BeetMum and I popped over to Cologne for the weekend on the Eurostar (changing at Brussels – very easy) for a little look round the Christmas markets.
Now I’m not very good at planning holidays as Mr Beet tends to research the crap out of everything, so there’s not normally much left for me to do (or maybe Mr Beet has to research everything because I don’t). Anyway, apart from booking our train tickets and hotel I had done very little research as to where the markets were or what to expect. But more by luck that judgment, the main Dom (Cathedral) market was 2 minutes from our hotel, so on arrival we went and had a quick look round before bed.
The next morning, we had a look round Cologne Cathedral. I visited Cologne on a school music tour in 1999 and our choir sang here, but I didn’t remember quite how enormous it was.
The sightseeing box duly ticked, we proceeded to a full day of marketing, starting off with another look round the Dom market by daylight.
Our lack of research proved no hindrance as there is a little train to take you round the different markets so you don’t get lost.
We thought the Dom market would be the biggest, but in fact they were all pretty big so there was lots to see. We went to the Alter Markt, the Mediaeval Market (not very good, and the only one that charged for entry, but it was next to the Chocolate Museum and we visited the shop there for warmth, sustenance and a few presents) and the Markt der Engels.
The stalls are as you would imagine; lots of gluhwein, stodgy food – we dined on sausage in a bun and deep fried banana (the remnants of which BeetMum carried around with her for the rest of the day waiting for a pigeon that never appeared) – stollen, gingerbread, christmas decorations and arts-and-craft-type gifts.
I had brought a jumper to wear each day, but it was pretty cold
so I ended up wearing all of them at once. To add to the Christmas atmosphere we had a little sprinkling of snow – just enough to dust the rooftops.