Right, so, glass of wine in hand, I am ready to finish writing about my trip – and about time too!
Our last day, Easter Sunday, got off to a good start when two of our group decorated our table for breakfast that morning with little chocolate eggs. Generally, we all noticed how much more seriously they take Easter on the continent. I love how enthusiastic the Germans are about Easter decorations – it reminded me of the Easter tree my mum used to put together, with budding twigs (not sure if this is the right phrase – but hopefully it makes a kind of sense!) from the garden and painted wooden decorations.
I was looking forward to this day on our trip as I had heard that the Sunday Flea Market by the chocolate museum was meant to be particularly good. The fact that most other shops were shut encouraged the rest of the group to join! There was a fantastic selection of stalls, with beautiful glasswear, old fashioned gramophones, prints, jewellery, tin baths and the list goes on…
A friend of mine who has recently bought a flat, found two fantastic advertisement prints to decorate his living room, another found a pocket watch!
I had been looking for some cocktail glasses as I had been quite keen on getting some more, in spite of the fact we rarely use our current set, so that my first browsing aim. A sensible attitude prevailed though, until I stumbled upon a fantastic 50s suitcase for 20 euros. Despite fears about it exceeding EasyJet’s hand luggage allowance – which would make it less of a bargain – we went for it. I even got complimented on it at another flea market we went to later that day! Here it is in situ:
The ‘culture’ quota for the day was fulfilled by the chocolate museum, with some of the men in group peeling off to go to the Sports Museum instead. Initially, I regretted my choice as the exhibits seemed be a lengthy advertisement for the ethical nature of the Lindt chocolate company, but after seeing a giant Lindt bunny hand wrapped in foil, a bit of history, some reconstructed sweet shops, displays of beautiful and elaborate 19th century vending machine (!), plus a few quizzes likely to have been intended for children, I was won over.
We then had our final hearty German lunch of the obligatory pork and potatoes in various guises. CB had his second pork knuckle in four days, and I had sausage and fried potatoes with bacon. The creamy cabbage accompaniment was surprisingly delicious – comforting in a bread sauce kind of way.
We found another flea market after lunch, stretching apparently endlessly down the banks of Rhein. It was described by CB as being ‘a bit more flea-y’, but was kept us entertained! The chill of lightly falling snow eventually drove us to take refuge in a cafe for some more card playing and warm drinks.
The last thing I need to add is that the suitcase was the perfect size – hurrah! so no horrific penalty charge for us. Thank you Cologne!