Saturday, December 8, 2012

Koln to Aachen

At about 8:30 this morning it began snowing in Koln.  We could see the beautiful tall Koln Cathedral (tallest in Europe) from our breakfast table, as it was less than a block away.  The snow was coming down so heavy that at times it was hard to see the Cathedral.  Looking out the window as we ate, watching it snow was simply beautiful.  It was just magical with the Christmas decoration. People were walking to work or wherever and they would be covered with snow in no time at all.  It was accumulating fast. 

We had decided to take it easy this morning since we had gotten back to the hotel fairly late last night, plus we wanted to visit the Christmas markets in the daylight and they do not open until 9:30-10:00am. Also we needed time to blog and work with photos.  By the time we went out, approximately an inch of snow had accumulated.  For a while it slowed down, and some of it melted, but then it began snowing heavy.  We, along with everyone else in the streets, became white snowmen! We walked through 4 Christmas markets late morning and early afternoon. The snow made everything in the markets simply magical. It was perfect.  Before leaving Koln we returned to the hotel for a cup of coffee and to post our blog.  It was 3:00 before we left Koln to begin the trip west to Aachen, and it was snowing very heavy again - approximately 3 inches of snow had fallen by the time we left – do not know how much more they received. The roads were not the best.  The speed vehicles were traveling was slow compared to normal driving conditions.  We saw two accidents.  The farther west we went the worst things were as far as driving, but the scenery was BEAUTIFUL - the snow was clinging to the trees.  Then all of a sudden it stopped snowing and there was hardly any snow on the ground.  We came into the city center in Aachen, finding a hotel which was just several blocks from the Christmas markets – it’s not the greatest hotel (nothing to write home about!), but it is clean, our room is spacious and location is perfect.
Snow out Hotel Window
Walking in the Snow
Koln Christmas Market

Making Sweet Bread

Market in the Snow

The markets were very nice, plus they were close together in comparison to the Koln markets.  We entered two churches.  One was the Dom of Aachen.  Wow! The mosaics on the ceiling were beautiful.  

Driving toward Aachen
Market in Aachen
Tonight we ate ‘on the run’ buying things from stands - always trying something new.  It is always fun to watch them prepare what you will eat.  Today we had a crepe spread with Nutella (a chocolate spread) and then rolled up.  It was very good.  We will try them again.  Flamkuchen is another thing we will try again – a very thin pizza like crust, but it is spread with a soft cheese from Switzerland, plus a topping.  It is baked in hot wood fired ovens right in front of you.  Aachen is known for its gingerbread.  We bought a bag with 4 varieties to sample. 

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