Our second morning began again with breakfast. We shared our table with Tina and Bob.
We had sailed overnight to Cologne, Germany, and arrived about 10:30 a.m. Shortly thereafter, we began the walking tour of the historical center of the city. Our guide told us that Cologne is the oldest city in Germany. It dates back to around AD 50, when the Romans established a major settlement. We had a really interesting guide. He told us how the Romans conquered one side of the river – the side we were on – but couldn’t get across to the other side. They called the people on the other side “barbarians.” Now, the politically correct people call them the “cross-eyed” people instead.
In 1709, Italian expat and Cologne resident Giovani Farina created a citrus-scented toiletry he dubbed “Eau de Cologne” in honor of his adopted city. Other perfumeries followed, especially Wilhelm Meulhens, who founded the famous “4711″ brand (named after the address of his manufacturing building). There are several museums in the area, as well as a Chocolate Museum – which we didn’t get to!
Because it was Sunday we could not get into the cathedral until after services, so we walked around the outside of it and the square. Our guide told us about the cathedral, how long it took to build which part, which was the oldest, etc. He gave us other information about Cologne. He was a very interesting man.
Many years ago, while we were living in Germany and took our own tours of the country, we visited Cologne, and found a fountain that depicted an interesting and funny story about German workers.
While on our tour, we walked right up to the fountain – called the Elves of Cologne. We were so excited! We thought we would have to find it on our own, and there it was! Wikipedia says: The Heinzelmännchen are a race of creatures appearing in a tale connected with the city of Cologne in Germany. The little house gnomes are said to have done all the work of the citizens of Cologne during the night, so that the inhabitants of Cologne could be very lazy during the day. According to the legend, this went on until a tailor’s wife got so curious to see the gnomes that she scattered peas onto the floor of the workshop to make the gnomes slip and fall. The gnomes, being infuriated, disappeared and never returned. From that time on, the citizens of Cologne had to do all their work by themselves.
After lunch and naps on the ship, Fred and I went back out into Cologne to find a book on the Elves of Cologne, which we found in the “information” building. The story is essentially what I remember about it.
Our dinner companions that night were an Australian couple, Velma and Jeff.
We also had Jill and Roy from Albuquerque, New Mexico (actually Belen). He is a retired veterinarian, and she is a retired nurse. We had a most interesting talk about Albuquerque We also had dinner with Rich and Mary from Pennsylvania who we ate with the first night on board.
Back to the room and relatively early to bed. These are long days, and we still aren’t over our jet-lag.
~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~