We had a nice leisurely drive to Cologne and found our Hotel, the Marriott Courtyard without any problems. Great location close to both the train station and the Cathedral, so it made our walking tour of Cologne very easy. The hotel is very modern and clean but a little sterile and no character, when you think about staying in the old area of Cologne. The breakfast was 16 Euro each (we didn’t eat there with so many little cafes around) and the car parking was 18 Euro per day. None the less, it was a really good hotel.
Most of our time was spent walking around different areas of Cologne although in the times we have been here before, we have always missed going to the chocolate factory. So, this time we spend some time learning and understanding the process of making and enjoying Lindt chocolates. It was really quite interesting although we would have liked a few more samples 🙂 Went to a great restaurant to have some Bratwurst and Kolsch beer (the local beer made only in Cologne)…fantastic!
On Saturday, my cousin Renate and her husband, Mario joined us for a little while as we saw some of the sights. Of course, the major sight to see is the huge cathedral. The square around it and the line to get into it was packed! It was interesting to watch the crowd and the various street performers.
We also walked across the Hohenzollern Bridge. For several years now, love locks have been considered one of Cologne’s most charming traditions. As proof of their love, couples fix padlocks to the railings on the Hohenzollern Bridge; to ensure everlasting love, they then throw the key into the Rhein river below. It is quite a sight to see and the view from the other side is beautiful too.
There are many, many beautiful squares filled with a variety of restaurants, many with outdoor seating. It is impossible not to sit down, relax with a beverage and a snack and watch the world go by. We have done quite a bit of this and are enjoying our time in beautiful Cologne.
However, it is soon time to pack up once again and strike out to our next stop – Bamberg, an absolutely gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage Centre. On the way it was good to hit the Autobahn again where 140 means you are in the slower lane and cars are whizzing by you like you are in a school zone. Great fun to drive although I did take it a little slower because we had friends along. We did manage to take a few wrong turns and that meant our stay in Wurzburg, a stop we had planned along the way, was shorter than anticipated. However, we did spend some time at the Residenz Palace, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. No pictures were allowed inside, but this is a fantastic place to visit. I cannot believe how well it was restored when it was almost completed devastated during WW2. Thank goodness that someone had the foresight to restore it!
We left Wurzburg at 5:30PM and we were supposed to check into our hotel before 7PM. First big mistake on our road trip…I gave Don a wrong turn and our next available turn-around point was 15KM away. OK, no problem…we would still check in by 7. Unfortunately, there was road construction and we could not turn around for another 13 KM. Now, we would miss our check in time at the small, family run hotel in Bamberg plus, we were almost out of gas!
Thanks to our cell phone and an agreeable hotel owner, they gave us a code to get into the hotel and left the keys in our room as they leave at 7PM. Even more thankfully, we came across a gas station just before we ran out of gas, so we were much relieved! Arriving at the Barock am Dom Hotel in Bamberg at 7:30, the hotel owner had stayed late so she could be sure we didn’t have any problems!
Next bog will be our stay in Bamberg. Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions!
Prost from Germany!