For the longest time, people have been telling me to visit one of the big Christmas Markets in Germany. So we did! We had decided on the market in Cologne, but then decided that it would probably be more fun to visit Dusseldorf, since we hadn’t been there before and it was closer to our home.
We drove there and had to wait a bit for a parking space, because it was really crowded. We arrived at three pm or so and strolled through the streets that were filled with these little market stands in winter theme, with christmas lights and all. They were so cute! They sold food and drinks like Glühwein, beer and hot chocolate, pretzels, gingerbread hearts and of course bradwurst, which is a must eat when visiting Germany.
Though it was raining thoroughly, we had a blast. We visited some stores for the last of our christmas gifts, and wandered along the markets that sold little trinkets, candles and cookie cutters.
After a while, the sun was setting and the city turned absolutely magical, with fairylights everywhere and the rainpuddles that reflected them.
I must say, I’m not a big fan of crowds and in the days just before Christmas, these markets get really crowded, so I panicked a bit. But this beautiful setting made up for a whole lot and I’m glad we went, though maybe next time, I want to visit a little earlier in the month of December than right before the holidays.
A while back, we had dinner at La Cubanita, a Cuban tapas restaurant in our hometown. They had this deal where you could spend a bit more on your diner, in exchange for vouchers you could use to visit a theme park. The park we choose was one I always wanted to go to, but never actually visited: Movie Park Germany!
As the name suggests, the theme park is based on movies. The park had different areas such as The old west with a Walking Dead escape room, Hollywood street set where you could meet people dressed as movie stars like Marilyn Monroe, Santa Monica Pier that was based on filmlocations in the US, Streets of New York and Nickland for the little ones, based on television shows that are shown on Nickelodeon.
In the beginning of this month, Boyfriend and I went to the Eifel to celebrate our five year ‘wooden’ anniversary. What better place to celebrate this than in a forest. So far, I already posted some highlights of our vacation, such as Köln and Schloss Drachenburg on our first day and Burg Satzvey, Hochwildpark Rheinland and Burg Eltz on our second day. Now I want to focus on the Eifel itself and the lovely little city we stayed in, namely Schleiden.
Germany, and especially the area around the Eifel, has a lot of amazing castles you can visit. After visiting Hockwildpark Rheinland, we decided it was time for another castle, namely Burg Eltz, the third and last one of our trip.
The castle was about an hour away from the wildpark. Believe it or not, we had to drive fast to make it to the castle before this one closed as well. Timing was not our friend on this trip… So we rushed towards it, parked our car and contemplated if we wanted to take the shuttle bus from the parking spot to the castle, or take the 15 minute walk. The area was absolutely amazing so we decided to walk, in spite of our protesting feet.
For our trip to Germany, we’d only planned our first day to Köln and Schloss Drachenburg. The remaining two days, we just wanted to relax and explore the area a bit. For our second day, we decided to go to a wildpark and visit one of the many castles the Eifel has to offer.
We set out for Hochwildpark Rheinland, a park in the middle of the forest, about twenty minutes from our hotel. I was driving and we were talking and we missed the exit. It was lucky we did, because when we took the next one, we accidentally came across this magnificent castle.
After we finished a lovely day and the most amazing dessert in Köln, we got back into the car to drive further into Germany. Today we would check into our hotel in Schleiden, but before we drove there, we wanted to take an half an hour detour to Schloss Drachenburg.
We parked our car at the food of a hill and we walked the rest of the way. Our feet were aching, but the promise of the castle kept us going. We came across some lovely little restaurants and cafés and when we arrived at the castle, we had the most amazing view of the Siebengebirge.
Though The Netherlands is a small country with both Belgium and Germany at it’s borders, I’ve never been to the latter. Actually, that’s not true. I know my parents and my sister and I went on a trip to Germany once. I was too young to remember any of it, but I do remember my mum complaining about there not being a television in the house or cabin that we rented.
Last year, boyfriend and I moved to another town that was even closer to the border. It takes less time to get to Germany than it takes to go to my parents in law (who actually live in the Netherlands as well). At Christmas we went shopping for presents at Kleve, which was not all that exciting, except for that I found a new sense of freedom because I was driving myself. When I got my licence about 5 years ago, I told myself I could go ANYWHERE now, though I never actually did. But it felt so cool to actually cross the border into another country. I could go anywhere. I could drive further, to Switzerland or Spain, or maybe even Russia. Last week, we crossed the border again, this time to see Köln and the Eifel.