The mission: Christmas markets in Cologne (known in Dutch as Keulen and in German as Köln (and apparently in Spanish as Colonia – somehow my Google Maps started giving me Spanish names)). We left Sunday morning for the two hour drive to a park and ride on the outskirts of town where we took the metro into the city, a choice we patted ourselves on the back for once we saw the traffic downtown. Plus, I think we would have had to buy an emissions sticker for our car in order to enter the centre. The metro was great and our hotel was in a perfect spot within minutes of the train station two of the markets. And they had the crib for Sprocket all set up. Very nice.
We got there, met my cousin and her friend who were on a semester abroad and travelling to a new place every weekend. They were here despite their scheduled departure for Canada in two days. Together we wandered around the angel market. Then Sprocket and Dutch Boy had had enough and went back to the hotel for a nap and I wandered with the girls in the central market and in the gnomey market – checked out the boat market but that involved a €2 entrance fee. Said goodbye to the girls and feasted on market food: Hungarian pizza with a salty soft cheese and herbs, mushrooms with creme fraiche and herbs, gluhwein and a baked apple added to the potato pancakes with applesauce I’d had earlier.
Monday we saw the cathedral – truly impressive – and wandered around four of the markets, as well as picking up some vegetarian baby food and other good German baby stuff. Our hotel breakfast buffet was good so we didn’t eat for a while, but we had roasted chestnuts (which Sprocket loved!), a fresh pretzel, potato dumplings with sauerkraut, some gluhwein, more potato pancakes with applesauce, a different Hungarian pizza with a sort of sweet and sour sauce on it (it being deep fried bread) and a pizza from Alsace-Lorraine.
Today after another good breakfast we packed up and did some last minute shopping before heading home through the fog. For pictures of the trip click on the photo below, or here