A Travellerspoint blog

Cologne

Thursday 10th - We awoke to our first wet day since we left NZ on 5th July. It was overcast and only about 20 degrees but virtually no wind so not entirely unpleasant but it felt a bit chilly after what we've been used to so all put jackets on. We had the morning free in Cologne and had decided again not to do the guided walk which included the Cologne Cathedral (The Cologne Cathedral is truly awe-inspiring even from the outside) and instead we had, on Rory’s recommendation decided to visit the Chocolate Museum and the Nazi’s Documentation Centre, housed in the Gestapo’s wartime headquarters. We took a mini train that dropped us there after a tour through the city centre. The chocolate Museum has a fully-functional production plant which was a fascinating watch. Seeing how the process works, from beans to the finished article was great. In this Lindt plant the molten chocolate (130 degrees celcius) is actually mixed constantly for three days to get the required consistency and smoothness. We even got to press a button to select a sample for quality control! I can assure you it passed the test! The National Socialist (Nazi) museum was also well worth the visit. This building housed the cells where political prisoners were held by the Gestapo and tortured during WW II and over 400 were hanged there in 1944 and 1945 as the Nazis got desperate. The original scrawlings and inscriptions the prisoners wrote on the walls are still there and their stories told. It is very poignant and thought-provoking and it’s great to see the Germans have accepted they should not try and sweep this history under the carpet. We had lunch in a cafe that looked like it had enough food to feed an army or two (it was good food though!) and went back to the boat. We left for Amsterdam at 2pm with the gala farewell dinner held in the evening. The food was very good. The pianist was in good form and had a few of the yanks up dancing. We shared a port or two with the Watsons from Hawkes Bay and watched the entertainment. We expect to arrive in Amsterdam around 7am on Friday and there is a full day planned by Avalon apparently.

Posted by 3kiwisabroad 17:00

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