Koln (Cologne) Christmas Markets! (Ulog #42)

Bengy @bengy
· December 2018 · 4 min read · #christmas

This year, we made a little plan to drive down to Aachen or Cologne (Koln) for a weekend to visit the Christmas markets in Germany. Well, the plan was to drive... and so I was hoping that there wouldn't be any snow that would make me wish that we had taken the train instead!

We eventually settled on Cologne, as the accommodation in Aachen was booking up faster and was starting to get beyond our budget. Plus, I know Cologne relatively well due to having lots of work trips there! Both towns (cities) are a decent 3 hour drive away from our home, so it was a nice single trip with no stops.

Our Chariot

As my mother was here, out little baby car wasn't up to holding all of us and luggage as well. So, we had to hire a slightly bigger car, which was a dream (in comparison to our motorised shopping cart!) to drive. I've never had such a car with so many buttons and sensors and a screen in the dash before, so it was really nice for me drive it! However, the kids (whilst liking it), really took the side of our little old car. The older one kept pointing out things (like this being bigger, and thus harder to find parking space) to keep reminding me about how much better our old car was!

Cologne Markets

We ended up doing two Christmas markets whilst we were there. The first night, we went to the Markets by the Dom (Cathedral). You can see the massive Cathedral (next to the Hauptbahnhof) in the top photo. It does look quite beautiful when it is lit up at night!

This market was really very packed... and at night, it was bitterly cold as well! The next day, we decided to go to a less packed market by the Lindt Chocolate Museum. Of course, we also took the time to visit the Chocolate Museum (which also has a working Chocolate factory!), but that is a post for a different time!

Delicious Snacks!

What is better than a stick with fried potato spirals?... well, Roasted Chestnuts and Mulled Wine were a decent close second!... but for the kids...

Marinated strawberries covered in chocolate on a Stick! Seriously, everything is better on a stick... if I could have beer on a stick, then I would!

We did also pick up some nice Christmas loot... for me, the big score was a Honey Liquor and a coulpe of bottles of Chocolate (Cocoa) beer.

Christmas Magic!

On the second day, we even got a light dusting of snow! Luckily, it was good for the day, and so the kids got to play in it for a bit... but by the time for the drive back, it was all gone! Miracles all around! Kids happy, Dad happy!

A perfect dinner

To top off a great weekend, Dusseldorf was on the way back home. Dusseldorf is home to a huge population of Japanese, and as such, there is a huge amount of really great Japanese restaurants. So, when we originally planned this trip, I made sure that we would make a stop on the way back.

I had several recommendations from Japanese friends... but they had long queues, which don't sit well with children when the weather is so cold. So, we quickly headed for a nearby Japanese grillhouse instead. I can only say, we were lucky to get the last table before they started turning away people! This place was awesome, and it will be featuring later in a @tasteem post!

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lizelle @lizelleDecember 2018

Oh my word @bengy, all those eats and drinks look amazing...plus the sights and that car must have been the cherry on the top not so! Cocoa beer sounds interesting but Honey Liqueur sounds amazing! It certainly sounded and looked liked you had a wonderful trip :)

Bengy @bengyDecember 2018

Honey liquor is pretty good! I just had a bottle that ran out... It also had a funny name 'Bear-trap' was the literal translation.

jsf @jsfDecember 2018

Looks like you guys had a great time! would love to get me some gluhwein while around there... thanks for sharing have a good one!

Bengy @bengyDecember 2018

It was great fun! I hope to have some gluwein on new year when I don't have to drive!

I love Koln. My wife and I visited there many years ago. Not at Christmas, but we love the city. We really liked the gothic cathedrals. My, how ornate and LARGE they are! It's a fabulous vacation spot.

Bengy @bengyDecember 2018

It really is a great city... The cathedrals are really unbelievable. So huge and intricate at the same time... They really are great monuments to history and the many nameless creators and builders!

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Looks awesome! I'd like to try some fried potato spirals haha

Bengy @bengyDecember 2018

They are unbelievably good!,

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Bengy @bengyDecember 2018

Thanks for the curation and support!

JaiChai @jaichaiDecember 2018

A friend of a friend of a friend told me, "I love the holiday season. So many people joined together to celebrate the festivities. Why is this time of the year 'especially special' to me? Because I'm a pickpocket."

Namste, JaiChai

Bengy @bengyDecember 2018

Ha ha! Too true!

wolfhart @wolfhartDecember 2018

The kids looked like they had a great time. Memories they will never lose

haikubot @haikubotDecember 2018

The kids looked like they
Had a great time. Memories
They will never lose

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Bengy @bengyDecember 2018

Yes, it was a lovely weekend holiday! We should do it more often....

wolfhart @wolfhartDecember 2018

Us to
We need to do more. Weekend getaways are just as good as long vacations

Sounds like a very successful trip @bengy! Why hasn't anyone come up with beer popsicles? Beer on a stick!

That cathedral is huge! and very beautiful; love all the Christmas lights too. And I had no idea

Dusseldorf is home to a huge population of Japanese

Funny how having kids along changes so much about when to eat, how long can we wait etc. Actually, they change just about everything, don't they? but ask any parent, and they wouldn't change a thing ...depending on the day haha

Glad the trip was a success :)

Bengy @bengyDecember 2018

Yeah, kids are really bulldozers through your established life! But I guess, I wouldn't change... After all, they are one of my long term retirement plans!

hahaha yes they are! I've gotta say that when I was in your shoes, there were days that felt terribly long, but the years flew by. Now, my boys are in their early twenties, and it's such a pleasure (and a relief:), to see them as adults...kind, caring, and capable adults.

Enjoy all the craziness because before you know it, it's over. I still kill myself laughing, thinking of you waking up in the middle of the night with your toddler staring at you haha It's not much of a comparison, but I wake up with my kitten doing the same ... except she also licks my eyelids ...something I hope your toddler does not do :)

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Alejandro @jandrohDecember 2018

The cathedral is very big!!! Is it bigger than ulm’s cathedral? It looks