Cologne, Germany

Postcard dated: 31 March 2007

[Postcard/Picture]

On the reverse of the postcard...

Hello from Cologne!

My visit here is removed from Neuschwanstein only by a walk around the nearby city of Füssen and a beautiful train ride cutting diagonally through Germany.

I've come today to see the famous Cathedral, seat of the Archbishop of Cologne. This postcard shows is just a sample of ornamentation over one door. Now consider that this UNESCO World Heritage Site is 516' tall, over 85,000 square feet in inside area, and includes almost 108,000 square feet of windows - most of them quite ornate stained glass! I arrived here at Golden Hour for some appropriately golden lighting inside and outside of the church, though unfortunately I hadn't pre-checked opening hours and it closed before I could climb the tower.

This meant that I had more time to explore in the city of Cologne, which I did. It was quite nice to walk around and see the city by sunset. At first, everything seemed quiet enough to make me wonder where all the people were...and then I found them! They were all in the many restaurants, bars, and kniepen of one particular part of town along the river.

Cologne is the first city I've seen to make modern art out of the pipes and chutes of a building project, but that seemed like quite a nice approach to what might otherwise be complained about.

While strolling around, I found a sight quite familiar from my recent studies of German (on the train there). It was something like in Amsterdam when we visited the Rijksmuseum and saw a couple wonderfully done detailed paintings of a city square at night...and then I found exactly the vantage point and framing of the painting during our casual city stroll that evening.

After a dinner and a walk through an arts-and-philharmonic square, I headed back to the train station to return home on a very well-used rail pass day. Interestingly enough, as I got off the twenty-past-midnight train in Bremen, Andrew J. of the Lafayette-IUB group was getting on the same train at the same door. He was headed out for the beginning of his Spring Break trip, which apparently did not begin quite so well, but those odd little connections are showing up now a little more than I would have expected. I'm taking that as a good sign for the rest of the trip! It's a small world, after all...

Grace and peace,

Ben

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