I have been up the spires of Cologne Cathedral three times in my life and each time it has got easier. On this occasion I was fine while I was going up the spiral staircase of the tower, but then you come outside within the pierced spire and there is a metal staircase and I was so terrified that I could only take it step by step with my eyes closed. There is a one-way system up and down the spires so I could not turn back. I had not been so terrified since February 1981 when on a school trip in a very snowy Paris and three friends had decided to walk up the Eifel Tower but had run ahead leaving me to cling to the framework as I hauled myself to the second level (all that was open at that time of year) and then get a lift down. I should have got off at the first level but thought foolishly that I could catch them up. They were far less fearful with one jumping from landing to landing as they walked back down. The Wallfraf-Richartz-Ludwig museum has now been divided between two venues in the city, one is still in the location next to the cathedral where I visited it in 1988.
Wednesday 24th August 1988
Today I woke early and went on a whole day of sightseeing. I did the cathedral which was excellent and went right to the top, even though I was almost literally scared stiff. Then I went to the Romano-German museum which had exquisite Roman glass and jewellery. I looked in the Walraff-Richartz-Ludwig art gallery which had fascinating paintings. I had pasta for lunch in a Berni inn then walked miles to the Flora Park - looked at the tropical and cool houses, then to the Zoo which was disappointing but had a good aquarium, reptilium and insectrium. I walked back and slept with sore feet. I discussed politics with a German and popped out for a pizza before coming back to bed early.
Weather: Sunny at first, dull and rain later.
Köln Cathedral Seen through Riverside Gardens, August 1988
Entrance to Köln Cathedral, August 1988
View from Köln Cathedral, August 1988
Entrance to Köln Flora Park, August 1988
Parrots at Köln Zoo, August 1988