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Cruising the Rhine – Day 6

RhineCruseHC_Cologne Cathedral © Heather CowperCologne Cathedral

Day 6 – Our Rhine Cruise Ends at Cologne

 

Cologne Cathedral

On the final day of our Rhine river cruise with Lüftner Cruises, we woke up in Cologne, within a short walk of the city centre. While many other guests left early for their city walk, we packed our cases and disembarked mid-morning, leaving our suitcases in an automated baggage store at the station.

At the heart of Cologne is the magnificent cathedral, that was one of the few buildings that remained standing in the Second World War and consequently the twin spires have become the landmark of the city. On the cruise we had an excellent guide for every place we visited, but now we were free to wander at our own pace with just a leaflet to explain the points of interest. The cathedral has many beautiful side chapels, colourful stained glass and precious altar decorations and we had time to see most things of interest, before the visitors were restricted in order to allow a time of prayer.

A Stop for Lunch

Although there were plenty of pleasant cafes along the river frontage, we decided on lunch at one of the many beer halls around the Heumarkt where a street market was just setting up. Despite the traditional appearance, our choice turned out to be an Italian restaurant and I ordered from their asparagus menu featuring several dishes using the local asparagus that was in season.

Cologne Chocolate Museum

With a couple of hours to spare, we walked to the chocolate museum on the banks of the Rhine, joining the crowds of teenagers and school children. In the museum we learned how the cacao beans are grown and chocolate made, and walked through a mini tropical greenhouse growing some of the cacao and other tropical plants. There was a large room of chocolate making machinery where we could see chocolate progressing from the melting stage, to being moulded and wrapped in foil, all on the same machine. After a cup of hot chocolate and a slice of chocolate cake in the café with a view of the Rhine, we took a bicycle taxi from outside the museum back to the station where the train took us to the airport.

While we had to go home a little early, the Amadeus Princess was continuing for a further couple of days as far as Amsterdam. We left with great memories of our first cruise, finding it a very relaxing way to travel. We had been able to dip into interesting riverside towns, each with its own story to tell, while enjoying a comfortable and luxurious base on the Amadeus Princess.

Rhine CruiseHC_Cologne_Cathedral_Choclate Museum © Heather CowperCologne: Leaving the Amadeus Princess – Cologne Cathedral – Chocolate Fountain at the Chocolate Museum
Heather Cowper

Our guest author, Heather Cowper writes at Heatheronhertravels.com about inspirational travel destinations, bringing you stories, photos, videos and podcasts from Europe and around the world. You can also connect with Heather on her Twitter page @heathercowper and on her Facebook page

Heather’s Rhine River Cruise was hosted by Lüftner Cruises who specialise in European river cruises on the Rhine, Danube, Rhône and other destinations in Europe, with personal service and Austrian hospitality.

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