Sunday, December 17, 2017

Visiting the Christmas Market in Duisburg, Germany

It is that time of the year again! The holiday season. Christmas.

I have invited the Dutch mother and her niece to go with us to a Christmas Market in Germany. We were thinking of the nearest city from the border near us which would either be Oberhausen or Duisburg. We picked Duisburg for no particular reason. Lucky that Dutchman went with us. I could always use a driver going back while I snooze =)

We were able to quickly find an underground parking garage in Duisburg, and a strategic one at the Forum, which is the city's biggest modern shopping mall located on Konigstrasse, the same street where the Christmas Market is.

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This is somewhere in Ede, the Netherlands, driving to the direction of Germany. I drove, the Dutchman took the pics.

It was a wintry drive in the Netherlands to Germany.

When we arrived at the Christmas Market, I told myself -- first things first -- I needed some German food teaser for my palate.

Visiting the Christmas Markets in Germany is all about the food experience for me. So as we walked past the Christmas market stalls, which looked rather less appealing during the day than in the night, I found what I have been looking for. Bratwurst!

Everyone thought I was joking, "Why are you eating bratwurst now?"

Well, I am craving and I am on my 1-day holiday in Germany =)

Munching on my bratwurst, we walked further on the Konigstrasse towards the church and the river, checking out each Christmas market stall and appreciating what they were selling. The Christmas Markets looked very different during the day. A bit sober and less exciting, and the snow also just melted.

TIP: Best to visit a Christmas Market around 16:00 and onwards. Not earlier, unless you are visiting a large city with several markets.

We did not really find anything worth buying and we noticed that the Dutchman, although being extraordinarily polite, has become tired of our slow turtle pace walk. So we decided to search for a cafe where we can have some coffee and a warm pastry to eat. Sounds like a good plan.

Typically German: Gingerbread hearts laced with icing.

It took us some time to find the lovely traditional Dobbelstein Cafe. The waitresses wear black dresses with lacy white aprons here which reminds me of Bettys in England. I would like to post a separate blog post about this cafe, which is a must visit when in Duisburg in my book, although I do not find the city that attractive.

We spent a long time here chatting endlessly about life, the world, politics and everything else, over coffee and warm sausage bread and apfelstrudel swimming in its delicious vanilla sauce. We must have easily spent 2 hours here. Well, that was time well spent, we thought!

When we got out it was twilight already and the Christmas market scene has turned magical with all the bright lights.

Dutchman took a picture of us at Dobbelstein Cafe.

The lights make the difference. 

Very much in the mood I got carried away taking pictures that I lost track of my company. I strayed from the group for about half an hour. I did not panic because I have the car keys, hehe.

Eventually, I got reunited with the group, and the golden ladies, who were a bit worried were quite relieved to see me. I scolded the Dutchman for not coming back to the place where they last saw me. Dutchman reasoned out that I will end up walking to the main intersection anyway.

Nevertheless, happy that we were back together, we wandered a bit, arm in arm, drifting past the cinnamon and speck aroma market stalls and checking out the artisan Christmas tree ornaments and an array of gifts on sale. It was a very cold night and I was so glad that I was wearing my gloves and I had my hat on.

Massive slabs of pork meat on the rotisserie. This is another typically German food that you will not find in the Netherlands.

Bright lights against the dark bluish night.

Another typically Germany: Long sausages (wurst).

Then it was time for some needed hot gluhwein at this lively wooden hut called Bernie's Alm that looked like one of the fun alpine bars in Austria during apres ski. We sat beside an oven which was nice and warm.

Gluhwein is mulled wine flavoured with cinnamon, apples, and oranges. Served hot.

Sitting across us were 2 ladies from Monchengladbach, a city just by the border near Venlo. They were local tourists visiting Duisburg. We chatted with them multilingually, they in German and us in Dutch with a bit of English, and interestingly we understood each other, haha.

At the Bernie's Alm for some hot gluhwein and to warm up a bit as well as it was so bbbbrrrrrr outside! It was nice and cosy here inside.

The hut reminds me of the bars in the Austrian Alps during apres ski.

We even had some time to visit the city's modern shopping mall before having dinner at Maredo. The golden ladies loved the modern mall, especially Dutch mother's niece. We do not have a lot of malls in the Netherlands, not in Amersfoort where she lives. We took the escalator up and then down to the basement.

We do have a new (newly renovated) modern shopping mall in Utrecht, Hoog Catharijne which has recently opened but just a part of it. The project is scheduled to finish next year I believe.

The Jochen Schweizer has a very interesting travel concept, they are selling the bucket list "experiences" package-style

For dinner at Maredo, we went German all the way, schnitzel, spare ribs and grilled chicken. German cuisine is all about the meat (and potatoes and sauerkraut). The food arrived on time. I had schnitzel which wasn't that fantastic. Dutchman had the spare ribs which were delicious (I managed to sneak a bite) while the golden ladies had grilled chicken.

Yet this dinner was another long chat over controversial socio-economic and political topics troubling the Netherlands and the world. Are we boring you now? Haha, you are the judge!

Since we did not want to arrive too late in the Netherlands, we called the day a wrap.

By the time we were in the car driving back to Holland, I was sleeping soundly in the front seat, fulfilled from a long afternoon and evening of an inspiring company, Christmas ambiance and German fare.

But they swore I missed a snowstorm just by the border. Ugh, how could have I missed that?!

Travel Period: December 2017
Destination: Duisburg (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Keep in touch and follow me on Facebook: Travel & Lifestyle Diaries by Dutched Pinay Travels
Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

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