resting in Hamburg

We said goodbye to Bonn yesterday morning, taking a 5 minute ferry over the Rhine River, before heading about 40 minutes north to Cologne. I would have liked to spend more time here and see this lovely city at night, but we were all getting car weary and were looking forward to Hamburg (where Yannick and Nadine live) and rest. 

Cologne's stop was with the sole purpose of seeing the world famous Cathedral. The Cathedral is across from a very bustling train station, and as you walk in there are beggars on either side of the door (we found this at all the Cathedrals thus far), and just inside priests standing sentinel, making sure male visitors take their hats off--I overhead one priest ask a man to take his hat off and I quickly took mine off as well, pleased as punch that I understood the priest say to me in  German that women didn't have to remove their hats. I am picking up bits and pieces of the language...we'll get there eventually!

 I managed to forget my camera in the car
when we were in the Cathedral, so I will share this
image from the internet. AMAZING.

The Cathedral was breathtaking, and even Yannick, who is not particularly religious, spoke in the car later of how it's hard to not be awed by such a showing of love and wonder of God when you see how grand and detailed this church is--the very sentiment that I had been feeling as I looked upward at the ceilings, up so high that your neck has to tilt back as far as it will go to do so; humbling indeed. I couldn't help but feel very small, and childlike in all this wonder, and so young in the world. Too think of how old everything is!! I loved wandering around, listening to a half dozen different languages, staring into the sanctuaries in memorial to long dead church persons and wealthy citizens of Coln (Cologne), to stare at the detailed stain glass depicting Christ's life, to enjoy the solitude of the basement crypts. It has been such an experience to say a prayer and light a candle in each of these grand cathedrals I've been in.

After food the ride further north was mostly quiet, all of us just ready to be in Hamburg. We arrived late last night to their apartment and decided on take out pizza and tv, a nice respite from all the sight seeing. Take out pizza for 3 people was about 42 Euros, which is over $50U.S.!!! CRAZY! 

Today is a rest day, winding down from my first week and 5 countries-visited-whirlwind. Tomorrow we'll begin exploring Hamburg. 

I was hoping to get to Ireland before I left Europe, but the flights have gone up signifigantly since I first looked, so the Germans offered another roadtrip to Denmark, perhaps camping on one of it's many small islands...we shall see. 

Yesterday marked my first week here, today the mid-point of my trip. Hamburg, Denmark?, then off to Berlin where we'll wind down before I depart a week from tomorrow.


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