Let’s get started on a backlog of posts that have been lying in my Drafts archive for ages! I am spending a relaxing warm Sunday afternoon retelling my recollections of cold Europe last December…sorry for the long wait, but your wait is no more!
My journey began towards the end of November, the schedule: left Melbourne for a few days transit in Kuala Lumpur, followed by a trip to Bonn, Germany, which was a five-day stopover before returning to Innsbruck, Austria once again!
Had to make sure the camera was all charged and ready for the journey, played around with the colours. Can you guess where this is? I’ll give you one hint, it is somewhere in Kuala Lumpur International Airport…
I randomly snapped a picture of the satellite terminal, which I had to get to this time by bus because the airport’s train service was being upgraded. You will remember some other colourful shots when I first wrote about my KL transit back in April.
Twelve and a half hours later and I was standing in the baggage claim section of Frankfurt airport, gotta love the contrast in colours between the two airports
View Frankfurt to Bonn in a larger map
Frankfurt is about an hour away from Bonn by train and this was early in the morning, with a 7-hour time difference from Malaysia (10-hours from Melbourne). It’s fun dragging your half-sleeping body around the world
Took the Intercity train to Bonn that morning, ticket costs you about 30-40 Euros I believe for a one-way trip. If you know when exactly you want to be travelling back, you can buy a two-way ticket.
Arrived at the main train station in Bonn right in the centre of town, greeted by the cold winter weather and daylight! (Days are very short in winter, shorter than my experience in the Australian winter). There are two major stations that trains could stop at around Bonn: Siegburg and the Bonn HBf (“Hauptbahnhof” = “Main station”)
This was my very first time in snowy suburbia that was Europe. I had only seen snow three times before: once when I was young and it was towards the end of winter, twice in Australia. A new experience awaited me and I was seeing a very different picture of the Germany I was used to.
If you were in Europe around December last year, you would have caught news of the major snow storms that were paralyzing traffic and airports. My friend’s car looks a big snowed over! I have heard that many cars have problems with iced windshields that obstruct your view of the road, quite dangerous if you ask me…
Went shopping for winter attire on one day and also visited the Christmas market. This picture was taken slightly outside the main town centre, where you’ll find a pedestrian zone and the departmental stores at Münsterplatz, which I covered back in May when I was previously in Bonn
It was the first time I had to pack for winter weather, so I really did not have any idea what to expect in the European winter! Oh well, you live and learn. My friend and I parked in a large multi-storey car park and decided to walk towards town centre.
It was quite early in the day, but already you could see the sun setting and stalls around the Christmas market lighting up. The whole open pedestrian areas of the different areas around town were covered in stalls selling all sorts of Christmas goodies.
For those who wish to give someone a nice loving gift and some tooth decay along with that, this may be the right store for you!
You can not only buy Christmas goodies at the Christmas market but lots of finger food. Beautiful German sausages, I just had to have one since I hadn’t had the opportunity yet (and it had only been three days since my arrival)
Curry sausage with chips, my favourite, a Bratwurst topped with ketchup and a sweet curry sauce and curry powder.
Lots happening in town, this was almost the same spot where I took the picture of the church on Münsterplatz back in May, can you recognize the tower on the right-hand side? In other news, there’s punch and hot chocolate at the store on your left.
A little humour for the visitors, the moose head moves and sings Christmas carols…
Roasted almonds, a very popular snack, not cheap either, but worth it! Just do not eat too much, they are nice and sweet!
This store also serves crepes (but I didn’t get one because of the queue) and someone called Germknödel, which my friend lined up for. I had no idea what it was.
Germknödel, a steamed white bun (or dumpling for some) topped with warm creamy vanilla sauce and berries. Enjoy!
Beethoven also decided to pay a visit to the Christmas market and the little ferris wheel behind him. Actually, it was more the ferris wheel who decided to pay a visit to Beethoven. Remember where I am now?
More Christmas market…
Apart from the snacks, you can get some beautiful glass merchandise and Christmas tree decorations.
So I went shopping for my winter attire and ate some food at the market, we also headed towards other parts of the area including Friedensplatz (if you remember, it was where all the bus stops were situated). A very interesting store selling food and mulled wine was serving a heap of customers.
Very creative designs of these stalls I must say! The propeller at the top also turns in case you’re curious!
It was a short, but pleasant five days in Germany catching up with friends and relatives. It also helped me acclimatise to the winter weather of zero or below zero degrees! Never have I seen so much snow before, so it was quite an exciting experience. I would have opted to stay longer, but work was calling out to me from Innsbruck, which was my next destination!