Monday, November 30, 2015

Cologne Christmas Markets 2015

Hard to believe, but this was our first family trip since we moved back to the UK in the summer. The 9th grader had a school holiday the day after Thanksgiving, so we decided to travel to Cologne for a long weekend to kick off the Christmas season.

Cologne is on most lists for best German Christmas markets. But honestly, my big motivation for traveling to Cologne was the cathedral. It didn't disappoint, particularly the facade. The interior was about what I expected, but the exterior was loaded with all sorts of detail. 

Unbeknownst to me, each of the six separate Christmas markets in Cologne has its own theme. We visited five of the six and returned with a souvenir mug from four of them. The 5th one we didn't bother to get a mug because the market was small and the cup was unattractive.

This trip wasn't about fine dining, but rather carb-filled street food. We munched on sausages, pretzels, fried potato pancakes, strudel and frites. I plan on fasting  a couple days this week to detox my sugary body.

Even our hotel was tricked out in Christmas decorations. It was located right across the street from the cathedral, so it was the perfect location for sightseeing in the old town.

While we were taking a private tour with local guide Marcus, we stumbled upon a wedding party right outside of city hall, which was also decked in holiday decorations.

 The markets as night were so festive. But they were also super crowded and you had to shuffle along through clouds of cigarette smoke. All in all we had a great time and are already starting to contemplate which German Christmas market we'll visit next year.

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