Christmas season is in full swing here in Köln. The main attraction being the Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market). There are at least five large markets in the city for us to visit (above is the Weihnachtsmarkt on the Dom), as well as one that we've been to in Bonn. Quite a different shopping experience than shall we say Pacific Place. For one, there is no chance of hearing yet another rendition of Santa Baby.
For over a week we could see construction workers assembling the booths (each looking like a little cabin). Now they are filled with vendors selling everything from cute handmade ornaments to gigantic chocolate heart cookies with frosting messages like "ich liebe dich" (which girls wear proudly around their necks like they would carry a gigantic stuffed animal prize that their boyfriend won for them playing some funny game..... sad to say Chris has yet to give one to me). The above picture is what I'm talking about (just don't look too close because you will see that it is from a Weihnachtsmarkt in a different city and that in fact it was a picture I found doing a google image search).
One might wonder how you can spend hours outdoors visiting these booths. Well, Germans have an answer for that - Glühwein. Each market has multiple places where you can buy the special mulled wine, and because it is Germany, you pay a hefty deposit for the mug, but then you can take it with you as you shop. The mugs too are quite cute, and so far the mug is really the only difference I can tell between different stands offerings. Don't worry, there is still also the kölsch option (which we've even seen in seasonal glasses).
I had been waiting to post this until I got some better shots of the hubub (especially at night), but in classic Kelly form, when I tried to do this, the red "low battery" light on my camera finally decided to change to "no battery" and hence no documentation could be made. Stay tuned though.....