Blogs from North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, Europe


Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Cologne October 13th 2018

Arrived Cologne at 7am. After leisurely breakfast departed for Augustusburg Palace in Bruhl. Palace constructed for Clemens August (1700-1761) prince elector and Archbishop of Cologne. Oppulent Rococo style with the most amazing grand marble staircase as important guests arrived in their coaches. Palace only used in the spring/summer by the prince elector as a reception house for international guests. Very lavish state receptions were held by the German state in recent times here. Quick look at the gardens then 15min drive to his hunting lodge. Here to was grand oppulent apartments plus a falconry. We had a good look inside then returned to ship for lunch. After lunch quick walk along the promenade towards town. Departed for Amsterdam at 4.30pm. Farwell Gala Dinner tonight.... read more
Palace of Augustusburg
Palace gardens

Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Cologne October 12th 2018

After breakfast arrived Rudesheim. Hopped on the tourist bus for drive around town then to Siegfrieds Musical Museum. Privately owned collection of historical mechanical instruments. Very interesting display of pneumatic and mechanical organs, pianolas & street organs. After strolled through cobbled streets and alleys back to the ship. Lunch then cruise the picturesque Rhine Valley. Sailed through the Rhine Valley Gorge, very scenic, castles on the hill tops overlooking the river and villages. Some castles in ruins others now privately owned hotels. Around every bend another perfect view, cute villages backdropped by forests judt turning yellow for autumn or steep mountains with ruins atop. Because the river is so low many people enjoying the rocky riverbanks either fishing, picnicing or sunbaking. Could only just cruise through the gorge as the low water mark was 53cm. Most ... read more
Siegfrieds musical museum

Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Dusseldorf August 1st 2018

The journey home begins – Saturday July 28, 2018 We wake up to Leonarda calling for his morning breakfast, Kirsten is out the door with bread in hand. It’s like a baby calling for her momma. I call out, see what you’ve created, Kirsten smiles yea, I wish I could take her home with us. That wakes me up, not even no but...... #$&% NO! While were eating breakfast, Kirsten goes over our assigned choirs. It seems to me my list grew from last night assignments. We’ve all finished our choirs are bags are packed and in the car. Yes, the time has come we’re sad, but all GREAT vacations must come to an end. We’ve cleaned the house, changed the sheets, vacuumed the floors, cleaned anything and everything. The owners will be home tonight, and ... read more

Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Dortmund July 4th 2018

I wake up after a great sleep, it’s up there with the top 3 best nights. They have these shutters; all European houses have these nifty shutters. They totally block out the sun. I mean it’s Mammoth Cave dark and if you don’t know what that means... then talk to someone from Kentucky. I wake up, Kirsten is still passed out. I get up and make all kinds of noise, she doesn’t move. I grab my stuff, PC, Hearing Aids, clothes .... you know, stuff. I drop half of it while trying to get through the door. Kirsten is still OUT! I go down stairs and check my emails and start blogging. In about an hour, Uli comes down and asked if I slept well. Yes, I did thank you. In the next hour, Kirsten and ... read more

After a lazy morning Vince & Alison came over so we decided to go for a walk with Tonz around this lovely lake near place. It was very pretty around the lake and you can see why it is a good spot to go walking or jogging. There were a couple of fantastic playgrounds so of course we had to get in amongst it! After this we continued on past the new gym/health spa and then Tonz asked if we wanted to see some deer. Of course we said Yes so we headed off through some bush in search of them. At first it was quite easy going and then we came into this beautiful clearing that was circled by really tall trees. From here the going got tougher and we were walking through some interesting ... read more
The Lake - we walked all around this in our stroll
The boys in the kitchen, preparing dinner.
The whole family - and one flying baby!

Big day planned today so was up and ready. Had coffee and a lovely smoothie Tonz made. He has been living in Germany for such a long time that he sometimes has trouble remembering the English word for something. He was explaining all the items that were in the smoothie - banana, avocado, berries and then he says with mince. I'm like "what..... wait a minute...." until we worked out he was saying Mint but the German words is minze. Haha - all good, there was no raw meat in the smoothie. Tonz went and picked up Vince & Alison and then we all walked to the Strassenbahn Linie 1 (this is the tram). We changed over to the train at Deutz and then got the regional train to Linz. Tonz & Susi had been on ... read more
Beautiful Linz
Tony & Susi in Linz
The lads!

Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Dusseldorf July 3rd 2018

I wake up after an OK night’s sleep, well as good as it can be flying 30 thousand feet over the pond. That’s Kentuckian for large body of water. We land and make it through customs, well Kirsten and Omi are, I truly think they like messing with me. I get the 3rddegree and by the time I make through Kirsten and Omi are discussing leaving me. Kirsten gives me the WHAT THE look and I just shrug and shake my head. We wind our way through the airport and pick up the car. Kirsten goes to the garage and gets the car; Omi and I decide to wait in the pick-up zone with the luggage. In less than 5 minutes, Kirsten comes up to a screeching stop in front of Omi and says .... Uber? ... read more

A bit of a slower start to today due to too much fun being had last night lol. Tonz and I walked into Bergisch Gladbach via the forest that is right near their house. It is such a beautiful place. There had been a huge storm a few months back with hurricane like winds and some of the big, 100 + year old trees had been blown over as well as many of the pine trees. You could see big patches that are now missing trees and there is timber being cut and piled up for removal. Luckily there are still many parts that survived though. Firstly we went to Aldi as I wanted to get a SIM card for my phone. So much cheaper to buy the SIM over here - and within the EU ... read more
Hello Evi ♥️
All of us!

Up early to have breakfast and finish packing. There is a bus that leaves from very near to my hotel so I planned to get the one that left at 9:15. All good - you just pay the driver €2.80 and you're off. The bus arrived at the Central Train station about 15 minutes later so I had plenty of time to find my platform and where I needed to be standing before the train departed at 9:59. The train journey took 5 hours but it was very pleasant and a good way to see some more of the countryside. I arrived at Köln station just after 3pm and followed the instructions my cousin Tony (or Tonz as he is known to us!) to the platform for a train to Bergisch Gladbach. I missed one step ... read more
The view from the train

Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Cologne June 16th 2018

We arrive in Cologne (Köln in German) around 8 am. It's beautiful day weatherwise. By 9, we are beginning a walking tour of the city. My guide is a young man named Chris who likes to keep us amused with odd little stories. Cologne (Köln in German) is one of the country's largest cities. For much of its existence it occupied the west bank of the Rhine only. In fact, during Roman times it was a bastion of civilization against the Germanic tribes on the opposing bank. The city now straddles both sides of the Rhine. Cologne was heavily damaged, in fact almost levelled, during WWII. Its famous centrepiece, the Cologne Cathedral, is so large that it was used by allied bomber crews as a key landmark. The cathedral itself sustained heavy damage but remained standing. ... read more
Heritage homes in the Fish Market
Old Market, with Cathedral spires in background
Interior of Cologne Cathedral

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