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Pre-Tour Travel






We arrived in Koln early in the morning and as we exited the train we came to an abrupt stop.  Next to the train station the massive Koln Dom towered over us and our necks strained as we tried to take it all in.  I turned to my traveling companions and said "Welcome to Europe!" This was just the start.

This trip was a gastronomy tour as well. Our first dinner in Cologne was at Stadhausschanke. My menu choice simply stated - Staadthaus (pan roast pork, nurnberger roast sausage, ham & German sausage with broad beans and potatoes.

. . .  a very good beginning.

We woke up early and were greeted at breakfast by Dale, who had just arrived. We headed for the chocolate museum via a river stroll. The river walkway was lined with booths selling items A to Z. We marveled over the gadgetry and antiques while continuely chanting our matra - "travel light, this is only the start."

The complete history and economic impact of chocolate is explained at the chocolate museum . Samples were available from a chocolate fountain.

I set out to explore as many of the Cologne churches as possible. The city boasts of 12 Romanesque churches (besides the Gothic cathedral). I didn't get to all of them but of the eight I saw most house the relics of the saints that they are named after.

Four of the twelve Romanesque churches





Grob St. Martin

St. Andreas

St. Aposteln

St. Georg

 At dinner, we pondered our German only menus using phrase books. I noticed an elderly couple watching us with amusement and inquired what they would recommend. The gentleman offered to assist us. He asked Beef - Chicken - Fish - Pork? We, in turn, gave him our preference and then he recommended various dishes.  When our food arrived little did we know that Karen's Fish dish (later known as Purple Fish) would become the running joke of the trip. Karen bravely ate it while the couple watched.

Matjesfilet Rheinscher Art