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14 August 1999

Cologne Cathedral
Once we were up and had eaten, Michael took us to Köln (Cologne). We got off a little late and ran into some traffic (Stau) on the Autobahn. Once we found a parking space, we walked to the cathedral (Dom). A Saturday mass was just finishing, so after a 20 minute wait, we were able to tour the Dom.

Cologne Cathedral
Although the interior architecture seemed more austere than the other cathedrals, there was more gold and gilded objects, and the stained glass was much older and more beautiful. The treasures inside included the shrine of the Magi, the oldest massive wood crucifix, and many other objects. Beautiful mosaics covered portions of the cathedral floor.

Outside the Cathedral, a small crowd had gathered around a shimmering golden life-sized Egyptian statue. Wait. It moved! Someone had wrapped themselves in shimmering gold cloth, donned an ornate King Tut mask and stood on a pedestal, very still. Then with slow or surprisingly quick movements, the "statue" played the crowd for tips. Interesting and comical.

We ate lunch in an old pub called "Früh." The intentionally rude waiters bustled through the large pub with little holders for the small glasses of Kölsch beer. "Kölsch" is short for "Kölnisch," to designate the local variety of beer, one less bitter than most.

Roman Museum
Afterwards we headed over to the Roman-German museum. Outside were huge marble and concrete bases and tops of ancient columns. One can actually touch these 2,000 year old pieces of history. Inside were glass objects, jewelry, tools, sandals, frescoes, and even full mosaics--absolutely amazing. Running so short on time, we had to cut the visit to a short hour or two. At the gift shop, we each bought a coin and some music books.

After getting back to Micha and Susanne's, we got ready for a night in old Elberfeld. When Tante Ilse came, we headed into town where we had a dinner of mixed grill and duck. Afterwards, we went to one of Susanne's favorite cafes--café Congo. Then the four of us walked to an Italian Ice café where Laura had a scrumptious strawberry sundae, and Dad had "Eis-Pizza," consisting of absolutely too much vanilla ice cream on a plate topped with fruit.

Back home, we sat and talked a bit, while watching a German-dubbed North By Northwest. The German voice for Cary Grant sounded hilariously wimpy.

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