Thursday, 2019 September 26

I had a very bad night. I had bad acid reflux pretty much from the moment I laid down, so I was only able to sleep semi-comfortably on my back. This led to me both snoring even worse than usual, plus never really getting into deep sleep. I had many little naps, but nothing like the rest I needed.

On the positive side, my throat was a little better than it had been yesterday (and it improved as the day went on). But I woke up feeling congested and with a bit of a cough, and the cough progressively worsened.

Krista didn't sleep well either, so we slept in a bit. When we were finally up and moving, I knocked on Dad's door to make sure that he'd already eaten. He had, but he'd forgotten to take his morning medications, so he decided to come back down with us. He also seemed a bit offended that they'd made him sign for his breakfast - he hadn't realized that the breakfast here was extra, not included like in Frankfurt. When he found that out he said he would have eaten twice as much had he realized that - a very typical Hamacher attitude, and probably why both of us are heavier than we should be.

It was a rainy day but better weather was forecast, so Krista decided to leave her camera at the hotel. We didn't take any pictures this day.

We intended to try to catch the 1030 public tour at the Cologne Cathedral; however, when I looked up the details online, all of the tours today and tomorrow had been cancelled. Instead we decided to head for the Roman-Germanic Museum, which is located next to the cathedral.

We walked through the main train station; this was impressive both for its sheer size, the number of people, and the variety of shops available.

You see the cathedral as soon as you come out of the train station. Even in the rain (it rained off and on all day), the cathedral was spectacular. Krista said we were coming back tomorrow, when the forecast is for better weather, so she can get some pictures.

When we got to the Roman-Germanic Museum, we discovered it was closed to the public as well - I think they were redoing the main exhibit, or something like that. It was a frustrating start to the day.

Krista and I decided we were going to continue exploring the old town and the shopping district, even with the rain. Dad said he'd head back to the hotel, as he didn't really feel up to miles of walking.

We spent quite a while wandering through the shopping district. We stopped at a Mayersche Buchhandlung so I could look for a couple cookbooks as souvenirs; I hadn't done any research so I didn't really know what I wanted. Luckily the bookstore had a cafe, so I had a coffee and Krista had water while I did some research. I settled on Leckerschmecker - Hauptsache Herzhaft: Schlemmen ist Pflicht! and another book, but I saw this one first on the shelves and bought it. It looks like a solid choice.

We saw some cool stuff besides just the shops. We walked by a couple old churches, including St. Aposteln. We also saw one of the old town gates, the Hahnentor, in a square with a small street market.

We looped around and started heading back the way we came. Krista stopped at a few shops but nothing jumped out at her.

We ended up at the Cologne Hard Rock. Krista's brother John collects Hard Rock pins, so we try to get him something from each of the cities we visit that has a Hard Rock (although we missed Frankfurt earlier in the week). We also split an appetizer - spinach dip, which normally I'm not a fan of but today it tasted particularly good - and I had a few beers.

We went back out and headed for the old fish market. This turned out to be just a square; both of us were expecting there to at least be some buildings still standing. From there we walked towards the rathaus (city hall), which also had an associated square as well as being built around a historic building. Very cool.

Krista had just found a cool shop when she decided we should get back to the hotel. We were already planning on coming back out tomorrow, so we'll revisit the shop then.

Back at the room, we chilled for a while. I guess I fell asleep for a while. Unfortunately when I woke up my cough seemed worse, and I still had some acid reflux issues.

About 1630 I checked in with Dad. He was hungry, so we decided to go back down to the lounge. He and I had a couple beers, and we all had some food. Once again, it was quite tasty. I probably ate more than I should, but I was way smarter than yesterday.

There was a dog laying in the lounge when we got there, clearly bored waiting for its owner to come back. We had fun watching it get up periodically, look around, then lay back down looking bored. Finally the woman showed up, so we talked to her for a bit.

Over the course of the day, all four of our key cards failed. One of them failed earlier and I'd had it reprogrammed in the afternoon. The other three all failed later and I had to get them reprogrammed. We've had the worst luck so far this trip.

Once we were back in the room we relaxed for a while.

Wednesday, 2019 September 25 Friday, 2019 September 27