February 2015


The history, the art, the architecture – Viking Marketing Executive Sarah Adwalpalkar reveals what she loved most about the ancient German city of Cologne, on her river cruise along the Rhine.

At the end of November, I was lucky enough to board the Viking Longship Lif and travel from Strasbourg to Cologne during four days aboard. The place that especially stuck in my mind was Cologne. It is a city of contrasts, especially evident in the juxtaposition of the Gothic looming, Cologne Cathedral against the early 20th century industrial engineering of Hohenzollern Bridge.

We started our day promptly with a whistle-stop walking tour of Cologne. Our guide was informative and useful in pointing out sights we might want to take a longer look at later. She also explained the fascinating history of Cologne’s namesake: Eau de Cologne, which I found especially interesting once I’d caught a whiff of its unmistakeable aroma in the tourist office!

As our walking tour drew to a close, I broke away from the pack to visit the Ludwig Museum - a sprawling contemporary art museum that resides in the shadows of Cologne Cathedral and houses an impressive collection of 20th century modern art – from Pop Art to Picasso. The building itself is intriguing, with a vast and undulating roof and a large courtyard leading down to the river.

A big plus point of our ship being docked so close to the city centre was that we were free to come and go as we pleased, grabbing a hearty and warming meal on board (plus a generous glass of red wine!) and then heading back out to get lost in the labyrinth of Christmas markets that lined the main squares of Cologne.

Unfortunately it was just a flying visit to this historic city, but it whet my appetite for a return visit in the not so distant future – especially to sample a glass of Cologne-native Kölsch beer!


The Ship is the Star
Then and Now: St. Petersburg
Three of the Best: Travel Umbrellas