We're in Mannheim. No free internet, so this can wait.
: - : - : - : - : - : - : - : - :
Today we left Amsterdam and travelled through Arnheim to Cologne. Our tour director is a history major and entertains us with interesting historical commentaries and stories as we travel, so today of course - the Battles of Arnheim and the Bulge and Operation Market Garden, the attempt by the Allies to hold the bridges over the numerous canals and get a significant force right there on Germany's doorstep.
And to Cologne. This town was originally established as a Roman garrison in 38AD. its proximity to the Rhine made it an important staging post for transport.
The building of the Cologne Cathedral was begun in 1248. And only finished in 1880. Makes modern building project hold-ups seem pretty mild....
The Cathedral is Gothic and huge, dominating the landscape.
An architectural and construction wonder.
But not a spiritual one in any way. Inside were dozens of people chatting, photographing, lighting votive candles, doing almost anything but pray.
I left it and wandered off to buy a postcard to send to Mum. And again found actually posting postcards to be in the too-hard basket. Postcards are for sale all over the place, but obviously people just take them home, because postboxes are pretty-well non-existent. If I can buy stamps I give the mail to the hotel concierge to post. But e-mail is king!
Photos will tell the story as we sailed between Boppard and St Goar on the Rhine.
A cute street in St Goar.
Quote of the day (I offer it without comment, although the fact that I offer it at all is a comment in itself..)
A really nice Texan couple telling me about their part of Houston, they live in the country where every crop you can name grows. "Yessiree, ma'm, all that fresh stuff growing right on the doorstep and healthy?! The skies are criss-crossed by planes spraying herbicide, pesticide, defoliant, you can't get healthier than that."