Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Christmas in Cologne

Christmas market at NeumarktThe people of Cologne really, really love Christmas. Each winter the city plays host to not one, but six Christmas markets. On sale are all manner of German baked sweet smelling goodies such as lebkuchen (gingerbread) and stollen (a bread-like fruit cake), as well as wooden toys, decorations and gifts.

The oldest Christmas market is at Neumarkt ('New market') town square and conveniently this is about a 10 minute walk from our flat. Perfect for an amble with a perambulator. So that is where I headed this morning, making the most of the low winter sun.

The entrance to the Neumarkt Christmas market (see top and middle photos) is guarded by two imposing toy soldiers.

At the markets it is traditional to try a little Glühwein - hot spiced red wine. This tradition is taken quite seriously: I visited at 11 am and the wine stand was already fairly busy...Mind you, it can get very cold here in December, so it seems like a pretty practical way to warm up frostbitten toes.

The stalls of the Neumarkt Christmas marketAs I am not sure if I will still be in Cologne next Christmas, I am going to make the most of the markets this year. I shall certainly be partaking of some Glühwein on an up-and-coming girls' night out. I'd also like to fit in visits to the beautiful market in front of the cathedral and the Alter Markt (Old Market) located in front of the town hall. Should keep me out of trouble (ho ho ho.)

More about the Christmas markets...

How to make Glühwein...

No comments: