There was no avoiding the fact that we were running out of time. We’d enjoyed our time among the Frisian Islands, but we needed to start heading in the direction of home or at least, towards the ferry terminal at Dunkerque. It was Friday and we had a Sunday afternoon crossing booked.
Rosana had mentioned Köln several times and Dan finally took the hint. It looked conveniently located in terms of the route we needed to take but presented a large, umweltzone shaped, problem. Parking didn’t look great and to make matters worse there was a large demonstration taking place in the city on Saturday. We decided to find somewhere to camp outside of the city that was near a train station, that seemed to be the simplest solution. We trawled the Bord Atlas and ACSI guide and eventually found an ACSI campsite on the banks of the Rhine just outside of Düsseldorf that fitted the bill.
It was a bit of a trek, but German trains are pretty efficient even if their ticket machines are a bit baffling, plus the location offered less of a drive on Sunday.
Like Xanten, Köln was initially a Roman town and like many German cities, it’s a mix of old and new, with much post war rebuilding and it’s an easy place to spend a day or more wandering around, getting lost in narrow back streets, enjoying the street art and taking in the beautiful, if crowded, cathedral.
With one last strawberry topped ice cream the sun set on our journey through Germany and we headed for France and our ferry home.