Cologne Christmas markets

Seven weeks till Christmas, someone said.  I reckon it’s  time to start posts with Christmas and winter themes.

I love the German Christmas markets.  I say that, but I’ve only been to the one in Cologne and it’s my blueprint for how all of them should be.

Cologne has seven Christmas markets, and my favourites are the big one in front of the imposing Cologne Cathedral and the somewhat nostalgic one in the Old Town.  The markets are open all day, but they’re most atmospheric at night. It’s the combination of the crisp cold air, the Christmas trees & lights, children laughing in the skating rink and smells of gluhwein (mulled wine) and roasting potatoes and spitting sausages. It feels like Christmas in a movie.

I love the stalls that sell crafts and wooden toys and Christmas decorations. I bought a wooden woodpecker which pecks down a pole … and it was subsequently named Zoe Woodpecker by one of our youngsters.  I also buy the ginger biscuits called Lebkuchen, which are almost an art form.  They’re so pretty that I don’t want to eat them.  I still have stale ones, still in their plastic wrappers, the souvenirs of Christmas pasts.

Spotted Cow

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