Monday, 29 December 2014

Germany at Christmas: Part Two

My experience of the Christmas markets at Germany's Cologne seems to improve with each year, something which can be put down to a combination of my increased appreciation of detail, along with the ever expanding and improving market sites.  Part One of my shared experience illustrated the first outing upon arrival in the evening, as well as the following morning's walk to the Fairytale Market at Rudolfplatz.  This is an example of when you really can judge a book by it's cover; the name of the market sounds magical and the experience of the market follows suit.  This market opens on November 26th and ends on December 23rd, making a festive visit to Cologne incomplete without experiencing at some point! 



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he Fairytale Market at Rudolfplatz has been reworked and improved since my previous annual visit, seeing a change in site layout and upgrade in all aspects.  Stall names are now displayed above each wooden pavilion and the market has received a general polish (perhaps from the wave of a fairy wand!?).  



























It is a common concern for many to worry about language barriers and the quality of service depending on your lingual abilities, however I can confirm that those concerns can be entirely forgotten!  Cologne's Christmas markets attract tourists in great masses every year and the numbers are only growing as more people search for authentic markets in their rightful homeland, meaning if your ability to speak German is non-existent, you can easily get by.  My German is beginner level at best, which means that although I can manage the pleasantries, ordering certain foods can be a challenge.  Thankfully, when purchasing my first ever fish burger (Backfish), I was able to communicate an understanding with the English speaking men - and believe me when I say that if I can, you can!  Having said that, you'll also catch many Germans enjoying some gluhwein with their friends after a long day of work, so you really do have the best of both worlds.  On a side note, if you ever visit Cologne's Christmas markets, I really hope that you'll try one of the delicious (Backfish) fish burgers on offer - not only do they smell divine, but I would go as far as to say that it was the best food I've had in my life!


I'm not a huge fan of crowds, but place me in a German Christmas market surrounded by people with happy faces, lights all around and festive music playing at every turn and it's difficult not to get caught up in the atmosphere!  You find yourself very quickly adjusting to the crowds and eventually disappointed whenever finding yourself standing alone.  Nevertheless, taking a full length photo is near impossible in the heart of any of Cologne's markets, at least not without a few burger-munching people crossing in front of you, so I sought out an open area to take an obligatory photo in front of the impressive Fairytale Market at Rudolfplatz!  With regard to clothing, I wore my feather-filled Ralph Lauren jacket for the full length of time there, because if an item of clothing isn't perfectly warm enough, don't take it with you.  You'll definitely need to wear a thermal layer underneath your clothing, ski/thermal socks are a must and yes, always wear gloves.  The temperature is low and there is often a chill around each corner, meaning those thin leather gloves you brought with you that look luxurious but feel like paper will soon become the thorn in your side..


Mid-afternoon, we made our way back from the Fairytale Market in the rain, past the beautiful cathedral once more and back to the comfort of our hotel rooms.  After an hour to put up our feet, catch up with some CNN and devour a plastic bag of fudge purchased earlier in the day, we wrapped up in extra layers and headed out to the Angel Market (Markt Der Engel), possibly the most magical and ethereal market of them all.  Yes, the Dom Market still holds my heart, but each and every market has something spectacularly unique to offer.  The Angel Market's most astounding feature is undoubtedly the lights hung from the overhanging tree branches, illuminating only themselves and creating a blanket of twinkling stars above the market.  On many occasions, I found myself being the only person to pull out my camera at every stall, however at this market nobody was without their camera or phone in their hand to capture the beautiful display around them.  As far as lasting impressions go, the Angel Market knows exactly what it's doing..









































I also purchased another glass angel to add to my collection from this market (as shown on my Instagram), purchased in a wonderful presentation box lined with silk.  In my opinion, this new angel joining the rest of the clan is the perfect depiction of the Markt Der Engel for me; beautiful and delicate.  There were no glimmers of anything being done half-heartedly, the market presents a definite ambition of going above and beyond to impress visitors and the outcome is awe-inspiring!








































I hope you've enjoyed the second instalment of my December visit to Germany's Cologne and all that the Christmas markets have to offer - part three will be coming soon!  As you may have noticed, I truly have nothing negative to say about the experience and this may be because of my determination to always see the bright and beautiful in life, or it may be because Cologne at Christmas time truly is faultless and yes, magical!

           

      

With love,

Gabrielle x


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116 comments

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by!

      Gabrielle x

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  2. Such a fun outing! Oh wish I could be part of this festivity :) By the way your mittens are so cute! :) xo~ Lena
    www.felinecreatures.com

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    1. There's plenty of time in the future to join in with Germany's Christmas markets! Oh thanks Lena, they're by Crew Clothing! :)

      Gabrielle x

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  3. It looks so beautiful! Great photos, thanks for sharing! :)

    Laura | Blonde and Cupcakes

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    1. Thanks very much and you're more than welcome!

      Gabrielle x

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  4. Looks like you had such a wonderful Xmas, thank you for sharing :-) xxx

    www.stylapetite.com

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    1. I most definitely did and I hope that you did too! You're very welcome!

      Gabrielle x

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  5. Looks like such a magical time to be in cologne!!

    xx 365hangers

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    1. 'Magical' would be the appropriate word! Have a wonderful weekend!

      Gabrielle x

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  6. Again such lovely photos! Sounds amazing!! I never thought about learning German tho. It sounds so hard just by hearing the language. Hehehe

    Can't wait for your third update :)

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    1. Thank you Louann, that's wonderful to be told. I find that the more languages you've learned, the easier others are to pick up.. although getting started is key! ;)

      Gabrielle x

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  7. This place looks really wonderful *_*
    kisses

    Francesca http://www.everydaycoffee.it/

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    1. It is undoubtedly worth a visit!!

      Gabrielle x

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  8. That's the biggest fish burger that I've ever seen & I've never even seen a fish burger before. Have a great rest of 2014. :] // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

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    1. Haha I couldn't agree with you more, it was quite the challenge! Thank you Carmen, I hope 2015 has started well for you!

      Gabrielle x

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  9. This looks stunning! I've never been here but I've been to Saarbrucken when I lived in France which I don't think is very touristy, we just went because it was 30 min train ride - but I never had issues with language as they seemed to be able to communicate in English for things we needed, like ordering food etc!

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

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    1. I love that short train rides can take you from one country to another! :) That's a very good point, it's only in more remote villages/towns that language barriers can be encountered.

      Gabrielle x

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  10. Everything looks so magical there!
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

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    1. Every second feels magical there, as well!

      Gabrielle x

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  11. I'm not a huge fan of crowd but I would brave them for this Christmas market, it looks so much fun! I've never had a fish burger before, well, I had McDonald's Filet O' Fish but I think that's different? LOL! Thank you for sharing these pictures, love seeing it through your eyes. xx

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

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    1. Haha I would definitely give a genuine fish burger a go, there's no coming back once you've tasted it! :) You're more than welcome, I'm really glad you've enjoyed this post!

      Gabrielle x

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  12. Dear Gaby! What a wonderful experience you had visiting all the beautiful Christmas Markets at the Germany's Cologne. I have never been there but will certainly add it to my bucket list. If I ever go there it will definitively be during Christmas season. Based on what I saw on all of your pictures, it is the perfect time of the year to experience magical moments just the way I have seen it in the movies.
    I enjoyed seeing so many wonderful people together having a good time, eating delicious food and buying cute Christmas items. The cathedral is mesmerizing and I can also understand why the Angel's Market was your favorite one (so many cute angels all over the place:-)) The fish sandwich looked really delicious. Looking at it made super hungry and also left me craving one. Thanks for sharing your visit to the markets and for explaining everything so well. You are awesome Gaby and so talented and of course, super beautiful!!!! Can't wait to read part III! XOXO, Jeannette

    www.msjeannieandhercloset.com

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    1. Hey Jeannette! I hope you make it to Cologne's Christmas markets at some point in the future, as they truly do deserve to be on a bucket list! I'm so glad you've enjoyed this travel post, your feedback is always greatly appreciated. Part three has now been posted and thank you again for your heartwarming messages! :) Have a fantastic 2015!

      Gabrielle x

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  13. Just when I thought you couldn't post more awesome pictures, you did! I love all of them, especially the ones at night with all of the lights. I totally hated the crowds at some of them as well, but still feel like it was worth it in the end. Looks like you had such a great time and I love how detailed you are about your travels and experiences. I wish I could do the same!

    Denise
    www.fashionloveletters.com

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    1. How fantastic this is to be told, thank you Denise! The light displays by night were magical to witness and never fail to impress with each new year, I'm glad you appreciate their beauty as well! Thank you again for your kind words and have a lovely new year! :)

      Gabrielle x

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  14. Looks like a really cool place. I love the rain at the cathedral picture and your coat.

    Deedee

    http://madeupgirl-madeupgirl.blogspot.com/

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    1. The rain falling down in front of and around Cologne's Cathedral actually gave me goosebumps at the time (in a positive way), funnily enough, so it's interesting that you liked that too! The coat is by Ralph Lauren.. have a lovely weekend!

      Gabrielle x

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  15. You visit the most magical places. I so badly want to go to a German Christmas market now!
    So glad you enjoyed your trip, AND your holidays!
    Xo Amanda | http://sansscrubs.blogspot.com

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    1. I certainly feel fortunate to have visited some of the places that I have, although I am always itching to discover more and more haha. Thank you, Amanda!

      Gabrielle x

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  16. Amazing! What beautiful pictures, can't wait for the third installment! ^_^
    Happy New Year!

    X

    Anjel

    www.anjelique.com.au

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    1. Oh, I'm so glad you've enjoyed this post and it's photos - the third instalment has now been posted! :)

      Gabrielle x

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  17. Looks and sounds like you had lots of fun and you looking so cute for the Christmas market! Me I have never been to the Christmas market from cologne but I really should visit it, when I see your pictures here.

    ♘ www.sugarpopfashion.com ♘

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    1. That's so sweet of you to say, thank you! I truly hope that you find yourself wandering through Cologne's Christmas markets at some point in the future - they're more than worth it!

      Gabrielle x

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  18. Wow, it's really beautiful! I'm glad that you had such a wonderful time! :)

    xxx

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    1. Thank you Melissa, have a lovely weekend!

      Gabrielle x

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  19. WOW! Gabrielle this place literally looks like its being taken out of a fairytale!! So stunning! The fish burger sounds lush- really want to try one!! That cathedral is also stunning. I'll have to visit this place one Christmas, even though I can't speak german at all!!

    Rachel xx
    http://www.thedailyluxe.net

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    1. That is exactly what I've been thinking, I'm so glad you feel the same way! Not speaking German isn't an issue, don't worry.. take it from someone who knows only too well! ;)

      Gabrielle x

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  20. Such a gorgeous Christmas market, and I love the Hot Dog! Delicious !!!! :D You look so pretty lovely, Have a Happy New year!

    Serene xoxo

    http://www.imserenel.wordpress.com

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    1. It's actually a fish burger, although now I really fancy a hot dog haha! Thank you Serene, that's really nice of you to say!! Happy New Year! :)

      Gabrielle x

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  21. It looks so lovely over there! It must be so nice to experience the original of Christmas market! Eat loads of yummy hotdogs for me too :D xx

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    1. I one hundred per cent agree with that, and especially as the sense of pride over there is so evident! I hope your year has got off to an excellent start, Gail!

      Gabrielle x

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  22. Beautiful!!!
    Very nice Inspirations

    FOLLOW my Blog!!! Maybe we can follow each other!!!
    http://rimanerenellamemoria.blogspot.de

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    1. Thanks for stopping by!

      Gabrielle x

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  23. Oh wow, Germany looks so festive during Christmas :)

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    1. I completely agree! Thanks for your comment!

      Gabrielle x

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  24. I'm from Bristol, and every Christmas we have a German Market, that I love. So it's nice to see what an authentic German Market looks like!

    Nik x
    NIKJAMESS | Fashion & Lifestyle

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    1. There's a lot to love about the German Christmas markets in the UK, although it's also nice to experience the Christmas markets in their original homeland - it's a different adventure, but both are worth experiencing! :)

      Gabrielle x

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  25. What a fun time! Looks like a great way to spend Christmas!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

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    1. It is undoubtedly my favourite festive tradition!

      Gabrielle x

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  26. Fairytale and Angel are such beautiful and apt names for the markets! Another lovely post Gabrielle! What sort of fudge did you get? I love the fudge at Christmas markets :) best wishes for the new year, looking forward to part three!!

    Heather x
    http://heatherrrrm.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. I thought so as well, the mass of lights certainly help on that front! Thank you Heather, I'm really glad you're enjoying my blog. I chose dairy fudge, the best kind there is! :)

      Gabrielle x

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  27. Gorgeous photos, glad you had a nice time! Makes me excited to live in Germany for my year abroad!

    modernaudreyh.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. How exciting that you're going to be living in Germany for a year - I'm thrilled for you!!

      Gabrielle x

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  28. Lovely pictures! It looks like such a wonderful festive atmosphere at the market

    Vividlondon.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thanks very much for your comment, Anesu!

      Gabrielle x

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  29. that looks so lovely and festive! Aww!
    http://whiteshirtchic.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. It most definitely was! Thanks for stopping by!

      Gabrielle x

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  30. Girl you Are so pretty!! These pictures make me want to visit in your country!!! Msybe next Christmas!

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    1. That's really lovely of you to say, thank you!! I am from the UK and so this isn't my country, but I visit so often it may as well be! ;)

      Gabrielle x

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  31. wow the site is incredible! you are so proud becausa you was there

    http://bellerivoli.blogspot.com.es/

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    1. Thank you for your comment, Belle..

      Gabrielle x

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  32. Beautiful pictures, dear. ;-)
    Lovely greets Nessa

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  33. I used to visit a Christmas market when I lived in Austria. Its so lovely and awesome. Hope you had a good time. Great images! :-)
    *Happy New Year!*

    missymayification.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. I can imagine the Christmas markets in Austria must be ever so beautiful, I'll add that to my travel wish list! Happy New Year! :)

      Gabrielle x

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  34. It looks amazing! Wish there was a place like that in my city

    ❄︎ visit us on escoss ❄︎

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    1. I'm sorry to hear you're yet to enjoy a Christmas market, although there's plenty of time to change that! Happy New Year!

      Gabrielle x

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  35. This looks so magical! I really want to visit a genuine german market. Looks like you had a great time xx

    xbeccabe.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. 'Magical' is most definitely accurate and I had a great time, thank you! Have a lovely weekend!

      Gabrielle x

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  36. The Christmas Market is amazing...it has such a magical feel. Your pictures captivate the moment beautifully, I almost feel as if I was there (I wish) I also love the adorable Christmas items. That fish burger looks massive, I hope it was as delish as it looks. Have a wonderful New years!

    Keisha xo
    www.chrysalisgals.blogspot.com

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    1. That's a really wonderful thing to be told, thank you Keisha. I often have my camera glued to me, so I'm so pleased you feel as though my photos have captured the moment! Happy New Year, Keisha! :)

      Gabrielle x

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  37. Your post about Christmas is absolutely stunning! Love your blog, hope to see you soon on my blog

    xx
    http://liveitcolorfully.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks very much! I'll make my way over to your blog now..

      Gabrielle x

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  38. I love your pictures and the amazing atmosphere! I wish you a wonderful New Year sweetie! :)

    Bella Pummarola

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    1. I'm so glad you've enjoyed the photos and I hope you have a spectacular new year, as well!

      Gabrielle x

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  39. more festive spirit!!! this is awesome!!! :D

    happy new year!
    Animated Confessions

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    1. Haha I know, I know.. I have bundles of it!!

      Gabrielle x

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  40. The Angel market reminds me of the night market in China..except definitely less crowded and heavenly. I love the souvenir you chose ---glass angels would be a gorgeous item to collect!

    Another Beautiful Thing

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    1. I'm yet to discover China's Night Market, but I'll definitely look into it as I'm curious now! I started my glass angel collection many years ago and have loved collecting ever since :)

      Gabrielle x

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  41. All of the photos are so pretty, I love them! I especially love the night lights!

    Tina
    www.justatinabit.com

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    1. The night lights are the most attractive element of the markets for me!

      Gabrielle x

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  42. That Christmas Market looks amazing and I'm curious about this fish burger,it looks delicious ;) And I really love this market in the night, it looks stunning :)

    http://crafty-zone.blogspot.com/

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    1. I was curious as well and in hindsight I'm glad to have been, fish burger are delicious!!

      Gabrielle x

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  43. ... and happy New Year, Gabrielle ;)

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  44. Wow Gabrielle! These are incredible pictures! Seriously, everything looks magical! Absolutely magical (: I hope you'll have amazing NYE!

    - Deniz
    www.dressedupdeniz.com

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    1. That's really great to know, thank you Deniz! I hope 2015 treats you very well! :)

      Gabrielle x

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  45. A German Weihnachtsmarkt is always a pleasure to visit, I know :) Wish you a happy and good New Year!

    xx from Germany/Bavaria, Rena
    International Giveaway: Christmas Surprise with Self Interest
    www.dressedwithsoul.com

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    1. I couldn't agree with you more! Happy New Year!

      Gabrielle x

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  46. Gorgeous photos - looks like you had a great time!

    sophie-said.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thanks very much, Sophie!

      Gabrielle x

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  47. Such magical photos and these markets are much larger than the ones in Edinburgh would definitely be worth a trip to Germany just for the experience, love it! p.s Happy New Year! ♥

    www.krystelcouture.com

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    1. The network of Christmas markets in Cologne is very large and a very happy New Year to you as well, Jenny! :)

      Gabrielle x

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  48. These photos are so beautiful! Love your blog

    missace99.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you, I'm so glad!

      Gabrielle x

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  49. I love Cologne, it's my favourite German town :)))
    Great post, love the pics a lot!
    Happy New Year!

    xoxo
    www.bellezzefelici.blogspot.com

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    1. I can understand why, each year the city seems more and more impressive!

      Gabrielle x

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  50. Beautiful pictures & the Germany markets look absolutely amazing and I'm so happy you had a great time. :) x

    Beyond the Velvet | Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle blog

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    1. Thanks ever so much girls, I truly did have a wonderful time!

      Gabrielle x

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  51. How beautiful! I wish you all the best in the new year! Have a nice day!
    xx
    cvetybaby.com

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    1. That's really sweet of you, I hope 2015 is a fantastic year for you as well!

      Gabrielle x

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  52. Oh this looks so much fun!! Love it.
    www.faraloo.com

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    1. It is certainly worth experiencing at least once in life!

      Gabrielle x

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  53. Wow! This place looks incredible. I love Christmas markets and the german ones are supposed to be the best ones. :) x

    Renata | Speaking Beauty UK

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    1. You and me both, Christmas markets just 'make' the festive season for me! Happy New Year! :)

      Gabrielle x

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  54. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by!

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  55. Gosh, seems like I've missed this beautiful post! Fairytale market?? Well, it sure looks like one! xoxo
    Luxury Haven

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    1. Thanks for visiting this blog post, Shirley! I agree that this market in particular is very magical!!

      Gabrielle x

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  56. Truly Awesome post ! It is really very interesting and informative. Thanks for posting this.
    International tour

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    1. Thanks very much, so glad you enjoyed it!

      Gabrielle x

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