Edit Blog Post
Published: December 23rd 2014
I had debated about going to Cologne early so that I could check the city out before my 2:44pm train to Munich…. but I decided that I came to this area primarily to see Aachen, so I remained. I woke late and my breakfast was not included in my room rate. I was not about to pay 17 euro for breakfast so I decided to stroll around town and get some photos during the day of these beautiful buildings. I saw an early farmers market type set up on the main street, where people were selling meats, produce, bread, flowers, etc. One of my favorite things about Europe is seeing people buy this stuff daily - there is always a line outside the bakery in the morning with people buying their breads. My grand mom always said this is one thing she missed.
I wandered back up to the Christmas market area - it was about 10am and the markets were very slowly waking up, so I just cruised the streets instead. I took some more photos of the Cathedral and then found a grocery store, where I bought some fruits for breakfast, juice, water and pretzels - snacks for
the train ride. Grand total: 11.50 euros - much less than breakfast and it would feed me all day. I still had some leftover sausage and sauerkraut, which filled me before my journey. Then I said goodbye to this lovely town and headed to the station.
The ride to Cologne was packed but nice - only about 8 stops over an hour time period. I also was a little concerned because I was not getting off at the main Cologne train station - I don't know why it made me nervous, but it did. However, I got off at the correct station, found my platform very easily and waited for my train. I had booked a first class ticket and based on the sign at the platform, there were two main first class cabin cars. I was not sure which was mine, but I decided to stay in the middle, figuring I had time to check and move on if I had to. Sure enough, my car stopped right in front of me and I hopped on. There were quite a few people on this train, and at first I had a little trouble checking seat numbers and mingling
through them. I actually passed my private cabin because I didn't think it was mine. But I guess my ticket lady at Aachen totally hooked me up yesterday! I was just hoping for a window seat. Well I got that and a whole cabin all to myself all the way to Frankfurt. There, my six person cabin took on two more people, one of them a young cute German guy I chatted with occasionally. I read, I dozed, I snacked. There was an attendant who brought me a cup of tea and would have brought more, but I just ate my snacks instead - can't spend too much money if I don't have to, right?
My cabin mates got off earlier than me in Nuremberg and somewhere in the middle, so I was alone again to Munich. I got off the train and found myself in a large, but nice train station. There were carolers singing which, I'm a bit embarrassed to say, brought tears to my eyes. I can't believe it is almost Christmas and I'm in like Christmas central! I found the taxis nearby, but when I told the guy where I was going he pointed me
back down the street - I thought it was close, but I could not see anywhere - it was behind the station almost. So, I found my hotel, checked out my cool room (i've really lucked out in the hotel department this trip), then decided to head out towards the main Christmas market in Munich before I got sleepy.
I walked down the main street, mostly following the crowd, and the market was easy enough to find. It was basically a bunch of stalls lining the main commercial / pedestrian drag. It was well laid out - there was plenty of room to wander around and look at the stalls without getting jostled. But it also felt a bit small. So, I have to say that Aachen won in the Christmas Market contest for me. However, one step up is that I actually found ornaments that say "Munchen 2014" on them and the woman even wrote it herself in front of me on one of the ornaments I liked - I got one for each of my niece and nephews. While waiting, I started to talk to an American family, who were also excited to finally get some ornaments
Going to Munich!
like the train layout in the lower left corner
that were not generic. They were from LA and since I'm from Ventura, we clicked. They had a very cute son who was chatty, but they were going to Vienna tomorrow. I told them they would love it and they would also find good ornaments there, assuming they got there in time.
The market stalls started to close around then. I was shocked. It was barely 9pm! What the heck?? So, I just slowly made my way through, and I look forward to seeing the beautiful buildings tomorrow during the day. Tomorrow is the last day of the Christmas market, so I am ready. At least now I know I can get some good gifts, so I'll be prepared!
Steps walked: 13,516 (5.58 miles)
Tot: 2.488s; Tpl: 0.053s; cc: 16; qc: 30; dbt: 0.0352s; 2; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb