Friday, 24 December 2010

Thursday 23 December

Although I had not hit the pillow until 1.15 am, I had to get up only 6 hours later to catch the ICE train to Cologne, Germany, where I was going for a daytrip with my father. The bus took us to the station in Arnhem, and ICE 105 left at 9.06 am. It is a luxurious train, and I had booked seats for the 100 minutes to Cologne. Well, it turned into more than 2 hours, due to a signalling fault at Wesel and the generally snowy conditions. Arrived at Cologne at 11.15 am, and the weather was downright unpleasant: sleet and freezing rain, and freezing temperatures.

My primary objective had been the Dom, the Cathedral, but it was cold in there, and not just in terms of the temperature. The Cologne Dom is a massive structure, with the spire rearing to no less than 400 feet in height. But when you come in out of cold conditions, and being ordered to remove your hat: well, there are ways of conveying a message. And the clergy in the cathedral should be aware that in cold weather, people may come in wearing a hat, because it's cold, and not out of disrespect. A wee notice at the door would help. At least then you don't cause offence. As I said, the Dom is a magnificent structure, and I was as overawed as I was on my first visit in 1998.

After the Dom, we ambled through the Christmas market outside the Cathedral, then the adjacent Roman / German museum. A bit of lunch in the Früh cafe consisted of a small glass of beer (zwei Gölch?!), salt potatoes and Hungarian goulash, complemented by a fruit salad. The italicised phrase means "two beers" and was barked out by all the waiters at every customer. The Germans can be very abrupt, which is something I'm aware and familiar with. It was funny in the cafe, though.

The train back departed at 14.46, and got duly delayed due to the weather. We had to change into an old NS carriage at Emmerich for the rest of the journey back into Holland. The train was extremely busy, in both directions, due to the Christmas holidays.

I shall post a separate entry with pictures.


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I do thank you for sharing all the sights. I do my traveling right here at my computer so I appreciate seeing things I never would otherwise. That cathedral is something I've always heard of and it is quite impressive to say the least. Sorry you've been chilled through and through as this time of year the weather is often cold. I hope you enjoy the visit now and can stay a bit warmer. If I know you though you will be out walking. Merry Christmas!

Jan said...

I take it you didnt think to remove your head gear immediatly lol tut tut ,sounds as though your Dad and you are having a good time together ,Im so pleased for you both ,I am gonna try to post after Christmas if I dont you have my permission to nag me, hee hee Have a blessed Christmas Jan xx

Sybil said...

What a and these trips to Holland...
Love the photographs of the Cathedral etc..Is it my imagination but are these Cathedral "administrators" getting a bit beyond themselves...It is the sam eher en Bath they stand there with their hands out demanding get into a church !! well I'm sorry I just say no thank you I do not need to pay to use the Lords House...(I might not even take me hat off either !!)
It's to get a wee bit warmer here after tomorrow it is -9 at the momenet (8pm)
Enjoy the rest of your holiday
Love Sybil