We stayed at the Mercure in Koblenz, Germany for 4 days with a view of the Rhine river. 

A river boat took us down the Rhine to see the castles and villages. It was beautiful but we really enjoyed the people we met and conversations we had along the way.

We could get off and on as we wished so we went into one small town to find the bobsled ride.  There isn’t a lot of English on the signs so it took us awhile to find. 

Norris and I rode together for our first and last trips and separate for the middle one. By himself he went 37 kmh and I went 30 kmh. When we were together he kept it down to 31 kmh. So fun!  

We caught the bus back down hill to the dock and saw our boat loading. The deck hand waved back at us as we ran and yelled to wait. However, the ramp was pulled up and the motor was revving. We climbed over the guard rail while the boat was still inches next to the dock. The ticket taker greeted us sternly asking, “Do you want to be in the water?”  No, but I also didn’t want to wait at that tiny town another 2 hrs. for the next boat!  

At a quiet beer garten, we had dinner and conversation with a local judge who had ridden his bike down from his home in the hills. It was a fascinating visit. 

The next day we stayed around Koblenz and went on the cable car.  There we could see where the Mosel river meet the Rhine.  We rented bikes and rode along the river and into old town. We saw the Viking cruise line that we had considered taking this summer. We were happy to be on our own, seeing many of the same things. 

We also learned from a museum about the influence Buffalo Bill had on Germany with his Wild West shows. 

Our final day was in Cologne. First stop was the chocolate factory of course. It was beautiful and modern and included facts about cocoa beans, slavery, culture, and the manufacturing process. 

This is my favorite candy splurge. Lindt Lindor candy.

The cocoa beans are spilling out chocolate for the fountain.

Next stop was the cathedral outside of the train station. We planned to tour the inside and Norris thought about climbing the staircase in the steeple. However, soccer season was starting and a service was being held to bless their team. Only people wearing red and white were readily allowed in. All others were questioned about whether they were lookie-loos or there for a purpose. 

Finally we left by train. The cleanliness, size and organized layout of Koblenz made us not as anxious to return home as Amsterdam did. 

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