Emerald Sky – Part 2: Cologne

Glynis at the Cathedral and Market As the Emerald Sky glided to its moorings on the banks of the River Rhine, I thought I had won the ‘Golden Ticket’ to the chocolate museum – well this ‘ticket’ was to the Lindt Chocolate Factory a short walk away from the ship, and a chocolate lovers dream!  The cost of the tour is 8 Euros, and you enter a world of chocolate knowledge, plus a small factory area that make the chocolates and of course the wonderful samples!  Then the chocolate shop and the cafe – drinking hot chocolate through a straw and watching the boats go by on the River Rhine – heaven.

This city is fascinating and steeped in history dating back to the Romans. Roman ruins can be found near the Cathedral, a superb mosaic and columns, all well preserved giving an insight into how grand Cologne must have been in Roman times.  The Hohenzollern Bridge, known as the Locking Bridge, with all the lovers’ locks attached to it links the old town with the new town.  Ruins are still being excavated from the Jewish Quarter that was destroyed in the war.

Glynis drinking the Gluhwein Cologne 4711 was created in the city, and has been in existence for over 200 years. It is still going strong, and you can find it at 4711 House, an ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ of perfume and smells for you to try.  Our visit coincided with the Christmas Markets and many squares were full of other ‘smells’ such as Gluhwein and Sausages, as well as Cinnamon, all wonderful smells on a cold winter’s day.  Cologne has 2 million visitors over the the Christmas season with seven Christmas markets for you to choose from.  The city has a ‘buzz’ about it with people from all over the world having a pre Christmas experience and loving it.  Drink a glass of Gluhwien and pay extra for the cup, all the cups are different and a lovely souvenir of your visit.  A small train – called the Christmas Markets’ Express – (but runs all year round), takes you to these markets and as they are spread out around the city this is a good way to see them.  You can pick up the train by the chocolate museum and opposite the Cathedral, and the cost is 5 Euros for a hop on hop off service to take you to the variety of squares and places of interest around the old town.

Glynis outside the Chocolate Museum Our search for the ‘Three Kings’ ended in Cologne!  The Shrine of the Three Magi is to be found in the twin towered Gothic Cathedral with its filigree elegance.  The shrine is a golden casket, and is said to hold the relics of the Three Wise Men.  The majestic Gothic interior is stunning and its stained glass windows are magnificent.  The Cathedral’s  twin towers – once used by the British Airmen as a landmark for the bombers in WW11 – stand untouched by the war.  Almost 95% of Cologne was devastated and the city has risen out of the ashes to be both beautiful and interesting.  The Cologne Cathedral is now a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the Cathedral by night is a beautiful sight.

Whatever your pace is, just wandering around this lovely city is a treat, to all your senses.  Feast your eyes on this beautiful city, eat and drink some wonderful delights and smell an aroma to remember.  Cologne, at whatever time of the year you visit; whether a weekend break or a wonderful leisurely cruise down the Rhine, is a place you will want to return to, even if it is only to taste more chocolate!

Glynis Sullivan travelled with Emerald Waterways.  Read more information

•  Read Emerald Sky – Part 1: What’s On Board
•  Read Emerald Sky – Part 3: Salzburg
•  Read Emerald Sky – Part 4: Vienna
•  Read Emerald Sky – Part 5: Budapest
•  Read Emerald Sky – Part 6: The perfect Christmas River Cruise

302 people found this helpful
17845

Share Article:

Glynis Sullivan

Traveller and writer for Silver Travel Advisor

Leave a comment

*

Sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest travel tips on top destinations.

Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Most Recent Articles

For seasoned cruisers seeking something new, or for first-timers testing the waters, this Riviera Travel Croatian cruise offers a unique…

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.