Day 13 July 4, 2017 Cologne, July 4th party, Farewell Cocktail Party and Gala Dinner

Only one more day on cruise. Today lots of activity on board. After touring Cologne – more about this later- we had a combination Captain’s Farewell Cocktail Party where we got to meet the entire crew. Then the Farewell Gala Dinner with the bonus of a July 4th celebration, enjoyed by the 2 Canadians and 2 Brits as well as us Yanks

Morning started with tour of Cologne, we passed the unusual Crane Buildings then on way to the Cathedral. Prior to entering the building we were shown some archeological sites including a beautiful tiled floor several feet below current street level.

I did take some note about the Cathedral – It is the most visited in Germany with 20,000-25,000 visitors per day or over 6 million/year. It took 632 years to complete 1248-1880 as funding availability changed. Obviously, cleaning and maintenance are ongoing with scaffolding and “spare gargoyles” and stone on site. I think we spent more time in this cathedral than any other and light provided many good photo opportunities.

About noon the bus returned to the ship, however since ship not leaving for several hours I decided to tour the city on my own. Went through the main shopping street. Passed many street side cafes. They had interesting way of carrying the local style beer glasses to patrons –koelsch beer glasses and tray.

Along the way I saw the Farina Cologne shop and museum, got to the Alter Haymarket and the City Hall (German: Kölner Rathaus),. Eventually down to the river front which had a very nice pedestrian walk way, lawn and bike areas as well as interesting shops and hotels. Along the way I could see our ship in the distance. Went through the gift shop at the Schololaden (Chocolate) Museum, but no time to visit the museum itself. Eventually crossed the bridge nearest to the ship and back on board a little after 2:00pm.

That afternoon Lorelay and Bobbie gave us a Disembarking Briefing as we set sail for Amsterdam, a reminder that our wonder journey as almost over

Our spirits were uplifted at the Captains Farewell Cocktail party where we got to meet the entire ship’s crew (chefs were busy so we met them after dinner). Then the Farewell Captains Dinner, with the added celebration of July 4th
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