|At least we got to sleep in until 6:00 a.m. today! Had a good night sleep. No TV tho, you had to buy a 10 euro card in the lobby to put in the clicker, so read for a while. We're off to Cologne, Germany or Koln more appropriately. North Germany is very flat, but strangely not farmed. It's almost all wooded. We stopped at another autogrill before Koln and it was hysterical. There were turnstiles that you had to put .50 e in and then it gives you a ticket. Then, if you buy something, you get the .50e back. Way to turn sales, as most people on the bus did. I had to keep the ticket for the scrapbook. Then the toilet seat cleans itself. Everyone was having a grand time with that!
Didn't care much for Koln, it was quite dirty. It's a very new city, relatively, as 90% of the city was destroyed during the 2nd world war. There is one ENORMOUS church there, I think Gerry said it had the highest spires in Europe at 500 feet tall. The final on the top is 17 feet high. Bought some kind of pastry that looked like a pretzel, but was more like a puff pastry with some chocolate and almonds - yummmmm. It was delicious. I tell you, the Germans know how to bake. There were a few bakeries with the most amazing looking pastries and breads. And they also sold the most amazing looking sandwiches. Did find out this was where the first 'eau du koln' was made and buy a small bottle -- it's quite citrusy.
On to a little village called Boppard where we catch the boat for a trip down the Rhine river. Saw lots of castles along the way, some are restored and now are restaurants / hotels / B&B's and such. There is part of a castle thing in the middle of the river, but I find out it's like a toll booth from long ago (castle era). They used to put chains across the river and then people using the river had to pay. We're in the midlands where they grow grapes for Reisling wine. We see all sorts of vineyards going up the mountain sides, which is pretty bizarre. I mean, how do they grow up on the sides of mountains as it doesn't look like there's that much soil. But more important, how do they pick the grapes???? It would take a gravity defying feat, as some of them were extremely steep. Hope they have good workers comp!!!!
On again to where we are for the night, which is Weinheim, a little town. We all walk down to the mall, but it's pretty much same as at home but a few different stores. Haven't bought much, as we've mostly stopped in touristy spots and we haven't had much time to look around at most.
We're having dinner in a bit, so should go change and we're off tomorrow. We're stopping for a cuckoo clock demonstration (yes, yes, Waldo, I won't forget to get you one ... LOL!!!) and then we go to a couple of other places -- cant' remember right now. Then we head over through Zurich to Lake Luzerne. It will be our first 2 night stay, so it will be nice to do a bit of laundry that will have time to dry.
All in all, it's been great so far. Lovely scenery and good company -- who can go wrong with that!