Sunday wasn’t quite as glorious as the day before, but with finite time to spend exploring before our flight home, we got out & about and didn’t let the occasional drizzle spoil our day.
After all, there was much to be seen and food to be devoured.
Starting at the Cathedral Christmas market once more, between us we got stuck into a cheeky fried fillet of fish:
As well as some coal-smoked salmon, which was absolutely amazing:
A sausage and, of course, Dan’s favourite, ‘reibekuchen’.
Afterward we strolled down to a market that we hadn’t yet visited, the “Stadtgarten” Christmas market, located on the edge of Cologne’s oldest park.
It had a far more relaxed and village-like atmosphere than some of the others that we visited, e.g. the “Christmas Avenue”, Cologne’s lesbian & gay Christmas market.
The Stadtgarten Christmas market offered the usual traditional local food, arts & crafts, but also a variety of Christmas Concerts, Nativity Scenes and a huge temporary ice-skating rink on the Heumarkt.
Had we been feeling slightly more energetic (i.e. had it been the day before), I’m sure we all would have jumped on the ice but, feeling rather fragile, we opted for the comforting safety of more hot booze.
Later on we found ourselves back at the “Alter Markt” Christmas market, my favourite from the day before, where we had tracked down the cutest & cosiest little drinks hut which most people seemed to bypass, and so was perfect for us.
^ More mug appreciation please. I am also the proud owner of that little boot.
With our warm buzz back on we braved the cold for our final feed.
Michael had grown a real affinity for the fried fish and went for his 3rd of the day.
^ Definitely my favourite Santa hat ever.
I decided to get some pig.
Which was epic. So salty. So good.
Whilst Dan & Tina went for a cheeky waffle drowning in cream.
Four very, very happy (and full) Christmas campers.
I can’t even explain how awesome the Cologne Christmas markets are. They put Winter Wonderland and the rest of London’s offerings to severe shame.
The markets were so authentic and the vibe so genuinely Christmassy that it would be impossible for anyone not to love every minute of it.
Plus, the food (and allllllllll the freebies) are worth the excursion alone.
Go, go, go.
P.S. Of course our flight home was delayed; we could hardly have had a smooth ride home considering our journey from hell out now could we? Cursed.