Day 4: Nov 19, 2017 – Cologne: Not your normal German City
This morning we cruise along the Rhine River through Germany until we come to the city of Cologne, the second largest city in Germany. When you think of all the common conceptions of Germans, like Serious, Humorless, Stern people, when it comes to Cologne you can throw those thoughts away. Cologne is just the opposite! Cologne is to Germany what New Orleans is to the United States—right down to having an annual 6-day Mardi Gras festival.
So it would be appropriate for us to spend this afternoon on an educational tour—of the local brew houses. Cologne has its own version of beer, call Kolsch Beer. In order for a beer to be called Kolsch, it has to be an ale brewed IN the city of Cologne. But there are many different brands of Kolsch, so today it’s our job to try the various brews to distinguish the differences. We visit three different brew houses with very different flavors of beers.
Now, lest you think we spend ALL our time in the Brewhouses in Germany, we do visit some other sights this afternoon, such as the world-famous Cologne Cathedral. The Cathedral took over 600 years to build, but they finally got it right and if you are ever in Cologne, it’s a place not to be missed.
Now Cologne is full of traditions and legends and they are all true (or could be). Cologne has the reputation around Germany of not having the hardest working people. This came about by the following legend: In olden days, the people of Cologne would get to work about 10:30 in the morning and work until it was time for lunch. Then after lunch, they
needed a rest after eating all that food, so they would nap until four. By then, of course, it was so late in the day there was no use going back to work! Now how did they get away with working so little? It was because of the elves that lived in the basement and came upstairs each night and did the work. But alas, one night a woman decided she would get to the bottom of it all. So she spread peas on the stairs, turned off the lights, and went to bed. When the elves started upstairs, they slipped on the peas and fell down the stairs. The woman, upon hearing the noise, ran to the top of the stairs with her lamp and found all the elves piled up at the bottom of the stairs. Well, the elves were so mad they never returned to do the work and the good folks of Cologne finally had to work like the rest of the Germans. (See the photo of the statue)
Then there are the facts around town. Like the gentleman who lived across the square from the town hall and was made mayor of
the city. So he erected a statue on top of his building facing away from the town hall, but mooning the city hall. So when the city built a new clock tower, it included the face of the mayor facing the man’s house and he sticks out his tongue every fifteen minutes. (Again, see the photos).
So in a nut shell—that’s Cologne.