The cheesy driver leads a group to the floating market, of which more later. He says he'll walk 'as if with lead in my feet', which means we're way behind, with an old confused lady, M. With the help of another driver who happened to be with a group, we find our way wayyy up to the cathedral. M asks to stick with us, as she's afraid of getting lost. She's quite sweet, actually, talks very much like 'Mrs Doubtfire'. We split up to follow our own tastes in exploring the cathedral, and agree to meet at the main entrance...The place is truly awesome. I'd known it was big, of course, but this is jawdropping, and the sheer height of it: just stunning. I was entranced by the statue of St. Christopher (of whom more later-) The expression of anguish on his face as he carries the ever-heavier Christ Child across the river was something I could totally relate to, with my screaming knees, feet, etc.
I also noticed quite a few reliquaries in the shape of royal heads, in various shrines, which may have been the inspiration for that nun's scary story in my school days, about the wise mens' heads being miraculously preserved here. I also saw two miraculous Virgin Marys for the price of one. I gawped for ages at stuff, and feared I'd be the last back, while the others sat bored. I was actually the first. H turned up about ten minutes later, but no sign of M. We really didn't want to go and leave the poor old soul, so ended up sitting by the entrance for God knows how long before giving up. We kept looking for her in the market, going back, etc. After all, she'd been so afraid of being lost on her own...Later we found out she'd pulled the same stunt in Dusseldorf the day before, leaving a couple scouring the town for her. She'd simply wandered back to the ship both times. Grunt.
By now it was getting dark, and missing the other markets, we got on the little Noddy Train, with hordes of quite alarming drunk German women you wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of and went to the damn floating market we'd missed earlier. It was absolute shit, although the brochure made it look like a big feature. I think they must have a deal with the travel company.
We were still miles from 'home' and limped on in the chilly rain, until finally able to revive ourselves with lemon brandy while awaiting the evening's feeding frenzy. M was discovered looking fresh and serene. You gotta laugh.