Friday, September 27, 2019

Kinderdijk, The Netherlands

Kinderdijk is located about 15 km (9 miles) east of Rotterdam, where the Lek and the Noord rivers meet.  Around 1740, a system of 19 windmills was built here to drain the low-lying land and today they are the largest collection of old windmills in The Netherlands and one of the best-known tourist sites in the country.

 Along the river


We wander along the paths through the windmills.

Among the windmills

The land around the windmills is filled with active farms and fields of animals ignoring the tourists passing by.

 Local residents

 Small farms

Walking a bit further up the river, we find more modern windmills at work.

 Modern windmills

Leaving Kinderdijk, we pass through locks and observe first hand how close the ship is to the side of the locks (very) as we change elevation.

Ship on left, lock wall on right

We're now on the final leg of our trip, onward to Amsterdam.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Cologne (Köln), Germany

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.

Cologne Cathedral

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 and we cross to return to our ship.

 Streets and beer halls around the cathedral

 Train station and love locks

We walk along the banks of the Rhine, passing parks, restaurants, and more beer halls.

 Along the banks of the Rhine

We reach the Museum of Chocolate and observe the mixture of old and new together on the banks of the Rhine.

 Museum of Chocolate

 Old and new together

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.

 Shopping street

 Department store food

White asparagus

Returning to the cathedral, we find street artists at work with chalk in the plaza outside.

 Street artists

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 bank close to our ship.

 Crossing over, portable beer garden

We've only scratched the surface of Cologne, but we truly enjoy what we see.