Cologne, Rotterdam & Home – Germany 2009

Our final stop after leaving the “Romantic Rhine” region (as the guidebooks call it) was Cologne. This large city, itself situated on the Rhine, was both worth a visit and ideally located for our final day’s drive up to Rotterdam and the P&O Ferries terminal (which is at Europoort, just outside Rotterdam).

Our overcast arrival in Cologne, with the cathedral dominating the skyline
Our overcast arrival in Cologne - the cathedral dominates the skyline

As with everywhere we visited in Germany, there was a suitable stellplatz at which we planned to stay the night – right by the river and within walking distance of the city centre. All for the bargain price of €8 – although it was pay-and-display, so €8 of change was required!

The Koln stellplatz was large and busy - arrivals continued until late evening
The Koln stellplatz was large and busy - arrivals continued until late evening

We made good time and were parked up at the stellplatz by lunchtime, so had a quick lunch and then walked along the river to the city centre. I’m not a guide book writer or a church enthusiast so I won’t provide an account of the cathedral (Dom) and the many other historic buildings, other than to say that the cathedral, at least, is well worth a visit. Admission is free.

Inside Koln Dom - regardless of your religious views, the engineering and design that went into these old cathedrals is incredible
Inside Koln Dom - regardless of your religious views, the engineering and design that went into these old cathedrals is incredible
Koln Dom - Cologne Cathedral
Koln Dom - Cologne Cathedral

We enjoyed a wander around the city centre, although the shopping district is a bit pointless unless you want to shop in (largely) the same types of shop you’ll find in any major UK city. The older parts of the city are more interesting and rewarding. Food and drink isn’t cheap – but it’s no worse than major UK cities.

Unfortunately, the weather turned against us and we were dripping by the time we got back to the van in the evening. On the positive side, we’d discovered a small supermarket with a cake counter less than 10 minutes away from where we’d parked, so we were provisioned with two large slices of cheesecake for dessert!

Turn right for England, 1km!
Turn right for England, 1km!

The next morning we left bright and early for the final leg up to Rotterdam and the morning after that we disembarked in Hull, marking the end of another great European motorhome trip.

In three weeks we covered 2,300 miles driving around Germany and a little bit of Austria.

Boarding the ferry in Rotterdam - it's still raining (bigger motorhomes get a wider entrance than this!)
Boarding the ferry in Rotterdam - it's still raining (bigger motorhomes get a wider entrance than this!)

3 thoughts on “Cologne, Rotterdam & Home – Germany 2009

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  • December 29, 2009 at 5:04 am
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    Question? Will diesel Motorhomes (most of them are….) soon be banned from German cities? What about other european cities?

    Reply
    • December 29, 2009 at 6:43 pm
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      I don’t imagine diesel motorhomes will ever be banned – almost all commercial vans are diesels and such a ban would be unworkable in the forseeable future. What is possible is that older diesel vehicles that don’t meet recent Euro emissions standards will be banned. For example, a ban on Euro 1 and Euro 2 vehicles might be phased in (the current standard is Euro 5, with Euro 6 in the pipeline). Even this will be hugely unpopular as it will affect far more business users than anyone else – e.g. self-employed tradesmen who hardly do any miles and run an old van because it’s cheap.

      Roland

      Reply

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