Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

November 2005 : Cologne

Given the scale of the destruction that it suffered in World War II - over 90% of its buildings were lost - it is no real surprise that Cologne misses out on first prize for Germany's prettiest city. And, to be honest, probably second and third as well. Despite this, it is a place that I invariably think of as interesting and enjoyable, even after four visits. The purpose of this short weekend trip was to 'do' the Christmas markets and finally make a start on my Christmas shopping. (Might as well turn it into an excuse for a jaunt! ) With that as my major objective, any other sight-seeing was necessarily confined to the city centre and, in particular, the huge cathedral and the Old Town district adjacent to the mighty Rhine.

The Old Town from the Deutzer Brücke, showing river cruisers, the twin steeples of the cathedral and the tower of Groß St Martin church.

The railway bridge and cathedral from the Deutz side of the river. Deutz was once a city in its own right.

The same view by night

I took this shot of the cathedral's west doors while sheltering from a shower.

The shrine of the Three Magi inside Cologne Cathedral.

A rather large Advent wreath was in the process of being added to the sanctuary.

This view attempts to convey something of the height of this vast building.

Colourful Old Town houses partly obscure the tower of Groß St Martin.

The floodlit cathedral makes a spectacular night-time sight.

Christmas Markets

I made it to four out of the city's five Christmas markets - not bad for a short visit in poor weather! The pictures give a quick flavour of what it's all about, but of course you have to be there to experience the atmosphere.

Base : InterContinental