Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Koln and tourist things

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We came into Koln to check out the vibe of the city.

As we drove in we saw these churches that were like the most Goth design ever. Frack,that was the most cool thing we had ever seen.

So we pull into the city downtown side and there is this cobblestoned plaza where there must have been some festival of sorts over the previous weekend.

Everywhere there  are ‘bedryfs autos’( commercial vehicles) that are dismantling stuff all over.FrankenFurter

So we just slot FrankenFurter in amongst all the vans, and he goes into his ‘stealth parking’ mode. You can just see his backside above the bonnet of the dark van in the foreground.

Anyway, so we first go check out a church building nearest to us.Koln (9)

On the way there we walk through some backstreet alleys and I see this thing there, stuck to the wall and made out of string. WTF? Who goes to the effort to make shit like this out of string ?Koln (15) 

Anyway, some seriously cool buildings. When I was younger I used to dislike these kind of buildings. I was reading Ayn Rand at the time, though. These days, however, I appreciate the artisan skill in the old days that was involved. The immense amount of man hours and the primitive equipment available at the time gave results that are simply not seen in the world today.

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Very impressive, dead quiet, with brilliant acoustics.

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So of course yours truly and Anne had to fuck around, contrary to protocol. So I told her to take a picture of me sitting behind the church organ. As I climbed on the seat, I banged my knee on the keyboard thingi. GETWANG!

It reverberated on and on and on and on and on and on in the church, and we were in hysterics.

We bolted for the door and as we got there, the overseer/fuehrer woman caught us and asked me with this sweet bitch voice in German if I would like to play the organ.

“ Wollen Sie gern spielen? )

But it was far to late to be serious and we tumbled out the church giggling like teenagers. Oh well, you can’t please everybody.

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Then we got to the main man. This is some serious piece of engineering.

Started in 1248 ,that was when the first corner stone was laid, it took some 600 odd years to finish, with the occasional world war and stuff thrown in.

We decided to climb to the top. Three euro per person gives you the right to walk up 533 steps to the top.

Ha! there were some seriously panting people. Anne and I were OK, but shame, some of the other folk we met were quite stressed.

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This is a section that has been restored. The workmanship is fracking amazing.Koln (57)

To give an impression of the scale of workmanship.Koln (47)

And that frieze is the one just to the left of the smaller door next to the main big door on the right bottom of the picture. The sculpture I photographed is the white one above the red and white signs. Gives a scale of things on this building .

Sorry, I don’t have photo shop so I can’t put a pointing arrow.

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There are 530 more of these.


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There these little gun slit windows that you can peer through on your way up.  People pretend to look at the view, but they really only trying to catch their breath.

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This monster bell is the largest free hanging bell in the world.  It weighs 24 tons and to give a perspective of the size check Anne and the person at the back out. It’s moer of big. And there are plenty more smaller ones. I asked the guy at the booth there and he said it last rang on January the 6th this year, but that the clapper had broken off so the one in my picture was a temporary one while a new one was being made.

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The view from the top is spectacular. Especially given that it was a great day too. This is the Rhine river.

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The top spires from the inside.The size of this is amazing. And to think that all this was done for some invisible guy in the sky who is everyone's imaginary friend.

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Just to give a perspective of the size of things.

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PurtyKoln (94)

There is continual maintenance going on, of course, but with some thing so vast I this it is a loosing game. There is massive degradation because of the industrial pollutants in the air.

Speaking of air, though, I am most impressed with the visible quality of the air. Much better that in America or SA.

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Afterwards, we got ourselves into a nice campsite with a rude Turk as a camp manager.A bit of South African return lip and he became much more docile. When you ask for a passport from my wife you WILL say please in a polite manner.

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