Ausfahrts & Einfahrts



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Cologne CathedralRecreated roman templeRoman excavations at XantenKolner Dom

Monday 27th June Alpen to Mendig

After a couple of hours of internet time we headed off to Xanten for the Archaeological Roman Village Park. They have just finished an exhausting weekend of Roman village-life re-enactments and were busy doingRoman ruins the clean up. Although we always just seem to miss these events and regret not being somewhere one day earlier, looking at the state of the chewed up grass car park we were probably lucky to escape the major event. Car parking was free, we weren’t offered the tour presumably because the ticket office person didn’t speak English, and in fact they don’t even have brochures in English like other tourist attractions.

They did however have information boards in English and 200 naughty German school kids who thought you say “Allo” to English tourists, and Asians who say sorry in English. For 9euros you do a self guided tour of the old town and a museum visit. The tour is informativeRoman Ruins and has elements that are genuine; ruins that you can touch with some behind barriers and others reconstructed. They clearly indicate what is reconstructed, unfortunately the lions in the amphitheatre weren’t real or we would have feed them the little German kinders who pushed, shoved, fought and yelled their way around the park unsupervised.

Along with the park; the museum is also very informative about how buildings like the bath house were constructed and used. The museum is full of items that show how far advanced the Romans were in regards to lighting, sewage, drainage, construction, craftsmanship and under floor heating etc. All up the tour took 3 hours and we probably could have spent more time there but Roger’s stomach was growling louder than the mock lions.

Next stop is Kolner Dom or in English that is Cologne Cathedral, apparently the biggest and most impressive in Germany. To get there we went via Dusseldorf just because I think it is a cool sounding name. It startedRoman Ruins to drizzle and looking at the river that the big barges went down it had obviously been raining a lot because the water had spilled over one bank. As we drove onto Cologne (Koln) the rain got heavier and the traffic on the 130kmph autobahn got crazier, but yet no accidents. Our GPS failed to realise we weren’t a car and couldn’t do height restrictions or stop instantly or do right turns in 2 seconds so we got off and found a safe place to park while we rethought the Cathedral route.

Luck has it we parked in a Park and Ride and the young lady there knew the exact train to catch, which station to change at and the line number, when it left and how long it would take to get to the Cathedral. Working out how to get a ticket was slightly harder as the ticket machine was on the train, good old honest Germany; we obeyed and purchased our fare.

The train took us right to the steps of the Cathedral and in we went with the other tourists. The self guided tour is free; the brochureKolner Dom in American was a euro and the other things like the treasury and 500 stairs to the top to see the bell tower we are unsure about because they closed at 5.30 “sharp” according to the shop people. The Cathedral with its many massive stained glass windows, large organs and columns was impressive - I thought more so than Notre Dame in Paris.

On exiting the Cathedral the rain had cleared up and the multitudes were out shopping like it was late night Friday, but yet it was actually Monday. We joined in and hunted out a cheap Italian Pizza joint as we knew they would be happy, having just seen on a shop TV that Italy was winning the football game currently in progress in France (European Cup). As the Dom is a major tourist attraction the low life (pick pockets), beggars and other undesirables are everywhere. There are also a lot more ethnic or non-German people who appear to reside here.

Tonight’s free parking spot is the car park opposite the Mendig football club. They are my new favourite team as after saving all our 1euro pieces for the power at the free parks we have come across one that only takes 50 cent pieces and we spent all of ours going on the train. The other motor homes had none, a walk into town wasn’t any help and so I ventured into the soccer club. The bar had none nor any of the patron. The club captain arrived and made all the guys leave the field and changing rooms to find me a 50 cent piece, I guess he assumed I was from England and was devastated that my team had just been eliminated from the European Cup.

So we had power, but unfortunately the small town has sucked the life out of the wifi watching football on pay TV so we have no signal. A bit like our pizza restaurant that said on the menu board, “we have no wifi, talk to each other”. We have plenty of flies to talk to back in the motor home because our bargain fly spray, whose appropriate brand name is “Joker” lived up to its name, the joke is on us, it breeds or feeds flies, not kill them.



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Kolner DomJ9 blending in with the crowd
Roman RuinsRoman ruins, Xanten
Roman RuinsRoman temple Xanten
Kolner DomVotive candles at Kolner Dom