Monday, July 9, 2012

Views of Cologne

We arrived in Cologne very early on the morning of July 5, so early that we couldn't officially check-in into our hotel for hours, so my first memories of Cologne are of wet pavement, just cleaned, the welcome smell of hot coffee and rows and stacks of freshly baked pastries. We stopped at one of these shops in a square near our hotel and and I had my first German sweet roll--about 5 inches across and delicious! Below is the bakery in question.

(What I loved about this display was the sheer number of pastries and the way they were carefully stacked or neatly aligned in rows. Yes! Those are giant filled doughnuts in the middle.)


We used Cologne as a "home base" from which to reach nearby Bonn, where Pixar's new art exhibition opened that evening. (More on that in another post) The hour-long train ride between cities was sometimes a drag, but the beauty of Cologne more than made up for it. Our hotel was again perfectly placed facing (this time the side of) the city's cathedral and so we couldn't avoid it, even if we wanted to. Below are some shots of this HUGE and magnificent structure, which holds two landmark works of medieval art--the Gero Crucifix and the Shrine of the Magi. Unfortunately, due to the low-lighting and massive amounts of gold on both, they were impossible to photograph, but that's what postcards are for!

Me in front of the south transept entrance, which used to be the main entrance to the church before it was finished in the 19th C.

View from our breakfast table on July 6th. You can see from this photo how difficult it is to get the enormous facade of this building into a single shot. It's simply too tall, too wide and in a space that hugs it too closely to get the whole thing from ground level. Below a shot from right in front.

I found this facade endlessly fascinating to look at with its layer upon layer of decoration.

View down the 142 foot tall nave. Whether the sun was behind a cloud or not dramatically impacted these images, as you can see.

View of the upper portion of the choir.

View into the transept vaulting with sun blasting through the glass.


Cologne has an "old town" that was rebuilt after WWII in an old, that is, medieval style. This area is beautiful, shady and has several pubs and places to eat. On our only night in Cologne, which happened to be our last night in the region, we dined at a riverside pub in this very area. The city hall is also located near here. Below is a photo of Dave in front of it.

As a side note, the temperatures dropped noticeably from Vienna (90) to Cologne (75) and again when we headed to Aachen on July 8. The clouds race overhead and the weather changes are rapid and dramatic--with rain one minute and literally warming sun 10 minutes later. It's really something to behold and it has followed us to Brussels where we spend the night tonight.

Dave in front of Cologne's city hall.

"Old Town" in Cologne. The Rhine is to Dave's back as he took this photo. We had dinner our last night at a pub just our of the photo to the far left.


  1. That cathedral is gorgeous! Your pictures really give a nice sense of the clarity of that's so white and so dramatic--of course that must have been purposeful.

    Love these views of your time here!

    1. Hi Barbara, great to hear your "voice!" We've appreciated your comments on each post--especially now that we can't mull this over with you in person. We've thought of yours and Chris's take on things often and look forward to catching up on all the news art and otherwise. More soon from Paris.
      xo Heather