Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Happy Winter Solstice

The shortest day (of sunlight) is the first day of winter, and where better to spend it than Koln. It was actually quite cold out, even with the few hours of sun that shone. I think that means I didn't drink enough gluhwein (or any... my mistake).  The boys are not into markets and methinks that next year, maybe one will be on the "family outing" ticket. This year was Wiesbaden with Becca (nice), Bad Homburg with Becca (way too small to bother), Strasbourg with Becca (awesome), Frankfurt with everyone (no soul), and Koln with everyone.  Ian also went to Mainz with Becca, which I think is similar to Wiesbaden.

Koln has several markets, and we visited the three closest to the Hbf, the cathedral market, the gnome market, and the angel market.  The best of the three is the gnome market.

The whole market was filled with gnomes, on the stall roofs, on the signs, on the mugs, everywhere. Every market should have a theme like gnomes.

Seriously... gnomes!
There's a familiar feel to the Koln markets, as there seems to be in many of the Hessen city markets. Next year we'll try to get some of the more unique ones in walled cities and little hamlets. But Koln is worth visiting for an afternoon.

Bailey's hot chocolate is da gnomey best

The cathedral is massive and stunning.

Christmas tree.

Judgy owl

Ice skating through the market

Group photo! Thanks Berenice for taking it!

Taking to the ice.
So yes, we'd recommend a visit to Koln and its markets. If you do go, stop by the angel market and get a rolled up and baked, cheese and bacon wonder.  We decided to pass, and realized almost immediately that THAT was a mistake as it's something we haven't seen before.  Take the uniqueness when you can as so much of the markets are very cookie-cutter.

Enjoy the longest night of the year!

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