
Walking tour of Köln this morning, then on our own the rest of the day.
|these houses are in the "Fischmarkt" (Fish Market) part of town.|
|The date on the grey house (1685) is when it was built!|
|The town hall, built around 1330|
|A fountain in town that was inspired by the Grimm Fairy Tales story of the Shoemaker and the Elves|
Two more Christmas markets, one at the Kölner Dom.
|I had lunch here after the tour. A local brewery where the beer is made fresh ever day and served in tall thin glasses from a tap right at your table.|
Then to the Museum Ludwig ~ a contemporary art museum. Saw several original Andy Warhols, Roy Lichtenstein comics, and some VERY explicit sketches by Picasso that looked like his version of Kama Sutra!
Christmas Welcome Dinner Menu
Starter: Winter salad on blueberries, garlic chip and Parma ham topped with lemon cinnamon dip.
Soup: Cream of wild tomatoes and oregano
Hot Appetizer: Composition of steamed salmon with fennel mousse.
Main Course: Pork "Wellington" ~ port tenderloin with mushroom duxel wrapped in puff pastry and creamy peppersauce, potato cake and buttered vegetables.
Dessert: Assorted Swiss cheeses with crackers.
After dinner entertainment ~ The Kölner Shanty Choir
The accordians were amazing, especially the young girl who played sort of a dueling accordions duet with one of the other players. They both have won awards for their playing and I can see why. I never saw anyone play accordian before and it was just incredible. Both hands have to operate as one!
Shared my dinner table with a couple from Canada, John & Rose. He is originally from Cork, Ireland. Also Bill, who lives on a sailboat in Mexico just south of San Diego. Ruth and Marsha, friends who live in Sun City, Arizona ~ near Aunt Nan & Uncle Ron. Paul from the Austin, Texas area, and Emma from Marietta, Georgia.
Arrived in Koblenz at 8a. Almost overslept for the walking tour. Cold this morning, low 30's. Shops were all closed for Christmas, but it was still a good tour. Great guide with lots of poems and stories. loved the one about "Peppermint."
|X marks where the boat was docked|
|The Deutsehes Eck (German Corner) where the Rhine and Moselle meet.. From 1953 to 1990 it was also called the Denkmal der Deutschen Einheit (Monument to German Unity).|
|A mural painted on the wall.|
|Pieces from the Berlin Wall|
|Burg Pfalzgrafenstein near Kaub. It was a customs post built in the 14th century.|
Left Koblenz at noon and cruised upstream to Rüdesheim. While we cruised, there was a "Fruhschoppen" lunch and market, with crafts in the lounge. Learned to make paper and ribbon stars from one of the crew, a wonderful lady named Ursula from Slovakia.
|I was freezing!!!!! Only able to stay outside for just a few minutes!|
|Cheesecake! Covered with marzipan!|
Arrived in Rüdesheim too late to see the Mäuseturm (Mouse Tower) I remember from childhood, the one mom painted a picture of. It was a point of taxation built by Bishop Hatto of Mainz and Castle Klopp. It later served as a signal tower to warn the passing river traffic of Bingen Hole and the treacherous reef.
|The picture Mom painted sometime between 1969-1972|
Dinner tonight at a wonderful restaurant called Hannelore's. Mushroom soup, stuffed duck, potato dumplings, red cabbage, a wonderful red house wine, and cinnamon ice cream for dessert.
|Me, Bill, and Ruth|