LOCATION: On the Rhine River on AMA Waterways River Cruise
WEATHER: Another surprisingly nice day (forecast had been rain which didn’t materialize)
Our ship has a wellness coach on staff, so we did a stretching class with him. We were the only ones in the class. It felt good.
To celebrate entering Germany, the cruiseline offered a Bavarian lunch – lots of sausages and kraut. This part of Germany is pretty industrial. We passed a lot of huge factories in Dusseldorf, then entering Cologne. The view of the cathedral welcomed us to Cologne.
We docked right near the central part of the city and a tour guide took us through the old town. It was interesting to see the few buildings that survived the bombing of WWII.
The cathedral dominates the city. I was here 50 years ago, and my only real recollection of Cologne was walking out of the train station and looking up to this view…
The tour guide then took us to a beer hall where we had the local beer – Kolsch. Kolsch is only made in Cologne, and is also the name of the dialect spoken here. You drink Kolsch in special, small beer glasses as it is only good when it is cold. The waiters come around with huge trays and replace your glass without being asked.
We also sampled a local specialty of potato pancakes with applesauce, and a thick brown bread.
Here is our tour guide enjoying a Kolsch, too. He is a Brit studying in Cologne.
The custom is that the waiters continue serving you Kolsch until you put a beer coaster on top of your glsas, signaling “Surrender!”
Back on the ship, we had happy hour, then dinner. After the potato pancake, I stuck with just a salad, while George enjoyed the sauerbraten.
We had a special entertainer come on board who sang and played dance tunes for us. Fun!