My normally practical and pragmatic wife has a quiet romantic streak. She booked us a sunset cruise along the Rhine River while we were in Cologne.
Unfortunately, she booked it through a third-party Web site instead of directly with the cruise line. When we arrived at the appointed dock at the appointed time, the ship that was there wasn’t the one promised. Nobody knew anything about the cruise we’d booked.
Margaret doesn’t cry easily, but this was disappointing enough that tears pooled in the outer corners of her eyes.
“I’m sorry this isn’t working out,” I said. “But I have an idea. We had dinner at that little pub right across the river last night. I’ll bet we could grab a table outside and watch the sun set from there, while we have a couple of drinks.” She liked that idea, so off we went across the massive Hohenzollern Bridge.
A Kölsch before me and a gin and tonic before Margaret (the Germans say “gin tonic” and were confused every time Margaret included the “and”), we watched the sun slowly set. We were incredibly fortunate that from where we sat, the sun’s path intersected the enormous Cologne Cathedral, casting it in silhouette.
I walked south from the pub to make a few more images.
I caught Margaret looking at me from our table. I’d wandered a good distance away — with the lens set at its maximum zoom, 200mm, this is as close as I could get. Margaret is in the middle of the photo, turned and looking at me.
We had another drink before we headed for our hotel, which was west of the river. This time we crossed along the Deutzer Bridge, one bridge to the south of the Hohenzollern Bridge. I paused halfway to make this photo of that well-known structure.
“I’m glad we did this. This was better than the cruise would have been,” Margaret said. I love it when I can pull a disappointment out of the fire!
I won twice on this missed cruise. The booking company didn’t want to refund our tickets — until I sent them the first image in this article, pointing out the dock number in the photo and the date/time stamp in the photo’s EXIF. They refunded me immediately.
Nikon Df, 28-200 f/3.5-5.6G AF Nikkor.