Cologne Christmas Markets 2017Posted on: 01/12/2017
As part of our German studies, Miss Croft organised a day visit for students in Years 9-12 to the German Christmas Markets in Cologne, Germany. Mr Luret, Miss Wharton and Miss Parker joined us too.
We met outside Barton Court Grammar School late Friday evening on the 1 Dec with our pillows, blankets and warm clothes. We all tried to get some sleep so that we were prepared for walking around the Christmas markets in the cold, but some of us were too excited! Thanks to Neil, our coach driver, the journey was easy and we arrived just in time for a typical German breakfast in one of the many fantastic bakeries. As we slept on the coach, we travelled through France, Belgium and Germany. Those students who did not sleep the entire journey even got to see snow!
When we arrived, it was still dark and the beautiful cathedral was partly hidden by the low-lying clouds. It was an amazing first impression of the city. We had a quick look inside, but had to be quiet as there was a mass taking place. It was magical with its huge palace-like walls and stunning stained glass windows.
We then had some time to go shopping and buy presents for our friends and family. This is where I got to speak my first bit of German, which was a bit scary but I am glad I tried!
The first Christmas market we visited is the oldest in the city, and this was the highlight of the day for many. It is called “Markt der Engel”, or ‘Angel’s Market’ and it was truly stunning! We had time to get lunch from one of the many stalls selling traditional German foods. You could also buy beautiful hand-made decorations and gifts.
The highlight of the day for me was visiting Cologne’s famous Lindt Chocolate Museum. It was interesting to look around and learn about the 3000-year history of the cultivation of cocoa. We then had some time to look around the ‘factory area’, where we saw chocolate being made and we tried some directly from a 7-foot high golden fountain.
We also had time to look around other markets in the area and finish our shopping before making our way back to the main square with the cathedral. By now it was really busy, with all the locals coming to meet with friends and family. It was dark and getting cold, but so beautiful to see the Christmas lights twinkling and shining.
By 5 o’clock, we were all tired and ready to meet with our coach driver. As coaches are not allowed in the city after 3pm, we had to get a shuttle bus to just outside of the city. It was very busy so we had to keep close to our teachers and squeeze onto the buses. It was certainly an experience, and Mr Luret almost got left behind! Luckily, he managed to jump on just in time!
It was an amazing trip and I highly recommend it to anyone taking languages. It has been my favourite experience at Barton Court so far!
“I found the Cologne trip exciting and enriching. The coach driver was amazing and the teachers even more so!” Jaden
‘I loved Cologne. It was amazing! The food was great and city was beautiful”. Jackson
“It was an amazing experience for us all and I hope that the trip next year will be as amazing as it was this year”. Karl
“Just wanted to say a massive thank you for organising such a wonderful, fun-filled trip to Cologne! I had an incredible time, loved every moment, and cannot wait to go again next year. What an amazing experience, thank you all so much.” Bella
“I found this trip exceptional and would definitely go again”. Morgan