After leaving Schneverdingen, we began our journey south and our first Christmas market in the beautiful city of Cologne (Koeln). There are about six markets dotted around the city and our favourite is in the Aldstadt. We were last here in 2009 and loved it. The stellplatz is right next to the river Rhine and you can walk along it into the city, about 45 minutes or as we found out this time a short tram ride!
We arrived on the 26th to see how busy it was and to see if we needed to reserve a pitch for Geoff & Barbara. We were with them in Spain this time last year and we had made an arrangement to meet up at a German Christmas market. She is a remarkable woman and we are so pleased to be meeting up again. They are currently at a market in Valkenburg (Holland) and coming tomorrow so we had a walk in on our own to get our bearings.
We spent two days there going back and forth on the tram (so much easier than walking!). We had a great time chatting and mooching about as well as hitting the food stalls and the odd glass or two of gluhwein.
We moved onto a stellplatz in Trier (on the river Mosel) together on the 28th and did pretty much the same thing. Apart from walking in along the Mosel on the first day which was a bit tough for Barbara so we got a taxi back after having a couple of beers in a bar that doesn’t have a smoking ban! The following day we got a return ticket on the bus.
Sadly we said farewell to Geoff & Barbara on the 29th as we were heading further south and our last Christmas market in Freiburg (on the edge of the Black forest). The original plan was that we were going to travel together down to La Manga, Spain but they are now spending Christmas at home with the family. The good news is that they are coming out to Spain late Jan/early Feb 2015. Cannot wait to see them again.
We had a lovely walk around Freiburg and I have to say that it is a beautiful city but Angela and I were not that impressed with their Christmas markets. On our way in we walked past the main rail and bus station. Nothing interesting about that you might say but we noticed on a couple of the main bridges groups of youths sat with their legs dangling chatting and drinking coffee! in the UK if this happened i think that the police would be called and a road/rail closure would be put in place until they were safely down. (see the picture below).