Our visit to Cologne took place on  a warm sunny day. At first, I was a bit apprehensive about coming here. I’m OK with eating frankfurters in Frankfurt, but I wasn’t sure about drinking perfume in Cologne. I did find out that it is not called 4-7,-11 as we commonly call it, but rather ‘forty seven – eleven’. The number comes from the street number of the factory. (Buildings in Cologne didn’t have street numbers until the French occupied parts of Germany in Napoleonic days).

Cologne is Germany’s fourth largest city and is home to more than 30 museums and hundreds of galleries – very cultural! It is a significant venue for commercial exhibitions and it has a large number of small boutique breweries. We understand that its fixation on beer is a result of the dominance of early abbots who were required to fast for long periods, but who could still drink. Apparently, early abbeys brewed seven litres of beer, per head, per day.


The stand-out site here is the enormous gothic cathedral. it was commenced in 1248 and took over 600 years to complete. It houses the ‘Shrine of the Three Holy Kings’, which supposedly houses the relics of the Magi.

Perhaps the construction company didn’t get on too well with German equivalent of the German version of the BLF! It was the only building that survived the bombing in WW2. The remainder of the city was virtually obliterated. As a result, all of the buildings in the Old Town area are only about 60 years old. They are, however, built in mock medieval style so that their original character has been maintained.