An Unexpected Treat, The Journey Home and Something about Beer! 

Beer in Cologne is sold in small glasses, 0.2litre. They don’t ask what you want, virtually as soon as you take a seat a waiter is upon you and before you can say ‘what would you like’ to your partner you are presented with a beer each and the waiter has turned a Beer mat over and made two strikes on it. It is not that they are pushy, it’s just what they expect you to want. As soon as your glass is empty another is placed before you and this goes on until you take a Beer mat and place it on top of your empty glass. The waiters work for the self so obviously it is in their interest to keep you topped up. They carry the beer in circular trays with a handle and you can fit about fifteen beers in them so there is no problem catering for the large groups that came in after their days work. Of course you can have other beers but most places sell the Kölsch Beer and certainly it is the most popular.


On Tuesday morning we set out for the Wallraf museum, not really knowing what to expect, we had come across it the previous day but of course it was closed.

After a delicious breakfast in the museum cafe we went straight to the top floor and on entering the gallery were confronted with a wall full of Caillbottes, my favourite artist.



I took this to give an idea of scale!


Of course there were other paintings as well, several Caspar David Friedrich, some lovely Pissarro, here are some that struck me especially


Courbet


Pissarro 


And this lovely portrait by Ferdinand Hodler

After seeing so many excellent 19 and 20 century paintings the other floors really needed to be seen another day but their were some good Flemish paintings, and some Frans Hals portraits which were very fine.

After lunch we went to the Design museum, sadly the 20 century department was closed but there was some lovely glassware so not a wasted journey.
We were quite frankly by this time, all Cologned out so we headed back to our hotel. 

The next morning saw us up bright and early and making our way to the airport. We kept the sun with us and although we were there too early it was a very pleasant airport and easy to get around. Our flight was on time and for the first time we weren’t flying back to Bristol but Edinburgh. It felt very strange to be driving along the ring round looking out for signs to Jedburgh etc. 

We were back nice and early so I was able to rescue Flora from the cattery that evening. It felt good to be home.

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