Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Cologne (Köln) Christmas Markets

We had one full day where Rachel's visit overlapped with the Lee's visit, so we planned a day trip to visit the Christmas Markets in Cologne!  We knew we wanted to visit a Christmas Market sometime in December since it's one of the only perks to being in europe in December. :)  We found out Cologne has some of the best markets in europe, and it's only a 3 hour train ride away, so we booked tickets.  It did not disappoint!  It was such a magical, beautiful day.  Our train left Amsterdam at 8 AM and left Cologne that night at about 6 PM, so we had a pretty full day there.

It was an exciting morning; we got to the train station about 30 minutes early, because we found out the night before that our particular type of ticket didn't have assigned seats.  It was a fully booked train (because it was Dec. 22, the last saturday before Christmas), so we knew we had to grab seats in the dining cart or we'd probably be standing for the duration of the 3 hour train ride.  Thanks to Greg's speed and agility, he nabbed us 6 of the 12 seats in the dining cart!  We were thrilled to have seats.  And everything else went great, too.  It wasn't quite as cold as we thought it would be, it only rained the second half of the day, Andy was a trooper and took a nap on the go, etc.  There are 6 different markets there.  We made it to 5 of them.  We looked for number 6 for a while, but Brendan's navigation skills didn't quite come through. ;)  We tried tons of delicious food.  Bratwurst was a favorite (of course) along with fried potato cakes with applesauce.  Sounds strange, but it was so good.  My highlight of the day was finding a beautiful hand-carved nativity that we'll treasure for years to come.  The seven of us had a blast!

The train ride!  Andy played with new toys & books Kathy brought.

Watching candy canes being made.
The only picture with Kathy in it!  She played photographer most of the day.
A great picture of Rachel and Brendan. 
The Cologne Cathedral

Potato cakes! Yum!
Greg loved this lion and wanted a picture with it.
Cam and I having an intense conversation about who knows what.

Sweet Andy all bundled up.
Everything was so beautiful at night!
This was our favorite market.  It felt the most authentic.  It's where we got our new nativity.
I love my new nativity!


  1. How fun, looks so festive! Seeing pictures makes me miss you guys so much! Sounds like you guys had a great time with family in town!

  2. This looks so festive! I love your nativity!