Domplatz Christmas Market
Hugh and I returned late last night from a wonderful weekend spent in Cologne visiting the Christmas markets.
It is something I have been wanting to do for a long time and so back in August we booked up to go. We flew out from Gatwick at lunchtime on Saturday and arrived in Cologne at about 3pm. We then had to get the train into the centre - that was an experience!
The train tickets had to be bought from a machine and although the machine did have an English option it still wasn't exactly clear what we were supposed to do and we managed to buy tickets that cost us €15 instead of only €4.50! Oh well, what was done was done! When we arrived we walked out of the station and then straight back in again to buy a map as we had no idea where our hotel was! It was in fact only a five minute walk away and was wonderful - The Hotel Cristall.
Having checked in and put our case in the room we strolled back to the Domplatz (only five minutes away) to start our exploration of the first of 6 markets. The one in the Domplatz had the most impressive setting, with the Dom (Cologne Cathedral) in the background and a huge Christmas tree and many, many lights.
A stall selling gingerbread
This market concentrated on food and drink and Hugh and I had our first Gluhwein there (hot, spicy mulled wine).
We then moved onto the next market - the crowds were tremendous at both - at one stage we were just stationary, shoulder to shoulder with everyone else! You just had to go with the flow and not let it worry you, which having had the Gluhwein we could! After a very tiring four hours of marketing we found a wonderful Italian restaurant where we were able to rest our aching feet and have a lasagne for me and a pizza for Hugh.
Stall selling Christmas decorations
Later in the week I will tell the rest of the story of our trip to Cologne - see you soon!