Over the Christmas holidays I’ve been to Cologne with my family. We had a bit of a scare after hearing about the dreadful news in Berlin but after careful thought we went ahead with plans and still hit the road. There was a four hour drive to get Cologne from Calais which I mostly slept through. We had a night booked in Cologne and a night in Valkenburg (Holland).
We arrived to our hotel ‘Adagio Aparthotel’. It was more of an apartment. It was very modern and had an interesting urban view.
The first one we found was the cathedral market which had a stunning Christmas tree in the middle and they had draped a set of beautiful net lights over the market, illuminating the sky. Here we bought some bratwurst and candy apples. We also bought some delicate glass decorations and a traditional snow globe.
The second one we found was the ‘Home of the Elves’ market which sold more crafty and hand made items. We loved the mugs you could keep that came with the hot drinks – we ended up with about four of them. It was only a couple of euros more to keep the mugs and my parents enjoyed the Gluwein. There was a marvallous ice rink that we were tempted to experience, but we were just a bit tired by then. A few attractions were scattered about like an old-fashioned carousel and ferris wheel. The little elves could be seen hidden around the market and the festive atmosphere was helped along with traditional carol singers.
All the walking and shopping tired us out so we made our way back to our cosy hotel and had a good long sleep ready for the next days seasonal adventures.
We woke up and me and my sister made a breakfast from what car snacks were left (some biscuits and fruit) It was fine because we knew we were heading out shortly in search of the amazing crepes at the Christmas market. The mug on the right was one from the Elf market – a personal fave.
The fun began when we got ourselves layered up in coats, hats and gloves and made our way back to the ‘Home of Elves’ Christmas market. It’s a lot quieter in the morning but it doesn’t have quite the same atmosphere as when all the pretty lights are on and it’s buzzing with people at night.
We spent time going over all our favourite stalls again , plus discovered a few new treasures. My sister bought my mum a lovely reindeer charm to give to her on Christmas morning. We finished up and started our journey to Valkenburg.
It took about an hour and twenty mins to get to our hotel called ‘Atlanta’. The hotel was… lets say more ‘traditional Dutch’. Like the day before we spent some time in the hotel then headed into the town which was a two minute walk from our hotel. The location was excellent. It was SO Christmassy, there were Santas scattered around and lights hung – It was lovely. Everyone sat outside next to gas burners and cuddled up in furry throws. Valkenburg is known as the ‘Christmas Town’ and we could see why.
At 19:00 there was a Christmas parade. The floats were big and lit up, there was music and dancing – another thing that added to the festive feeling.
Well after all that we ate, went back to the hotel and slept very well – the usual😂
Breakfast was at the hotel then we continued to the famous Velvet caves which were Christmas markets underground. These were less traditional but well lit and fun. We finished in there and had hot drinks outside with throws (I loved having food/drinks outside!). Finally after our Christmas get away, we went on with the journey home. And it didn’t take too long. We were home by about 19:00 so we still had an evening to enjoy.
Sorry if some of the pictures weren’t as sharp – I didn’t take my proper camera so they were taken on our phones as our hands were usually full of festive goodies.
Anyway, that’s all from me xx