Why Hello again!
This time my husband and I have journeyed to Colonge, Germany! We decided to go with an entire charter bus full of people, which was interesting in and of itself. After we all met on Saturday morning around nine a.m., by 9:30a.m. we were on our way. It took us about an hour and a half to get to Colonge, which was perfect because we got there about an hour after all the shops had opened for the day (21st November to 23 December, 11 am to 9 pm – Saturdays they open at 10). We got dropped off at one of the largest markets that is in the city- the Cathedral Christmas Market. Now officially there are seven Christmas markets in Colonge but our guide only informed us of six. Which is understandable because the 7th one is well, not so “family-friendly” if you will. So let’s begin our walk together.
Of course, we had to eat almost immediately upon getting there (we are always hungry- don’t judge). Right near the catherdrel market they had a little extension that was just food and drinks. So, we decided ‘hey, why not?’ because we really didn’t want to sit down at a restaurant. Also, did I mention at this particular part in the city it was crowded? Well, it was, there were people everywhere. But anyway, so my husband and I went to this little sausage stand that was selling all different kinds of wurst from bratwurst to curry wurst. Both of us decided to go with what is called “Rindswurst im Brot”- basically it is the length of two bratwurst made out of all beef, folded and put in a bun. It was awesome! And very fulfilling! I am sorry I did not get a picture of it, I wish I had so you could see how amazing this was but I was really hungry.
Now to the shopping! We were given a map that illustrated where the 6 markets were in the city labeled from 1 to 6. Of course we decided to start at 1 and work our way up from there. The first one was of course the cathedral market, which had an outstanding first impression and definitely beyond gorgeous. There were a lot of crowds here though so after about 20 min we decided to move on and find a market a little less crowded. Now they did have some very pretty things and it was worth seeing and experiencing.
The second market we decided to walk to was the ‘Heinzelmannchen Market’. Heinzelmannchen stands for house gnomes. There is a legend that states that the gnomes used to work for everyone of the town, which led to all the people who lived in the town to be lazy, if you would like to read more about the history of the legend I suggest reading it on this website: http://www.icysedgwick.com/heinzelmannchen/ . This was THE market I wanted to see and I am so glad we got to spend a lot of time here! Walking through the market and checking out all the vendors, we came across one that was really cool. This older gentleman was carving gnomes and an assortment of things out of wood and he had one of the largest stalls at this market. There were also vendors selling jewelry, items made of leather, clothing, and all sorts of crafty items. Many of the items were focused on that of the gnomes-which makes all of these markets very special. Also, can I just point out if you get any drinks at the vendors at the different markets then you can pay 2,50 extra in euros (on top of your drink) and get a mug that is for that market- of course, I got one here. This was by far both of ours favorite market. There is a little section called “Alter Market” which is basically an extension of the Heizelmennchen market. They have two man alley ways- one is mostly food, snacks and drinks and the second is more of clothing and accessories. They do have some of the same crafty things that the main Heizelmennchen market had. To say the least we did not spend much time here.
Adventuring on, our next market was the angel’s market. Much like the gnome market many of the items here were focused around angels. This was a stunning market, it seemed so pure and peaceful, even though there were people all around. Everything is white and most likely with some kind of glitter- not over the top but, simple and elegant. I believe that this is one of the oldest Christmas markets in Colonge. They had this great little stand with homemade jams and jelly, and yes they give you free tastings. Most of these preserves are best on cheese and/or crackers. This market was kind of small and had more beverage stands than most of the other markets.
Moving on, Rudolfplatz- also known as the Village of St. Nicholas. This was a cute little market that if you need to get into the Christmas spirit, may I suggest to visit here. They did have a lot of vendors focused more for children but also those who are kids at heart. Everything from mulled wine to little knick knacks and fun little figurines of Santa all over the place. The alley ways were a lot larger throughout this market, which allowed us to experience all of the vendors without the crowds.
On to the next, a charming market called Stadtgarten. This one is away from the hustle and bustle of the other markets (about at 10 min walk or so) and it is behind a large park. This one has many different things starting at the traditional items to the more modern and handmade. What makes this market interesting is that all the vendors switch out every week, so you never know exactly what they are going to have. This was a chic and charming market and probably one of the top ones I enjoyed walking through. The atmosphere was just what we needed at that point in the day, calm and collected.
Last but not least, the harbor market. Now, if you don’t know Colonge sits right on the Rhine River, and it is stunning. The harbor market had many of the same type of vendors the other markets had but they had a specialty of fish at the food vendors.One of the vendors was selling blankets, scarfs, and clothing made of wool- if it wasn’t so expensive I would have bought 1 or more of those blankets- everything was so warm. There was another vendor that had hand made jewelry, that was also very gorgeous. My husband, of course, got distracted by all the cool hats, so that is where he spent most of his time at this market. There was also a chocolate museum right by the market that we didn’t have time to visit but we will make a note to go by there next time.
So to say the least this was a filled day of shopping and exploring. All of the vendors spoke English and nothing was really overpriced. It is worth seeing, but I do wish we would have had more time there- there was just so much to see. Also, take note that outside of the Christmas markets, Colonge has a very large shopping distract.
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