Cologne is the fourth largest city in Germany and the largest on the Rhine. Our first stop in the city is the Cologne Cathedral, the largest Gothic church in northern Europe and Germany's most-visited landmark, with an average of 20,000 visitors per day. Construction of the cathedral was started in 1248, paused from 1473 to the 1840s, and finished in 1880.
The cathedral is surrounded by shops, beer halls (in Cologne, beer is served in small glasses and the servers keep bringing replacements as we finish each one), and the train station. The bridge across the river from the train station is covered with love locks along the walls.
We walk along the banks of the Rhine, passing parks, restaurants, and more beer halls.
Soon, we reach the Museum of Chocolate and observe the mixture of old and new together on the banks of the Rhine.
We stroll through down the shopping streets of modern Cologne, entering a department store to admire the food, especially the white asparagus, which is now in season.
Returning to the cathedral, we find street artists at work with chalk in the plaza outside.
We cross the Rhine on the pedestrian part of the railroad bridge (passing the love locks) and find a small pop-up beer garden on the opposite bank.
We've only scratched the surface of Cologne, but we truly enjoy what we see.