We were up and out early this morning and on our way to Kall to catch the train into Cologne. The train journey took almost an hour and we had been told that the cathedral was right outside the station in Cologne which it was. Now how can I put this nicely without offending anyone but I really don't know what all the hype is about :-( The cathedral is certainly large but it is very, very dirty which, to me, spoils it. In our UK boating travels we have seen quite a few cathedrals which have taken my breath away but not this one. Inside wasn't much better - I remember walking out of York Minster with a spring in my step but I walked out of this one feeling quite sombre and down. However the history of the cathedral is very long as it was started in 1248 but work was discontinued in 1560 when money ran out. Work restarted in 1842 and completed in 1880. In 1164 the then archbishop transferred into an older cathedral the bones of the Three Magi from Milan and ordered the gold shrine that we see today to be made.
From the cathedral we had a typical German lunch which was lovely. It was then onto the open top bus for a sightseeing tour of the city. There are very few old buildings left as about 70% of the city was flattened during the last World War. Apparently after the war buildings were rather thrown up to rehouse people who returned to the city - some of which aren't the most attractive (buildings not people!). Cologne has 12 Romanesque churches which appear to have missed the bombings but maybe we misunderstood that and that some have been rebuilt. From the bus it was onto a boat on the Rhine where we saw the waterfront that we had seen the other side of on the bus. It was a hot evening and there were quite a few people swimming in the river - some were naturists which seemed a bit strange!
We missed the train we had hoped to get by a few minutes so sat in the square with a drink until the next train at 8.30pm. We didn't get back to the apartment until 10pm - knackered!