Results tagged “Walking” from Europe Honeymoon 2008

It was raining when I woke up :(

And then I checked the Untersberg webcam and got very sad. So went back to bed for a while.

In fact had a very slow morning, sleeping in and not getting out the door until 11am.

Stu wanted to go to the Mozart mass in the cathedral, so we did that. Then had coffee/hot chocolate in a cafe afterwards. It was a great hot chocolate - not too hot!

Attending mass at the University Church
Attending mass at the University Church 

Front of the University Church
Front of the University Church

Meandered around the old town for a bit trying to find somewhere open to have lunch (pretty much everything shuts on Sunday in Austria). Eventually found a place where I had a ghoulash soup and Stu some pasta with ham and cheese.

Went down to the bus stop with the thought of maybe going up Untersberg in the hopes that we'd get a break in the clouds, but the clouds seemed to be getting *lower*, and regular checks of the webcam showed no letup.

So we decided just to go to Hellbrunn instead. Our Salzburg cards covered entry to the "trick fountains" tour, which was just starting as we arrived (you have to go on the tour). But it was totally overcrowded and couldn't understand a word the guide said, even when he was speaking in English. So after not being able to hear about the first couple of things and not able to see either for the crowds of people I was pretty grumpy with the whole place. Barely took any photos. Only a couple of things stood out - the kilo metal "crown" that sat atop a jet of water and could be raised and lowered with just the pressure of the water, and a big mechanical model of a townscape with figures that moved by the flow of water. It would have been nice to spend more time looking at that one, as it was very detailed and there was all sorts of stuff going on in the scene.

Trick fountains at Hellbrunn
Trick fountains at Hellbrunn. Apparently Archbishop Markus Sittikus
used to set off the fountains under his guests' seats while they were
eating and drinking to make them think they'd wet themselves. 

Water-operated theatre
Water-operated theatre - all the characters there were moving - it was
very cool 

The 1kg cone sitting atop a jet of water
The 1kg cone sitting atop a jet of water


I really wouldn't recommend the tour to anyone, it's just not that good. That is, it could have been a lot better if the operators weren't so money-grabbing and ran much smaller groups, and got guides who could actually speak properly (maybe separate German/English tours??)
Anyways, wandered around the gardens for a little while afterwards, and had another look at the Sound of Music gazebo, sans crowds.

Sturgeon in one of the ponds
Sturgeon in one of the ponds

Pond at Schloss Hellbrunn
Pond at Schloss Hellbrunn 

Schloss Hellbrunn
Schloss Hellbrunn

More checks of Untersberg showed no real improvement, so we started walking back to Schloss Frohnburg for a better look at the building that we only whizzed by at a distance from on the tour bus. So that was extremelly cool being able to see the building up close, and then walking around the back to see it too. Very exciting :)

Unicyclist on Hellbrunner Allee
Unicyclist on Hellbrunner Allee 

The cause of my depression for the day - a cloud-topped Untersberg
The cause of my depression for the day - a cloud-topped Untersberg 

Schloss Frohnburg!!!
This on the other hand was one of the highlights of the trip - getting to
see Schloss Frohnburg up close! This is the actual building filmed in
The Sound of Music 

Stu by the gates of Schloss Frohnburg
Stu by the gates of Schloss Frohnburg 

And this is the rear of Schloss Frohnburg
And this is the rear of Schloss Frohnburg

Bussed it back into town. Stu went and had a sauna while I did internetty things.

Headed out to dinner, going to Spicy Spices, an Indian vegetarian/vegan restaurant. Was ok, the thing I had was a little warm for my taste, and serving sizes fairly small, but was ok.

Untersberg still in clouds... :(
Ok so it had to be done. I mean we're in Salzburg after all, right?  And it's not like I haven't wanted to do it for, oh, the last twenty or so years since my grandparents did it..

That's right, we went on the Sound of Music tour... !!

So I'd read plenty of reviews and read enough negative ones to not get my hopes up too high. So in the end, it wasn't too bad and even Stu enjoyed it.

So the tour stars off in front of Mirabell Palace and winds around some of the city streets, pointing out things like the Museum of Modern Art up on the cliff where part of do-re-mi was filmed, past the Mozart bridge where they all run across and look down at the river, and Nonnburg abbey.  Then they took us to Leopoldskron which is where they wanted to film but ultimately only used the lake frontage there and used Schloss Frohnburg for the back (and also the front, which we did see from a distance on the way to Hellbrunn).  Hellbrunn is where the gazebo is currently located, it having been moved twice so tourists could see it better.

Looking towards Untersburg across the lake in front of Schloss Leopoldskron
Looking towards Untersburg across the lake in front of
Schloss Leopoldskron 

Schloss Leopoldskron with the fortress in the background
Schloss Leopoldskron with the fortress in the background. The lake
foreshore and gates in the movie were filmed here, but not the
building itself.


Those gates are were the kids fell in the lake
Those gates are were the kids fell in the lake 

Our tour bus at one of the stops
Our tour bus at one of the stops 

Schloss Hellbrunn from a distance
Schloss Hellbrunn from a distance (we're only here to see the gazebo
so didn't get any closer today) 

Us in front of the gazebo
Us in front of the gazebo. This was originally located
in the grounds of Schloss Leopoldskron, but was
moved because of constant trespassing by tourists


Then we headed out to the lake country, passing by Fuschl and stopping to have a quick run on the toboggan (I wonder how much of a kickback they get from that?!). The toboggan is just like the one at Jamberoo. And just like at Jamberoo you can get stuck behind bumheads that are too scared to go down fast. So that was very frustrating for three of us who got stuck behind this girl :(  And unlike Jamberoo we couldn't just go back up for another run, as we only had time for one run, and it was 4.30euro a go! :(

Me coming down the toboggan
Me coming down the toboggan

Next stop was St Gilgen to overlook the lake and get a peek up to where they started filming the do-re-mi scene and the cog train (didn't actually see these, just told they were there :( ).

St Gilgen and Wolfgangsee
St Gilgen and Wolfgangsee. There are two shots of this lake (one from
either end) in the opening sequences in the movie


Then onto Mondsee to see the church where they filmed wedding. We had an hour stop here, so thought that would give us time to get some lunch. Bad idea. The cafe took half an hour to serve us, so we had all of five minutes to try and scoff our food :( I *hate* trying to eat when I'm in a rush, so it was incredibly stressful, thinking we'd miss our bus :(:(

Collegiate Church at Mondsee
Collegiate Church at Mondsee. The wedding scenes in
the movie were filmed here 

Collegiate Church at Mondsee
Collegiate Church at Mondsee. Julie Andrews walked down this aisle! 

Nave of the church
Nave of the church 

Roof of the church - very pretty!!
Roof of the church - very pretty!! 

Beer we had while stressing over how long our lunch was taking to arrive
Beer we had while stressing over how long our lunch was taking to arrive

Anyways. So then back on the autobahn to Salzburg. They played part of a dvd on the filming of the movie which showed a lot of clips and where they were filmed - very useful!

So there quite a few Americans (some loud, talkative ones as well as some nice (and quiet) ones), and some Australians too. The tour guide was a nutter, but kinda funny in a lame way heh. So was all good fun. Nobody sang though :( It was also good to get out and see the countryside as that's a bit hard to do when you don't have a car. There were still a few things I'd like to get back to have a closer look. But they very nicely gave us a detailed booklet on the filming locations which was very useful for the afternoon.

Anyways so they dropped us off outside Mirabell Palace, where there were several locations for the shooting do-re-mi. So spent a good while wandering around there. Then we wandered into the old town and went up the lift to the Museum of Modern Art (which took us a while to find as it wasn't really obvious (to our tired eyes anyway)) which had some great views of the city. Stu got a coffee there too while I figured out our plan of attack for the afternoon.

Pegasus fountain in Mirabell Palace Gardens
Pegasus fountain in Mirabell Palace Gardens. The scene was filmed
from a balcony directly above where this picture was taken from


Do-re-mi Kazza
Yeah yeah ;) I saw someone else had done this on the internet so
thought I would too :) Looking down the "do-re-mi" steps across the
gardens and up to the fortress in the distance 

Mirabell Palace and gardens
Mirabell Palace and gardens 

Mirabell Gardens and fortress
Mirabell Gardens and fortress 

These girls were on their own Sound of Music reenactment tour :)
These girls were on their own Sound of Music reenactment tour :) 

Statues at the southern end of the gardens
Statues at the southern end of the gardens. That tourist stand on the
right wasn't there in the movie ;) 

For some reason this amused me :)
For some reason this amused me :)

Hedge arcade (this was actually filmed in the other direction)
Hedge arcade (this was actually filmed in the other direction) 

Stone dwarf statue in Mirabell Gardens
This kids skip past this and pat this dude on the head. The statues have
been moved from their location by the river because of frequent flooding 

Blick vom Mönchsberg
Blick vom Mönchsberg - Terrace above the old town where they did
part of Do-Re-Mi


So the plan of attack was to go back down and go to all the places in the old town where they filmed scenes. This took several hours, heh. Wore poor Stu out in the process.. Oops.. Was a bit bummed that we couldn't see inside the Felsenreitschule (where they filmed the concert at the end) because you could only get in on a tour that runs once a day.

I thought this single geranium in a window was kinda cool
I thought this single geranium in a window was kinda cool 

Horse wash
Horse wash (also featured in the movie, but from the other side of the
street so you could see the whole thing) 

Cool tunnel through the mountain
Cool tunnel through the mountain 

Side wall of the Felsenreitschule
We found this at random trying to find a way up to the
back of Felsenreitschule to see if we could see down
into it (you can't because it's covered).. 

Salzburg
.. and found ourselves on the terrace where Maria starts singing "I Have
Confidence" straight after leaving the abbey (which is actually a decent
distance away!)


Interior of St Peter's Church
Interior of St Peter's Church 

Cemetery of St Peter's Church
Cemetery of St Peter's Church. This location inspired the scene near the
end of the movie, but was not filmed here (it was filmed in a sound studio) 

Cemetery of St Peter's Church
Cemetery of St Peter's Church 

Back to the cathedral, this time to get a shot in the right direction of the arches that Maria walks through in the movie
Back to the cathedral, this time to get a shot in the
right direction of the arches that Maria walks through
in the movie 

Horse fountain in Residenzplatz
And to get some photos of the horse fountain in Residenzplatz 

The movie shot didn't quite work here :)
The movie shot didn't quite work here :) 

Me walking into the gates at Nonnberg Abbey
Me walking into the gates at Nonnberg Abbey 

Interior courtyard of Nonnberg Abbey
Interior courtyard of Nonnberg Abbey 

Stu at the end of the Mozart Bridge with the fortress in the background
Stu at the end of the Mozart Bridge with the fortress in the background

And then finally back to the hotel to crash for a bit. Went out for "dinner" - again of dessert, as we'd eaten so much the rest of the day..
After a not-so-great night's sleep (temperature issues - the doonas make it "all or nothing"), woke up at 7am.

Went down for breakfast, which was ok, but much less variety than other places and no hot dishes :(

So then we began our walking tour of Vienna. Saw lots of buildings, a few churches, a palace or two, government buildings etc. Was a bit sad I didn't get to see the lipazzaner horses at the Spanish Riding school cause they were closing up for the day. We also popped into the Schmetterling Haus - butterflies!  Although I was expecting more than there actually were. One did land on Stu and seemed to find him rather tasty... :)

Hofburg Palace
Hofburg Palace 

Peterskirche
Peterskirche 

Albertina
Albertina 

Vienna Opera House
Vienna Opera House 

Exterior of the Schmetterlinghaus
Exterior of the Schmetterlinghaus 

Moth in the Schmetterlinghaus
Moth in the Schmetterlinghaus 

Interior of the Schmetterlinghaus
Interior of the Schmetterlinghaus 

Butterflies in the Schmetterlinghaus
Butterflies in the Schmetterlinghaus 

Butterfly in the Schmetterlinghaus
Butterfly in the Schmetterlinghaus 

This butterfly wanted to be Stu's friend
This butterfly wanted to be Stu's friend 

Butterflies in the Schmetterlinghaus
Butterflies in the Schmetterlinghaus 

South-eastern face of Hofburg Imperial Palace
South-eastern face of Hofburg Imperial Palace 

Natural History Museum
Natural History Museum 

MuseumsQuartier
MuseumsQuartier 

Hofburg Imperial Palace
Hofburg Imperial Palace 

Austrian Parliament
Austrian Parliament 

Burgtheater
Burgtheater 

Concert setup in front of the Rathaus (Town Hall)
Concert setup in front of the Rathaus (Town Hall) 

Rathaus (Town Hall)
Rathaus (Town Hall) 

I loved all the flowers decorating all the balconies and windows
I loved all the flowers decorating all the balconies and windows 

Schottenkirche
Schottenkirche 

Amazing selection of sweets in a shop on Graben
Amazing selection of sweets in a shop on Graben 

We quite liked this Just Married box near our hotel on Seilergasse
We quite liked this "Just Married" box near our hotel on Seilergasse

We went to another cafe near the cathedral for lunch (Chattanooga). I had some chicken satay sticks and Stu had Berner wurst - like cheese kranskies wrapped in bacon - yummm :)

Beers at Chattanooga near the cathedral
Beers at Chattanooga near the cathedral

Then it was a mission to find a laundromat. The hotel dude had given us the address of one so we went and found that, although it appears to be closing at the end of the month. The prices were scary - 7 euro just for the wash, plus powder and drying.. :(

Came back and then headed out again for a walk on Donauislen. Stu had a specific destination in mind, but we couldn't actually find it, so it just ended up being a very long (but not unpleasant) walk.

Donauinsel station - right in the middle of Reichsbrücke over the Danube
Donauinsel station - right in the middle of Reichsbrücke over the Danube 

The Blue Danube - railway bridge south of Südosttangente
The Blue Danube - railway bridge south of Südosttangente

Back again to recover before heading out for dinner. Back to Sparky's again as they have free wireless, so took the laptop along to book Salzburg accommodation. Then back to Cafe Mozart for dessert, as they also have free wireless :)

Was gonna was me hair tonight too.. But couldn't be stuffed...
Urgghhh

Another 6am start. Need i say more.

Stu was feeling sick so went down to breakfast by myself. Had more bacon yummm.

Then we packed up and made our way to the station to catch our train to Vienna. Pretty uneventful trip really.

Our train from Prague to Vienna
Our train from Prague to Vienna

Got dropped in Südbahnhof in Vienna and were left wondering how to get to the u-bahn. An info-point guy told us, oh go out, turn left and three hundred metres. Hrmmm. Through various building construction sites. Hrmmm. Such a friendly welcome to the city :/

Anyways, got the u-bahn to our hotel which turns out to be about 100 metres from the cathedral in the centre of the old town, so that was pretty cool. Until we had to figure out how to find reception. There was a locked gate at the front, so we had to buzz to be let in. But then there were no signs pointing to reception, so we had to buzz again to be told second floor. Bumheads. So checked in ok. Came up to the room, which is the smallest we've had so far. And no internet. The only internet is at kiosks and you have to pay 2 euro per thirty minutes. Bumheads.

So the first lesson to learn from all this is not to try and face a new city on an empty stomach. It was 3pm and we hadn't had lunch so our blood suger level would have been about minus five hundred if there were such a scale, so we really weren't coping very well. And Stu was still feeling sick. So our planned laundromat run didn't happen. Which means we'll have to cut short our sightseeing tomorrow just to find a laundromat :(  Blah!!

Anyways, we went down for a slightly early dinner at Sparky's cafe near the cathedral. And had 0.7L beers each!  And a wiener schnitzel because it had to be done. And apple strudel because that also had to be done. Heh.

Stephansdom
Stephansdom 

They try to soften the blow of ugly scaffolding by putting pictures of what it should look like in front
They try to soften the blow of ugly scaffolding by putting
pictures of what it should look like in front 

Inside Stephansdom
Inside Stephansdom 

700mL beers at Sparky's
700mL beers at Sparky's

Was quite full after that and we didn't have internet back at the room so went for a bit of a walk around the place. Including a return trip on the train that went the wrong way so we took the .. er.. scenic route around the other way.

Stephansdom detail
Stephansdom detail 

Stephansdom detail
Stephansdom detail 

Stephansdom detail
Stephansdom detail 

Model Stephansdom
Model Stephansdom 

Regierungsgebäude or Kriegsministerium or Ministry of War (or something)
Regierungsgebäude or Kriegsministerium or Ministry of War (or something) 

This was a bit of a spinout - a swimming pool set in the canal!
This was a bit of a spinout - a swimming pool set in the canal! 

The cleanliness of these train tracks is just *freaky*!!
The cleanliness of these train tracks is just *freaky*!!

So then back here to watch tv and play solitaire. Yay.
OK this waking up at 6am thing is getting a little old...

Breakfast was quite crowded and we actually had to wait to get a table. But it was pretty good and it even had some very nice bacon so had quite a bit of that ;)

After breakfast we wandered out to head into town. We didn't really have any set plans, so we just wandered up to and over the Charles Bridge and drifted with the hoardes of other tourists up the hill to the palace/cathedral. By the time we were halfway up and had passed never-ending tourist stores and stalls, as well as being crowded by the other tourists, we were pretty much over Prague. We stopped at Starbucks so Stu could a coffee before trudging onward and upward. The palace wasn't hugely impressive, but the cathedral inside was very nice. Not as big as Köln obviously, but still very detailed. We didn't feel up to queuing up to go inside (or up the tower), so just started wandering down the hill again.

Prague Castle over Bridge of Legion (Most Legií)
Prague Castle over Bridge of Legion (Most Legií) 

Vltava River and Charles Bridge (named for Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV)
Vltava River and Charles Bridge (named for Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV) 

Prague Castle over the famous Charles Bridge
Prague Castle over the famous Charles Bridge 

Old Town Bridge Tower on the eastern end of the Charles Bridge
Old Town Bridge Tower on the eastern end of the Charles Bridge.
I think the single extra tower on one corner makes the tower look
like it's *missing* something! 

Tourists and vendors on the Charles Bridge
Tourists and vendors on the Charles Bridge. Most of the traders were
selling art and photographs. 

Bridge tower on the western end of the Charles Bridge
Bridge tower on the western end of the Charles Bridge.
The taller, Late Gothic tower was erected in 1464 on
the orders of King George of Podebrady who wanted
a counterweight to the Old Town Bridge Tower. 

This McDonald's seemed strangely out of place in such a pretty city as Prague
This McDonald's seemed strangely out of place in
such a pretty city as Prague 

Trudging up Ke Hradu
Trudging up Ke Hradu. No real need for a map here, just follow the
hoards of tourists 

St. Nicholas Cathedral (Chram sv. Mikulase) and Prague from part way up the hill
St. Nicholas Cathedral (Chram sv. Mikulase) and Prague from part
way up the hill 

Summer Archbishop's Palace or Summer Archiepiscopal Palace (Letný arcibiskupský palác)
Summer Archbishop's Palace or Summer Archiepiscopal Palace (Letný
arcibiskupský palác) - apparently was in the movie Amadeus 

Front of Saint Vitus's Cathedral (Katedrála svatého Víta)
Front of Saint Vitus's Cathedral (Katedrála svatého Víta). You can't get
the whole of the front of it in in one shot. 

Detail on the side of the cathedral
Detail on the side of the cathedral 

Obelisk outside the cathedral in the castle grounds
Obelisk outside the cathedral in the castle grounds 

Saint Vitus's Cathedral
Saint Vitus's Cathedral 

I love this photo Stu took of us because it pretty much summed up our mood with Prague at the time
I love this photo Stu took of us because it pretty much
summed up our mood with Prague at the time 

But we did put on a happy face :)
But we did put on a happy face :)

View towards the old town from the palace walls
View towards the old town from the palace walls

At the bottom of the hill we stopped to have lunch at a "Bio Cafe" which was very nice, but very expensive for the amount of food we got. In fact all of Prague (or at least the touristy bits - I'm told once you get out of the tourist areas the prices drop considerably) is very expensive. Right up there with the other places we've been so far, maybe even more so.

Continued wandering into the old town area to the market place. Where we stopped to have a couple of beers while watching the world go by. At 3pm I went over to the Astronomic Clock because crowds had been gathering for twenty minutes and thought might see something interesting. Alas it was a massive anticlimax!  Oh well. Went back to finish my beer.

Charles Bridge and tower
Charles Bridge and tower 

Tethered ballon over, and boats on, the Vltava River
Tethered ballon over, and boats on, the Vltava River 

The Rudolfinum where we later saw a concert
The Rudolfinum where we later saw a concert 

Cute trams
Cute trams 

Old Town Square
Old Town Square 

Týn Cathedral and buildings in the Old Town Square
Týn Cathedral and buildings in the Old Town Square 

Jan Hus Memorial.  This dude was burned at the stake in 1415
Jan Hus Memorial. This dude was burned at the stake in 1415

Goltz-Kinsky Palace in the Old Town Square
Goltz-Kinsky Palace in the Old Town Square 

St. Nicholas Church (Kostel sv. Mikuláse) in the Old Town Square
St. Nicholas Church (Kostel sv. Mikuláse) in the Old Town Square 

Relaxing with pilsners in the Old Town Square and watching the tourists
Relaxing with pilsners in the Old Town Square and watching the tourists 

Prague Astronomical Clock on the southern wall of Old Town City Hall in the Old Town Square
Prague Astronomical Clock on the southern wall of
Old Town City Hall in the Old Town Square 

It's quite pretty, but the 3pm ringing was a complete anticlimax
It's quite pretty, but the 3pm ringing was a
complete anticlimax


Kept on wandering and ended up back at the hotel to rest for a bit.

kostel sv. Kříže Menšího‎
kostel sv. Kříže Menšího‎ 

Russian Dolls
If you can't get your family to get you one of these when they go to
Russia, you have to get one yourself in a former Eastern Bloc country.
This one has eleven nested dolls.


For dinner we went to the chinese restaurant next door to the hotel because the board out the front had some cheap prices and we only had 300k left in cash. Except when we got inside most of the mains were like 280k *each* :(  So that was a bit silly. In the end we found some cheap options but we couldn't afford drinks (just got some chinese tea) and they don't understand the concept of tap water in this country either :(

Then we wandered back into town to the Rudolfinum to see a performance of Smetena and Dvorak  It was brilliant!!  It was 900k each for unreserved seats so it was a little pricy for a one hour show. But the orchestra was amazing, a really good performance. I didn't know the music either, but Stu did and he enjoyed himself immensely.

Charles Bridge in the early evening
Charles Bridge in the early evening 

Prague Metronome
Prague Metronome, erected in 1991, and stands on the plinth left vacant
by the destruction of an enormous monument to former Soviet leader
Joseph Stalin 

Prague Rudolfinum interior
Prague Rudolfinum interior 

Prague Castle and Charles bridge by night
Prague Castle and Charles bridge by night

So that was our day in Prague. Maybe we should have gone on a tour. But we were kind of over the place before we even started which didn't really help :(  Next time we'll have to go to one of the less touristy cities...

I slept in til 7am today! Woot! Altho Stu woke up feeling nauseus which wasn't very pleasant for him :(

Went down for a big breakfast (also not included with the room tariff - talk about a tight-ass hotel...)

And then we hit the streets of Dresden for a general wander about the place. Was all very nice. Except I had to go to the loo after a while and got frustrated cause there aren't any toilets in Germany. There are so few that they could all be printed on the tourist map of the entire city!!! But even with the map I still couldn't find one :( After some more wandering we did eventually find one. Now Stu had told me that while you have to pay for toilets, they are clean and well kept. Well this is the first one that I lowered myself to pay for and it was crap!! It didn't even have a seat, just small plastic runners that only covered part of the cold metal bowl :( Not happy Jan!


I like to call this artwork Ten Cranes
I like to call this artwork "Ten Cranes" 

A variation on the Berlin stop/go lights - a girl!
A variation on the Berlin stop/go lights - a girl! 

A variation on the Berlin stop/go lights - a girl!
A variation on the Berlin stop/go lights - a girl! 

Excavations outside Kreuzkirche
Excavations outside Kreuzkirche 

Kreuzkirche
Kreuzkirche, showing the blackening from the firebombing during the war 

Frauenkirche
Frauenkirche. This church was almost completely demolished during the war, then rebuilt mostly from original stone and reopened in 2005 (Google Earth shows the whole thing surrounded in a construction building). We might have gone inside but there was some youth festival on and too many people making too much noise. 

Statue of Martin Luther outside Frauenkirche
Statue of Martin Luther outside Frauenkirche 

A piece of the original dome of the Frauenkirche
A piece of the original dome of the Frauenkirche 

The blackened part is one of the two larger sections of the church that remained after the bombing.  They rebuilt the church around it.
The blackened part is one of the two larger sections of the church that
remained after the bombing. They rebuilt the church around it. 

Academy of Fine Arts
Academy of Fine Arts 

Dome of the Academy of Fine Arts
Dome of the Academy of Fine Arts 

All we need now is Donatello to complete the set..
All we need now is Donatello to complete the set.. 

Augustusbrücke, on the site of the oldest bridge in Dresden
Augustusbrücke, on the site of the oldest bridge in Dresden 

Stallhof and Hofkirche
Stallhof and Hofkirche 

This toilet was not worth 25c!!
This toilet was not worth 25c!! 

Semperoper (Opera House)
Semperoper (Opera House) 

Fountain and Zwinger Gardens
Fountain and Zwinger Gardens

Courtyard of Zwinger Palace
Courtyard of Zwinger Palace 

Zwinger Palace
Zwinger Palace

Staatsschauspiel theatre
Staatsschauspiel theatre

So continued wandering back to the hotel, checked out, and headed up to the station. Got our ticket in advance for Prague to Vienna so don't have to worry about that here. Now as I mentioned yesterday we were meant to have two middles on a table set of seats, but when we got on the people there had taken the two forward-facing seats, so I was all "sweet, I get a window" - backwards :) It's almost tradition now to be going backwards heh. We were even on the right side of the train to get a good view of the Elbe River as we travelled alongside it.


Training down (up) the Elbe River
Training down (up) the Elbe River 

Part of the Bastei Bridge in the Bastei rocks near Oberrathen
Part of the Bastei Bridge in the Bastei rocks near Oberrathen

Crossed the Czech border at some unknown point, stopping a bit inside the border for a staff change. But we never did get asked for our passports - how boring!! Was hoping to get another stamp in my passport heh.


Every time a small river joins a larger one, you get a cute little village.  In this case Hřensko, on the confluence of Kamenice and Labe (Elbe) rivers
Every time a small river joins a larger one, you get a cute little village.
In this case Hřensko, on the confluence of Kamenice and Labe (Elbe) rivers


Something broke half way through the trip on the Czech side of the border and we just sat there. For an hour :( The train got very hot and stuffy too :(  But we got moving eventually and arrived in Prague an hour late. But we didn't arrive in the station we thought we were going to arrive in, so had to figure out where we were and how to get to our hotel. Took us a while to figure it out, but made it in the end.


Bridges in Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic
Bridges in Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic 

Hrad Střekov just south of Ústí nad Labem
Hrad Střekov just south of Ústí nad Labem 

Locks near Lovosice
Locks near Lovosice 

Dancing House, nickname given to the Nationale-Nederlanden building in Prague
Dancing House, nickname given to the Nationale-
Nederlanden building in Prague


The hotel is quite nice, free wireless and included breakfast, and our first bed with a single mattress - a king sized one at that! We can be newlyweds properly now ;)


King sized bed in our hotel
King sized bed in our hotel

Went for a walk to Lehká Hlava (Clear Head) vegetarian restaurant, which was very good, we both enjoyed it.


Pilsner Urquell at Lehká Hlava
Pilsner Urquell at Lehká Hlava 

Lehká Hlava (Clear Head)
Lehká Hlava (Clear Head). Many restaurants aren't
big on making themselves known in Europe 

Prague Castle over the Vltava River
Prague Castle over the Vltava River 

Stu at sunset
Stu at sunset

And then back here to use the internet and star gaze out our attic windows :)

I'm awake! It must be 6am. Take five. Heh

Spent a bit of time on the puta before hopping on a tram and then a train to the Hauptbahnhof for our train to Dresden.

This sign on train windows amused me
This sign on train windows amused me. It's like "here's a spot you can
throw bottles out". Germans of course have simply a circle to mean
"banned" as opposed to a circle with a cross through it


Backwards. Yet again! Lol

Fields of canola south of Berlin
Fields of canola south of Berlin

We had first class seats but we were in a six-seat compartment which wasn't particularly pleasant - very cramped and someone was coughing up phlegm the whole trip. Yay.

Anyways. Arrived in Dresden and went and checked into our hotel - a very short walk from the station in the middle of a pedestrian mall/plaza type thing. Went back to the station to get our tickets for tomorrow's trip to Prague. Thought we'd gotten two window seats, but presumably they didn't exist because we seem to have two middles :( (we didn't notice this til some time later :( )

Fountain in Dresden (near our hotel - background)
Fountain in Dresden (near our hotel - background)

Then we hopped on the train out to Meißen. I'd gotten info about vaguely where to go to see the porcelain museum, but the instructions weren't particularly clear for after you left the station. So we started wandering and saw a sign pointing to porcelain manufakture, so followed that. There were a few signs, but they weren't very obvious. In fact the museum itself wasn't very well marked either. After going "is this it?" a few times we eventually came to the cafe, but nothing really obvious to say that was the museum as well. Fail. Maybe they only bother to cater to tour groups or something that know where they're going (there were a couple of coaches parked out the back). Anyways. So we went in (had to check my bag, but photos are allowed so that was good), and went on the workshop demonstration. They gave us these headsets that received the talks in english which was most useful, and the demonstrations were fascinating. We were amazed at how much the porcelain shrinks after its firing. And so much work is involved! After the demo we went up to the museum proper, which had hundreds of pieces dating back to the seventeen hundreds. Most of it was exquisite. Some was warped. Some (mainly the new stuff) was hideous heh. Took lots of photos, whoops :) We looked in the shop on the way out. The prices were staggering! Stu would love to have gotten a dragon tea cup and saucer but for about five hundred euros we decided not to heh.

View of Dresden from the train heading out to Meißen
View of Dresden from the train heading out to Meißen 

Albrechtsburg and Dom zu Meißen over the Elbe River
Albrechtsburg and Dom zu Meißen over the Elbe River 

Stu outside the Meißen Porcelain Museum
Stu outside the Meißen Porcelain Museum 

Decorating porcelain
Decorating porcelain 

Different stages of the plate glazing process
Different stages of the plate glazing process 

Meißen porcelain
Meißen porcelain 

Meißen porcelain
Meißen porcelain 

Meißen porcelain
Meißen porcelain 

Meißen porcelain
Meißen porcelain 

Look at the exquisite detail!!
Look at the exquisite detail!! 

An entire dinner party's worth of porcelain
An entire dinner party's worth of porcelain 

Girl Playing With Sphere
"Girl Playing With Sphere" 

Individual pieces that go to make up Girl Playing With Sphere
Individual pieces that go to make up "Girl Playing With Sphere" 

Pipe organ with pipes made out of porcelain
Pipe organ with pipes made out of porcelain 

Some of their more recent work - I find it ugly
Some of their more recent work - I find it ugly

After we left the museum (two and a half hours later!) we were trying to decide if we should just head back to Dresden or have a look at Meißen. I wanted to have a look at the cathedral, so we decided to walk back into town. Omigosh!  I've always had in my head the images of little European towns with little cobblestone streets and town plazas and cute buildings and churches and it was all there!! The fairy-tale picture-book type images were all there just like I imagined them. It was insanely cool to be really there, living this dream I've had for over twenty years. We walked through the centre of the old town and then up to the cathedral and Albrechsburg and took lots of photos.

Alley in Meißen
Alley in Meißen 

Cute building in the town square
Cute building in the town square 

Carillion of bells made from porcelain
Carillion of bells made from porcelain 

Looking up to the cathedral from the town
Looking up to the cathedral from the town 

These things just seemed so out of place it made me giggle
These things just seemed so out of place it made me giggle 

Meißen red rooves
Meißen red rooves 

Elbe River from the cathedral grounds
Elbe River from the cathedral grounds 

Cathedral grounds
Cathedral grounds 

Meißen Cathedral
Meißen Cathedral

So then came back to Dresden. Went out for some dinner - to a Turkish place. I asked for a "klein" turkish pizza.. But got groß.. I'd hate to think of what their large would be if *that* was a small!!

Stu really liked these little gardens
Stu really liked these little gardens with just a shack or shed on them and
somewhere for people to actually have their own gardens 

We were quite amused by this fetishware in Dresden
We were quite amused by this fetishware in Dresden 

The moon is totally upside down in the northern hemisphere!
The moon is totally upside down in the northern hemisphere!

The internet here is eight euros a day :(  Everywhere else it's been free, so that was a bit of a shock :/

The music outside stopped around 10pm.. Which is good because there is no soundproofing whatsoever, and even four flights up we can hear people talking/laughing outside...
Woke up pretty early again but took our time getting ready. Caught the tram in to Friedrichstrasse and wandered down it to Checkpoint Charlie.

We missed a tram so Stu could enjoy this coffee
We missed a tram so Stu could enjoy this coffee 

Trams only continued to run in East Berlin
Trams only continued to run in East Berlin 

East Berlin stop man
East Berlin stop man (recently (2010) I've seen two
people wearing t-shirts with these dudes on them! 

East Berlin go man
East Berlin go man 

Die Welt balloon
Die Welt balloon 

Checkpoint Charlie
Checkpoint Charlie

It was actually late morning by this stage and I was tired and grumpy from not getting enough to eat at breakfast, and then not able to find a simple hot dog there (they seem to be everywhere else except for when you really want one). Anyway so got something to eat but decided not to go into the museum as it was 12.50 euro each and Stu had been before. So just walked around the info boards they had all around the street. There were the usual barrage of souvenir vendors, and also a lot selling Russian memorabilia. Kept wanting to buy a Russian doll but they're probably made in China so not much point. Now if only I knew someone going to Russia to get me a real one.......

Wall of passports in the entrance of the museum
Wall of passports in the entrance of the museum 

Checkpoint Charlie
Checkpoint Charlie

Anyways. This Bosnian woman came around asking if anyone spoke English, but she turned out to be a beggar, so I gave her a couple of Euros (and Stu gave her some independently too). But get this. She asked *three frigging times* over the next half hour for money, and didn't comprehend "we gave you some earlier" and just kept following us asking and asking. Got incredibly pissed off at this, so when a different Bosnian woman come started begging I was all like "piss off" .. Not that I said that, and Stu even gave her some money. Sigh.

So that was all a bit stressful so we headed off towards the East Side Gallery, stopping first on the western side of the river and then walking across the Schlesisches Tor. Where we stopped again, this time at a cafe built on the old no-man's-land for some beer. Then walked up along the old wall.

The Spree River near Oberbaumbrücke
The Spree River near Oberbaumbrücke 

Oberbaumbrücke
Oberbaumbrücke 

Oberbaumbrücke
Oberbaumbrücke 

Spree River and Fernsehturm from Oberbaumbrücke
Spree River and Fernsehturm from Oberbaumbrücke 

Astride the Berlin Wall and beginning of East Side Gallery
Astride the Berlin Wall and beginning of East Side Gallery

Enjoying a beer in no-man's land
Enjoying a beer in no-man's land 

I love crack!  Part of the Berlin Wall
I love crack! Part of the Berlin Wall 

Famous graffitti on the East Side Gallery
Famous graffitti on the East Side Gallery 

No-man's land at the East Side Gallery
No-man's land at the East Side Gallery 

These dudes were in Wings of Desire
These dudes were in "Wings of Desire"

Hopped on a train to Alexanderplatz for our next tower mission - the Fernsehturm, or as Stu dubbed it, the Stalinist golf ball heh. Was a bit crowded, and the usual bunches of people completely oblivious to anyone but themselves, blocking signs I was trying to read etc. Bumheads. But hopefully got a lot of decent photos.

Mitte from the Fernsehturm
Mitte from the Fernsehturm 

Oberbaumbrücke and the Spree from the Fernsehturm
Oberbaumbrücke and the Spree from the Fernsehturm 

Berlin Rathaus
Berlin Rathaus

After coming down we wandered down towards the river taking lots of photos as we went. Ended up near the Brandenburg Gate, where we jumped on a train, the changed to a tram to take us back to our neighborhood. We tried on the vegetarian restaurants - der Imbiss - whose logo was an upside-down maccas logo heh. And the staff were from Melbourne, Scotland and the USA!  Food was quite good there too.

Fernsehturm
Fernsehturm 

Fernsehturm
Fernsehturm 

Rathaus
Rathaus 

Neptune Fountain outside the Rathaus
Neptune Fountain outside the Rathaus 

Berliner Dom (we should have gone in here!)
Berliner Dom (we should have gone in here!) 

Lustgarten - very pretty spot
Lustgarten - very pretty spot 

Schlossbrücke
Schlossbrücke 

St. Hedwig's Cathedral
St. Hedwig's Cathedral (with a canvas picture covering the ever-present scaffolding) 

University Library
University Library. We found this by accident by drifting through an
archway at random


Unter den Linden station sign
Unter den Linden station sign 

Der Imbiss
Der Imbiss

Went shopping on the way home. The supermarket had 500mL Bitburger beers for 75c each!!  I wanted to buy more than the two we did heh :)

Sleepie!!
Well my day began at 5:50 when Stu's phone buzzed. So of course I was instantly awake. And it was bright and sunny outside so I was all "let's go!!". Heh. So were out the door pretty early.

Wandered along the site of the Berlin wall at Bernauer Strasse and even got to see a chunk of it they've left up. But didn't get to go up the viewing platform as the building it was attached to didn't open until 10am.

Photo of the Reconciliation Church, that was sealed off in No Man's Land until 1985
Photo of the Reconciliation Church, that was sealed off in No Man's Land
until 1985 

Sadly the Church was demolished in 1985, just four years before the wall came down :(
Sadly the Church was demolished in 1985, just four
years before the wall came down :( 

Stu standing by one of the last remnants of the Berlin Wall at Bernauer Strasse
Stu standing by one of the last remnants of the Berlin Wall at Bernauer Strasse

Hopped on a train into the city and when we came out saw the Brandenburg Gate!  

Brandenburg Gate
Brandenburg Gate! 

Brandenburg Gate
Brandenburg Gate 

Closeup of the chariot on the Brandenburg Gate
Closeup of the chariot on the Brandenburg Gate

So took a bunch of photos of that, then went around to the Reichstag. It was about a 30 minute wait to get in, even at 9:00. They had their metal detectors turned up to full sensitivity, so the whole process of getting through security took forever because they had to hand-wand most everyone (somehow my belt buckle didn't set it off so I didn't get frisked heh). The info they had around the base of the dome was interesting. Came across a few rude Germans though that blocked the info boards. I was tempted to take photos of their behaviour because they showed no consideration whatsoever for anyone else, even when I was making it blatantly obvious that I couldn't see because of them. Bumheads. Then we wound our way up the dome, which is pretty impressive, but not really good for taking photos from.

Walking up to the Reichstag
Walking up to the Reichstag 

Entrance to the Reichstag
Entrance to the Reichstag 

Brandenburg Gate from the top of the Reichstag
Brandenburg Gate from the top of the Reichstag 

Glass dome on top of the Reichstag
Glass dome on top of the Reichstag 

These mirrors reflect light into the interior of the building
These mirrors reflect light into the interior of the building 

Double helix for getting to the top of the dome
Double helix for getting to the top of the dome 

Glass panels in the roof of the building
Glass panels in the roof of the building 

I can't help it, they were very photogenic
I can't help it, they were very photogenic 

The very top of the dome
The very top of the dome

After we came back down we meandered west through the Tiergarten, which was a very pleasant walk. Ended up at the Victory Column - another thing to climb! Altho this cost 2.50 each to do so. Back down again and a much more frustrating walk through the Tiergarten trying to find something Stu remembered from last time he was here. So we both ended up tired and frustrated, me more so. Took a while to get going again, after being in the Tiergarten for four hours :/

When we came out, the queue was well over an hour long
When we came out, the queue was well over an hour long 

Carillon in the Tiergarten
Carillon in the Tiergarten 

The Berlin-Tiergarten
The Berlin-Tiergarten 

The Victory Column
The Victory Column

View back to the Reichstag, Fernsehturm and Brandenburg Gate from the Victory Column
View back to the Reichstag, Fernsehturm and Brandenburg Gate from
the Victory Column 

Can you tell Stu was really excited about being dragged up another tower? :)
Can you tell Stu was really excited about being dragged up another tower? :) 

The Berlin-Tiergarten
The Berlin-Tiergarten

Took a train to where Stu stayed last time he was here, then had a look at the Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial Church. The souvenir vendors are really out in force there!  Bought myself a post card that may or may not have a piece of the Berlin wall included heh.

We were amused by this Erotik Museum
We were amused by this "Erotik Museum" 

The Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial Church
The Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial Church 

They're restoring the mosaics on the interior of the church
They're restoring the mosaics on the interior of the church 

The Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial Church
The Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial Church

Then hopped on a bus to have a look at the Schloss Charlottenburg, the biggest palace in Berlin. Just walked around it, didn't go in. Then bussed it back again.

Schloss Charlottenburg
Schloss Charlottenburg 

Schloss Charlottenburg
Schloss Charlottenburg

Was getting late in the afternoon, so better lighting for the Victory Column and the Reichstag, and the back of the Brandenburg Gate.

The Victory Column
The Victory Column 

Top of the Victory Column
Top of the Victory Column 

The Reichstag in the afternoon sun
The Reichstag in the afternoon sun 

Brandenburg Gate - from the western side
Brandenburg Gate - from the western side 

Fernsehturm through the Brandenburg Gate
Fernsehturm through the Brandenburg Gate 

Dave-stalking continues with one of the
Dave-stalking continues with one of the "Bears of Berlin" (I never saw
the one he photographed)


Then headed for home. Very much exhausted. Didn't even get dinner. Just had the remains of last night's dinner.

Not sure how we're going to be able to deal with tomorrow...
Woke up early but got back to sleep again, getting up around 7.

View from our hotel room window
View from our hotel room window. Stu liked the use of space for
gardens and trees 

ICE train as seen from our hotel room window
ICE train as seen from our hotel room window

After breakfast we headed up to the cathedral (via coffee at Starbucks) to go to the 10am mass. My first ever Catholic mass. In German .. heh.

Finial - at the same scale as the finials on the cathedral towers
Finial - at the same scale as the finials on the
cathedral towers 

Street artists outside the cathedral
Street artists outside the cathedral

After mass we meandered down the Rhine to the Chocolate Museum. Where we watched chocolate being made and even got to eat some.. Yummmm!!

Kaiser Wilhelm II statue in Heinrich-Böll-Platz
Kaiser Wilhelm II statue in Heinrich-Böll-Platz 

Hohenzollernbrücke
Hohenzollernbrücke 

Pegel clock
Pegel clock 

Altstadt and Great St Martin on the banks of the Rhine
Altstadt and Great St Martin on the banks of the Rhine 

Severinsbrücke
Severinsbrücke 

Malakoff Turm next to the Chocolate Museum
Malakoff Turm next to the Chocolate Museum 

Chocolate Museum!
Chocolate Museum! 

Chocolate display in the chocolate museum
Chocolate display in the chocolate museum.
There was one for white, milk and dark chocolate 

Interior of the chocolate museum
Interior of the chocolate museum 

Golden chocolate fountain
Golden chocolate fountain. The lady was dipping wafers
into the molten chocolate and handing them out - so yummy!! 

Toblerone wrapping machine!
Toblerone wrapping machine! 

They make and package Lindt rectangles in the museum
They make and package Lindt rectangles in the museum 

You can watch these little balls being made, and then buy one at the end for a euro
You can watch these little balls being made, and then buy one at the end for a euro 

The Milka cow
The Milka cow

Our feet were killing us by this stage so sat down at a cafe outside for potato and beer (stu)/apple fizzy stuff (me).

We stocked up on all different flavours of Lindt balls
We stocked up on all different flavours of Lindt balls

Next was another Dave stalking mission - to go see the Watertower Hotel, which was very impressive.

Hotel im Wasserturm - Water Tower Hotel
Hotel im Wasserturm - Water Tower Hotel

Then I got totally bummed out because the two stores I wanted to go to on Hohe Strasse (Lego and electronics store) were both closed cause it was Sunday :(:(:(

Hohe Straße
Hohe Straße 

Meister Bock!
Meister Bock! Although we walked past this several times, we never
actually got anything from here


Came back to the hotel to crash for a bit and use the internet before heading out to dinner. We walked to Osho's Place which this time really was a vegetarian restaurant and actually had people in it heh. Stu rather enjoyed it, and we drank lots of beer too :)

Ganser Kölsch
Ganser Kölsch 

Osho's Place - very nice vegeterian cafe
Osho's Place - very nice vegeterian cafe

And finally back here to crash. 9:30pm at night and the sun has only just barely set. Gotta love being this far from the equator... Unless you're trying to get some sleep that is ;)

On the way back into town and the western face of the cathedral is nicely lit
On the way back into town and the western face of the
cathedral is nicely lit 

Cologne Cathedral in the setting sun
Cologne Cathedral in the setting sun 

You could see the cathedral and Hauptbahnhof from our hotel room - if you hung all the way out!
You could see the cathedral and Hauptbahnhof from our hotel room - if
you hung all the way out!


So we've really rather enjoyed our couple days here in Cologne. Tomorrow we get on an ICE train for Berlin...

Unlikely to have net access at the place we're staying in in Berlin...
Well I woke up at 4am this morning. Got up for an hour to fiddle with photos. Then went back to bed and actually managed to get a couple more hours sleep!

Breakfast at this hotel was pretty varied, although Stu still struggled to find enough to eat. Wireless access is only downstairs, so Stu and I fought over the laptop while we had breakfast :)

Our first mission of the day was to go explore the cathedral. Thanks to Dave I knew you could go up it, so dragged Stu up after me :) Got annoyed at the meshing they had all around the top which made it difficult for me to take photos. After we came back down we wandered all around inside, until we got booted out for a service heh.

First look at the interior of the Cologne Cathedral
First look at the interior of the Cologne Cathedral
We didn't look around much, as we went straight up the tower 

The steps going up the tower are very worn down from age
The steps going up the tower are very worn down from age 

Part way up the tower
Part way up the tower 

At the top of the belfry, there is a metal staircase to go the rest of the way
At the top of the belfry, there is a metal staircase to go
the rest of the way 

View from the tower
View from the tower 

Stonework at the tip of the tower
Stonework at the tip of the tower 

View east from Cologne Cathedral
View east from Cologne Cathedral 

Cologne Cathedral from the south tower
Cologne Cathedral from the south tower 

View southeast from the cathedral
View southeast from the cathedral 

Me behind the very frustrating meshing
Me behind the very frustrating meshing 

Minoritenkirche from Cologne Cathedral
Minoritenkirche from Cologne Cathedral 

Fernsehturm Colonius - TV tower northwest of the cathedral
Fernsehturm Colonius - TV tower northwest of the cathedral 

St. Andreas - one of the twelve Romanesque churches of Cologne
St. Andreas - one of the twelve Romanesque churches of Cologne 

Graffitists at the cathedral
They don't even try to keep the graffiti off the cathedral tower, and these
girls were making me sad by adding more 

Top of the belfry.  On our way back down now
Top of the belfry. On our way back down now. 

Southern walkway in the cathedral
Southern walkway in the cathedral 

Stained glass window
Stained glass window 

Pillars and statues
Pillars and statues 

Ceiling of the cathedral
Ceiling of the cathedral 

Pillars in the cross of the cathedral
Pillars in the cross of the cathedral 

The floor in some parts had some beautiful mosaics
The floor in some parts had some beautiful mosaics 

Eastern end of the cathedral
Eastern end of the cathedral 

Eastern end of the cathedral
Eastern end of the cathedral 

Pixelated stained glass window
I first saw this in a postcard and thought it was a computer rendering of a stained-glass window.
But in fact it's a recent (2007) work by Gerhard Richter


Got Stu some lunch (I still wasn't hungry after breakfast) before joining an English-speaking walking tour. The tour was a little slow in terms of not really covering much ground, but did get some useful trivia about some things (like apparently the reason the cathedral survived WWII relatively unscathed was because the allies used the spires as navigational markers and so didn't destroy it).

Kölner Dom from outside Kölner Philharmonie‎
Kölner Dom from outside Kölner Philharmonie‎ 

Railway bridge over the Rhine.  This bridge was destroyed during the war
Railway bridge over the Rhine. This bridge was destroyed during the war 

Gross St. Martin - one of the twelve Romanesque churches of Cologne
Gross St. Martin - one of the twelve Romanesque churches of Cologne 

Waterfront Altstadt (old city)
Waterfront Altstadt (old city) 

Space Invader - Corner of Heumarkt and Salzgasse
Space Invader - Corner of Heumarkt and Salzgasse 

The walking tour guide with the Tünnes und Schäl statues, to the south-west of Gross St Martin
The walking tour guide with the Tünnes und Schäl statues, to the
south-west of Gross St Martin 

Kallendresser - statue of a dude mooning the town hall across the street in Alter Markt
Kallendresser - statue of a dude mooning the town hall across the
street in Alter Markt 

Köln Rathaus (Cologne City Hall)
Köln Rathaus (Cologne City Hall) 

Köln Rathaus (Cologne City Hall)
Köln Rathaus (Cologne City Hall) 

Old ruins they're excavating in the plaza outside the Rathaus
Old ruins they're excavating in the plaza outside the Rathaus 

Farina fragrance museum - museum of a fragrance factory that used to make Eau de Cologne
Farina fragrance museum - museum of a fragrance factory that used to
make Eau de Cologne


After the tour we stopped at the Keule cafe to have some Gaffel Kölsch and some sausage/potato/sauerkraut - yumm! Then meandered back to the hotel.

Gaffer Kölsch at a place we found off Heumarkt
Gaffer Kölsch at a place we found off Heumarkt

The next mission was to find a laundromat. These, like public toilets, are practically non-existent :( There is *one* listed in the local yellow pages close to the city, so we piled our stuff into our bags and headed over there. On the way we walked past one that was open, so put our stuff in there. And then went for a walk to find the other one.. which was closed!  Good thing we found the other one!

St. Pantaleon - one of the twelve Romanesque churches of Cologne
St. Pantaleon - one of the twelve Romanesque churches
of Cologne, near the laundromat we found


After getting all the washing done, we thought we'd try the vegetarian restaurant we found in the phone book that was near the laundromat - Babylon Cafe.  Even though the signs on the front said vegetarian/vegan, it wasn't really vegatarian except for some parts of the menu, and most definitely *not* vegan. Poor Stu really couldn't have anything on the menu, but in the end got a greek salad (with a *lot* of cheese) and I got an auflauf which was yummy and quite large considering the price. Anyway, the staff were lovely and were trying to interpret the menu for us, but not recommended for vegans!!

So then it was back here to crash.