Saturday night, Dirk left the shop early so he could take me to Köln. We had grand plans to see all of the Christmas Markets in the city. There are a total of seven markets in the city itself, and more as you head out of the city center. We were going to visit all seven of them!
He got home at around 5:30pm, it was already very dark and super cold. But, there was no rain in the forecast so this seemed like the perfect night to hit the town.
We bundled up in many layers, and headed down to catch the train. It was really , really cold. But, we were determined. A little cold would not stop us, I am from Michigan after all. (A little truth here: I was born in Michigan, but I never liked living there. It was too damn cold for me. I LOVED living in North Carolina, where it was lovely, sunny and warm most of the year.)
We arrived to see this lovely site.
The Dom Market was packed full of people enjoying hot Glühwein and various other yummy treats. It was so full that we had a hard time even seeing what the vendors had for sale. But it all smelled delightful.
We wandered through the hoards of Christmas Market celebrators, and decided it was time to get something to eat. The lines were so long for the stands, so we found a good Döner shop and got a bite there instead. (It was also much warmer inside, I was able to feel my nose again after sitting inside for thirty minutes).
After the food we walked through the Gnome Market, which is my favorite spot. There are little gnomes all over the market. Even the little Glühwein mugs have different gnomes on them. (For those that know me well, you know I LOVE gnomes!)
One of the many decorated trees through out the city, and note the little sign with the gnome.
We managed to go through three markets before I decided that I may actually freeze to death. Even Dirk, who is of strong German Stock, felt it was just too damn cold for this shit. We headed back to the train station.
We were in luck the train was coming in just 3 minutes!
However, we soon found out that our luck had run out. The train was coming, but it was only running part way to our home. There were some mechanical issues, or so we were told. We boarded the train and hoped for the best. At least it was warm on the train.
Luckily, at that stop, they had arranged a large bus to bring the train passengers to the train stops further down the line. We only had to walk a short way to catch the bus. It was warm on the bus. We thought all was right with the world again.
It wasn’t. The bus took us to another train station, but not the train station where our car was parked. We were dropped about 8 stations away from where we needed to be. Back to being very, very cold. There was an announcement made overhead that said that the train were starting back up, and should be there in 30 minutes. We could do this!! They also announced that the trains going back toward Köln were cancelled.
We waited, and waited. They made more announcements about delays. Finally a train showed up, but it was a train on the side of the tracks heading to the city. However, Dirk thought that since they had “cancelled” that train, it would go the opposite direction. I disagreed.
We got on the train. The train took us toward the city (Just like I told my husband it would.) We quickly got off at the first station. We were now 9 stations away from home. It was really, really cold.
More delays announced. I thought I might cry, but actually started laughing because this shit ALWAYS happens to us. Dirk laughed too. During our episode of manic laughter, I noticed a cab had pulled up to the parking area and was letting people out of the cab. We made a mad dash across the platform, and across the tracks, over to the parking lot.
We hailed the cab!! It was warm , so nice and warm. It was a lovely, warm ride to the station. It was the best 20 euro that we spent all night. I climbed out of the cab, a little sad that I was back into the cold, but happy that we had finally made it back to the car.
The car didn’t want to start. Why would it?
We sat there, saying prayers to many Gods, Goddesses and other random beings.
The car finally started.
As we pulled out of the parking lot, the train arrived at the station. Of course it did.