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Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Last walks in Europe - for now, anyway

On the Rhine, heading towards Amsterdam

The next walking tour was through the modern city of Bonn.

I last visited Bonn in 1969, when Germany was still divided into East and West. Bonn was then the capital city of West Germany.

Bonn is a university town. Kurf├╝rstliches Schloss, the Electoral Palace, was the home of the Elector of Cologne and is now the main building of the university.

There were some interesting things to see in Bonn! Outside St Martin's Minster I had the experience of walking around two sculptured heads. According to legend, they were Roman legionaries of the all-Christian Theban Legion, who were martyred for their religious beliefs. These beautiful sculptures represent the heads of Saint Cassius and Saint Florentius.

I was also fascinated by the Thalia Bookshop in the Market Square, a tribute to the old Metropol Theatre that once serviced the area. The interior facade leaves no doubt that this was once a movie theatre, of the style familiar to many of us.

I used the escalators to rise to the second level for a wonderful panorama, then crossed to the other side of the balcony to use the elevator to go back down to street level.

It was late in the afternoon and the Market Square was a little cluttered by
trucks packing up after the day's markets.

I stopped to look at the view over the Rhine from the Alter Zoll (Old Customs House), then another flight of stairs down to Brassertufer where I crossed safely at the pedestrian crossing. I always have to think twice about which direction the traffic flows, though parked cars help a little.

View from the Alter Zoll to my crossing.

Heading for "home". Another rather long gangplank. Kennedy Bridge is in the background and Amsterdam is in the direction under the bridge. Perhaps the ship is turned around to make a nicer photo!

Netherlands - Nijmegen

Nijmegen is the oldest town in the Netherlands and, proving that not all the Netherlands is flat, this the only town in the country that is built on seven hills, just like Rome. It is also the only city in the Netherlands with an upper and lower town. The photo above is of Waal Quayside, our landing place.

Things look rather "new" here, because the town was bombed by American forces during WW2 and has since been re-built. This is the steep walkway up from the waterfront.

A very modern town centre at the top of the hill, then the walk back down to the ship at river-level.

From Nijmegen we visited the Kroller-Muller Musuem. I particularly enjoyed the sculpture garden, where we were welcome to walk on the grass, with a Rodin (above) and "Mister Jacques" (Wenckebach) - below.

That's all my walking in Europe, for this time. Going "overseas" next, to our island state, no passport needed.

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