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Koelner Weihnachtsmarkt By Train And Germanwings  
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3018 posts, RR: 8
Posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 6077 times:

Koelner Weihnachtsmarkt by train and Germanwings - Cologne Christmas Markets

From previous reports, you will know that I have been home alone for a short while, whilst my wife and children are in South Africa with the in-laws. During this time, my own mother asked if I would take her to a German Chirstmas market, as we had done a few years previously to Hamburg. Naturally I agreed, and set about finding a good deal on transport and accommodation. All big cities in Germany have the markets, and it seems most small towns do as well, so the choice was mainly down to travel. Deutsche Bahn have a deal called "London Spezial" where a one-way ticket from anywhere in Germany to London costs EUR49, provided it is booked early enough. I thought this would be a good idea to get to somewhere, and then found a price on Germanwings for the return to Stansted for GBP24 each from Cologne. This was the clincher, so I booked the 4U flights (at good times of the day, not at stupid o'clock like some cheap flights!) and when the DB tickets went on sale 90 days before, I bought them instantly. This ticket includes Eurostar from London to Brussels, then ICE train onwards. There are also Thalys trains to Cologne, but these were not part of the offer. I also then found a cheapish hotel in the suburbs, B & B Hotel in Frechen, near a tram stop. The outward ticket was finished with a one-way 1st class ticket from Norwich to London for £12 for me and £8 for my mum (with her senior railcard) - train from Stansted to Newmarket where I had left my car at the office I left as the price was the same on the day, so I left it in case of any problems (ie plane delay missing the last train so needing to take the bus instead).

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-PKOBrKP1cEM/TuSzicUeX9I/AAAAAAAAAfI/OPrmx_XWJpY/s1600/colognemap.gif

Fast forward to the day in question, 6th December. I met my mum at Norwich station after stopping at Subway for a hot breakfast sandwich on the way, and we found our 1st class seats. They were identical to the ones in my last report. The journey was ok, despite the train waiting for 15 minutes in Diss station due to a potential problem with the brakes, but on testing they were found to be fine. I wasn't worried as I had built a substantial window for delay into our connection. We arrived at Liverpool St Station and took the tube to St Pancras, where the Eurostar departs from.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-XGyQqE7lC24/TuM4u84MrFI/AAAAAAAAAa0/ZBgo2c_QctU/s1600/PC060193.JPG
St Pancras station, note the large Christmas tree made from Lego.

We arrived in plenty of time, and looked around the station. Sandwiches were bought from M&S, and we proceeded through the checkin line - I had a DB e-ticket printout so was directed to the manned desk rather than the machine gates. Through security and passport control, we sat to eat our sandwiches, then when the crowds cleared slightly as a Paris train was boarding, we bought a cake and some hot drinks from the Costa. Eventually it was our turn to board, and we went up the escalator to the platform and found our seats on the train.

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Eurostar seating

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Obligatory legroom shot

The journey passed smoothly, watching the cars on the adjacent M2 and M20 motorways being left behind is always good. Soon enough the train dipped into the tunnel, and out into France. A while later, we stopped in Lille where quite a lot of passengers got off - Eurostar offers connections from here to Marseille and the south of France, bypassing Paris. Then it was on to Brussels, by this time however it had gotten dark. Less than 2 hours to Brussels, with an on-time arrival. We got off the train here, and went to find our connection.

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Train information screen. Ours is the bottom of the middle screen, to Frankfurt

We had about 35 minutes to connect, which was plenty of time. My mum bought a bottle of water from a machine, and we found our train already on the platform, but we couldn't board yet. Apparently boarding is only allowed 15 mins before departure, and bang on then the doors opened. Our seats were in the last carriage, and through the rear glass you could see out to the tracks behind. Would have been very cool to sit in the seats next to the view but ours were accross the vestibule in the next section.

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Our train, waiting to board.

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Destination confirmation

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View from my seat. Plenty of legroom.

The train pulled out slowly, stopping at Brussels Nord, before hitting the high speed track to Liège.

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Monitor showing our speed

After stopping at Liège and Aachen, we arrived at Cologne on time. By now it was getting late, so we had dinner in a fast food Asian noodle bar on the station, and had a look outside at the cathedral and market.

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Market by night, with a lit net above the area in front of the music stage

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-tv7JuOC3fJw/TuM51juIK9I/AAAAAAAAAbM/X4e0oOLWq2o/s1600/PC060197.JPG
Cathedral by night.

We struggled to find a stall selling Glüwein, as most seemed to be closing around 21.00, but one was still open and we had our hot mulled wine and kept the mugs as souvenirs (you pay a EUR2.50 deposit on the mugs, or you can keep them, as we did). We then caught the tram out to our hotel at Frechen, which as the reception had closed at 22:00 we had to use the electronic kiosk to pay and receive a code for the main door and our room.

The next morning we had the full day in Cologne. We had breakfast at an Oebel bakery near the hotel before heading back into the city on the tram. Our first stop was Neumarkt, where we looked around the market there, before walking along to the river and the chocolate museum, which is now branded by Lindt.

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Tram crossing the bridge on the quayside

For anyone remotely interested in chocolate, the museum is well worth a visit. Detailing the history of chocolate manufacture and consumption through the ages, and old and new advertising for brands throughout the world (not just Lindt) - though Cadbury's was conspicuous by its absence!

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-vpgJ4NLsbRQ/TuM7FeOMyVI/AAAAAAAAAcs/BisE7Pcsj9E/s1600/PC070207.JPG
Greenhouse part of the museum with cocoa bean plants

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Small factory part of the museum

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Chocolate eggs arranged as a pinecone, with chocolate fountain

On leaving the museum, we stopped at the small market outside for some lunch - bratwurst and currywurst. We continued to yet another market, by Heumarkt, which had an ice rink and ferris wheel. Here we continued eating with some fried potato rosti with apple sauce before heading to a cafe for some cake.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-a-WaKgHxqCE/TuM53WkyFjI/AAAAAAAAAbw/Wo3sJTY3SuU/s1600/PC070202.JPG
Heumarkt market

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xQfdai8Hj3I/TuM7E4VfrWI/AAAAAAAAAcg/n29rC6HvvQo/s1600/PC070208.JPG
Nativity scene carved from tree trunks

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Ice rink and ferris wheel

We then visited the cathedral itself.

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Cologne cathedral

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Inside the cathedral

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One of the stained glass windows was this random pixel design, the others were all traditional bibical scenes.

By now it was getting dark, so we headed back to the Newmarkt market and my mum bought some small decorations, and we found a Turkish restaurant for dinner.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/--DIsVc8EtI4/TuM8AD8hMpI/AAAAAAAAAdc/nfUKQVMbsmY/s1600/PC070215.JPG
Star lamps hanging from trees in the Neumarkt market

We then headed back to the hotel. As there was free wifi, I checked the Germanwings site, and using my phone checked us in online, using mobile boarding passes. Basically this means that I was emailed a barcode each to scan at the airport.

The next day we were due to fly home. Our flight was at 15:50 so we still had the morning in the city. We packed up our belongings and hit the tram for the last time, and had a last look around the cathedral market. We also decided to visit the Roman museum, well worth it if you are even remotely interested in classical times. We then took the S-Bahn to the airport.

08/12/2012
4U358
CGN-STN
D-AGWO

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Dennis Löffler

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-03AxksOkYDc/TuM4EZ9SueI/AAAAAAAAAZg/wpwgEzZXfME/s1600/IMAG0806.jpg
Walking from station into termainl.

Whilst walking from the station into the terminal, we saw a line of 4U A319s lined up - it turned out that the front one was ours. I tried to use a machine to print off a paper boarding pass, but it just said "You are already checked in" so wouldn't - I figured if there was a problem at security or the gate I'd come back and ask, but there was no need in the end. We headed round the terminal to find the viewing deck.

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Inside the terminal

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Cargo apron from the viewing deck

After a cold few minutes, during which I watched a FedEx MD11 land, we headed back inside to find some lunch. We settled on sandwiches from a bakery-type place that had a seating area with a view of the apron - though there was not much action! The LH 737 didn't move the entire time. We did see a "Luftwaffe" A330-based transport plane arrive, and my mum was surprised to see the word "Luftwaffe" actually still in use.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-VbEaqqn0-W8/TuM8BBbAPtI/AAAAAAAAAd0/HPot4xamG6M/s1600/PC080217.JPG
View from our cafe seats.

We passed the LH checkin desks and I noticed one of the self-checkin kiosks had a windows error.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-WXUbye15oI8/TuM4Enz6dcI/AAAAAAAAAZw/l51hCSmVy6w/s1600/IMAG0807.jpg
Windows error.

By this time we arrived at security to find a massive queue, and only 4 of the 8 x-rays open. Eventually we got through, the mobile boarding pass was fine. Our gate was along to the right, so we headed straight there. There was a boarding pass check, and passport control - but the 3 staffed desks must have had some kind of computer problem as they weren't allowing anyone to pass, and speaking urgently on the phone to someone. Eventually one of the desks opened, to process the queue that had by this time formed. Inside was a duty free shop, a cafe and some seats. By the gate was parked another 4U A319 - I took a picture but it turned out not to be ours.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VYR61AX8o8Q/TuM88CP30dI/AAAAAAAAAeA/zlTT9g56-ak/s1600/PC080218.JPG
Parked by our gate.

When boarding started, we went downstairs to a bus - which then drove round the corner to the aircraft.

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View when boarding

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Inside when boarding.

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From the window

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Legroom shot. Not too bad.

Everyone boarded, it was quite full with a few empty seats here and there. It was a quick taxi to the end of the runway, and a powerful liftoff and climbout. It was a short flight after all. Looking out of the window I could see the meandering Rhine before passing through the cloud layer, which would remain in place until landing.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-LxhkJpc21Cw/TuM89e09bZI/AAAAAAAAAek/MaMSLThrb7A/s1600/PC080221.JPG
Mum bought a coffee

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Winglet

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Cloud layer

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Between two layers of clouds

Descent began almost too quickly, and we only poked through the clouds at a 1000 feet or so of height. The landing was quite smooth, despite the strong winds buffeting us, and we taxied to the stand where I saw this and thought "That shouldn't be there":

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zB7pThn0NDw/TuM9nEPpYEI/AAAAAAAAAe8/5DN-pYIRwY8/s1600/PC080223.JPG
Luxair Dash 8 behind the Air Berlin example

We disembarked through an airbridge and caught the shuttle train to the terminal. There were massive queues for passport control, but as my mum's doesn't have the chip in it we had to stay and wait for an agent. The wait was about 25 mins, impressive considering how many people were waiting. The guy in front had come in on the Luxemboug flight, apparently they had almost touched down at LCY but pulled up at the last minute, either through high winds or fog. They then had to take a bus to LCY instead. Us however, once we cleared immigration, headed for the station to buy a ticket to Newmarket via Cambridge. There were major problems on the Cambridge to Kings Cross line (someone under a train, and also a broken down train elsewhere on the line) so the station was horrendously busy, but our trains were fine, and we were soon back in the car heading for home.

Overall then a good trip. The train to Germany is certainly an option to consider, especially when DB gets to run trains direct to London - this will eliminate the 45 minute wait in Brussels. Germanwings are certainly a good LCC, I would consider using them again (indeed, I had another flight booked with them but it was cancelled - all will be revealed in the next report). And Cologne Christmas markets are certainly something special, worth a visit!

My trip report archive can be found here:
http://signol.blogspot.com/

[Edited 2011-12-11 05:49:23]


Flights booked: none :(
20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineEuroWings From UK - England, joined Sep 2011, 298 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 6015 times:

Hi Signol,

Great report here - really enjoyed the combination of the train and flight! Which train did you prefer - the Eurostar or the DB ICE? I find the latter has a very sleek and modern interior.

Cologne looks very nice and festive at this time of year as you would expect! Looks like you had a solid flight with 4U as well.

Thanks
EuroWings


User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From UK - England, joined Sep 2003, 5177 posts, RR: 55
Reply 2, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 5956 times:

Hi, R.,

really nice to see some pictures from the Cologne Area Christmas market activity, well done.
Also the train/plane combination is something what I like, you know.
Sure a good way to compare the offers on the LON-CGN link, well done.

Looking forward to the next story.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: London City connections!.
User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 5870 times:

Hi Signol!

Nice tripreport, good to read about your little train'n'plane adventure in central Europe! That ICE train looks really nice.
Cologne looks nice a nice town, and the market looks nice and cozy.
Do you happen to remember if the Swedish brand Marabou was somehow featured in the Chocolate Museum?
Your flight on 4U seemed nice, and funny to see that Luxair bird at STN.

Martin


User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3018 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 5827 times:

Quoting EuroWings (Reply 1):
Great report here - really enjoyed the combination of the train and flight!

Hi EuroWings, thanks!

Quoting EuroWings (Reply 1):
Which train did you prefer - the Eurostar or the DB ICE? I find the latter has a very sleek and modern interior.

I think the ICE - more legroom, more stylish interior, especially the wood panelling around the vestibules.

Quoting EuroWings (Reply 1):
Looks like you had a solid flight with 4U as well.

Indeed we did.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 2):
really nice to see some pictures from the Cologne Area Christmas market activity, well done.

Hi Markus, thanks!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 2):
Sure a good way to compare the offers on the LON-CGN link, well done.

Yes, train + plane is a good comparison on this shortish route.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 2):
Looking forward to the next story.

I leave in 2 days, but will probably take a bit longer to get online this time!

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 3):
Nice tripreport

Thanks Deltamartin!

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 3):
That ICE train looks really nice.

It was, and my first time on ICE.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 3):
Do you happen to remember if the Swedish brand Marabou was somehow featured in the Chocolate Museum?

I don't think so, but there were a lot of brands in the "foreign" (or rather "non-Lindt" section).
http://www.chocolatemuseum-cologne.com/
is the museum website, in case you want to visit sometime!

Thanks for the continued comments!

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offline717Flyer From Finland, joined Jun 2011, 303 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 5689 times:

Hello Signol,

Thanks for this great report! The Christmas market in Cologne looks really cozy, some really nice pictures from there too!
Germanwings seems completely alright too - the only thing about them I have a hard time understanding is the "blind booking" they're offering on their website. Who would book a flight without knowing what destination you will end up with?

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Fast forward to the day in question, 6th December.

Ah, the Finnish Indepence Day!  
Quoting signol (Thread starter):
We struggled to find a stall selling Glüwein, as most seemed to be closing around 21.00

Took me a while to figure out what it is, but it indeed is probably the best thing to drink this time of the year. Here in Finland we call it glögi .

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Chocolate eggs arranged as a pinecone, with chocolate fountain

Did you get to taste any?  
Quoting signol (Thread starter):
I tried to use a machine to print off a paper boarding pass, but it just said "You are already checked in" so wouldn't

I've experienced something similar on SK. When checking in online for my CPH-HEL flight in August (which actually was cancelled in the end) I was asked to confirm my ability to print out my boarding pass at home. When reaching the airport and trying to check in on one of the kiosks I got a message saying "You're checked in and cannot print out a boarding pass". It is kind of weird.

Thanks again for the report!

Regards,
717Flyer


User currently offlineParton87 From Sweden, joined Sep 2008, 533 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 5651 times:

Hello Signol!

Thanks for the great story with some nice pictures especially the ones from the Christmas market in Köln. I love these markets in Germany but I haven´t been to the one in Köln but it seem to be nice. I went to the one in Copenhagen this year which I can highly recommend!

Germanwings seems to offer a decent product for it´s fares. I really like their livery!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Christmas tree made from Lego



Cool idea. Never seen anything like that before but I guess they have one at Legoland too 

Greetings
Robert


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6901 posts, RR: 77
Reply 7, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 5614 times:

Hi signol,

nice report about your short trip to Cologne. Good to hear you enjoyed "Glühwein" and "Bratwurst"! We Germans love to visit "Weihnachtsmärkte", no matter where and when!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
We did see a "Luftwaffe" A330-based transport plane arrive,

That must have been an A310, there aren't any A330s operated by the German military.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2487 posts, RR: 53
Reply 8, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 5598 times:

Hi signol,

Nice report. I really like your train and airplane ride combo story. Now I know what to expect on board of Eurostar and how St Pancras station looks.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Market by night
Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Star lamps hanging from trees in the Neumarkt market

Very stylish!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
We struggled to find a stall selling Glüwein, as most seemed to be closing around 21.00, but one was still open and we had our hot mulled wine and kept the mugs as souvenirs (you pay a EUR2.50 deposit on the mugs, or you can keep them, as we did).
Quoting signol (Thread starter):
we stopped at the small market outside for some lunch - bratwurst and currywurst

Experiencing the Weinnachsmarkt the appropriate way!  


Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Chocolate eggs arranged as a pinecone, with chocolate fountain

I think our fellow Philip (OA260) would love it. 


Quoting signol (Thread starter):
One of the stained glass windows was this random pixel design,

Interesting.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Walking from station into termainl.

Is it an open air walkway?

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
and my mum was surprised to see the word "Luftwaffe" actually still in use.

Could the word be emotionally charged to her?


Thank you for sharing your mother-son shopping trip. I can hardly wait to do my own next March.  

Best wishes,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineSultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1770 posts, RR: 30
Reply 9, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 5521 times:
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Hello signol,

A quite nice report on this trip to the Christmas market. To be honest, I'm really not into this kind of markets... but that's a personal thing of course   I just wonder why you did take the train and not the plane outbound? € 49 would be a possible fare on 4U for this route or was it maybe more expensive?

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Winglet

Now seeing this closeup I count a total of 9 antenna's there. Any idea on the prupose of these. It's the first time I notice this.

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27231 posts, RR: 60
Reply 10, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 5515 times:

Hey glad you had a good time at the markets  Were you not going to FRA originally or am I wrong .?


Very nice pics and glad you got to taste some local traditions.

Regards

Philip  


User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3018 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 5259 times:

Thanks for the continued comments!

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 5):
Thanks for this great report!

Thank you

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 5):
"blind booking" they're offering on their website. Who would book a flight without knowing what destination you will end up with?

An a.netter with a free day and doesn't mind where he goes?  
Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 5):
Did you get to taste any?

Not the eggs, but we were given a wafer and some of the chocolate fountain from below  
Quoting Parton87 (Reply 6):
Thanks for the great story with some nice pictures especially the ones from the Christmas market in Köln

Thank you

Quoting Parton87 (Reply 6):
I guess they have one at Legoland to

Probably. There seemed to be a few large Lego models, I think there must have been some kind of promotion.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
nice report about your short trip to Cologne

Thank you.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
That must have been an A310

You are right, an A310.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 8):
Nice report

Thanks!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 8):
Experiencing the Weinnachsmarkt the appropriate way!

Of course!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 8):
Is it an open air walkway?

As far as I remember, it was covered with open sides.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 8):
Could the word be emotionally charged to her?

She was born in 1946 in the east end of London, so yes.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 8):
I can hardly wait to do my own next March.

And we can't wait to read about it  
Quoting Sultanils (Reply 9):
A quite nice report on this trip to the Christmas market

Thanks

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 9):
I just wonder why you did take the train and not the plane outbound?

I like to vary things up a bit, I thought about the flight out and train back, so we could carry more stuff, but the times and prices worked out better this way.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 9):
Any idea on the prupose of these.

Not a clue, perhaps one is airspeed and another altitude measuring? But I'm sure someone in Tech / Ops will know!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 10):
Very nice pics and glad you got to taste some local traditions.

Thank you!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 10):
Were you not going to FRA originally or am I wrong .?

That's next week, just a few hours between flights back to South Africa.

Thanks all!

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 12, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 5231 times:

Hi Signol,

So nice of you to take your mum on this trip to the famous Cologne Christmas markets, I bet she enjoyed her time there with you!

Looks like you struck a nice bargain with those train and air fares. I really want to try the Eurostar, these DB specials might be worth looking into for me as well!

I was in Cologne four years ago to visit the Christmas Markets - certainly a very nice experience and a good variety in the six main markets there, although I think I had an overdose of Glühwein... Coincidentally I was supposed to fly in with 4U but they canceled the HEL-CGN route before that so ended up flying Air Berlin (HEL-TXL-CGN/DUS-HEL) both ways.


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3331 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 5143 times:

Nice report - did you get the train idea from Seat61?

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
St Pancras station, note the large Christmas tree made from Lego.

I walked through St.P last night and didn't even notice the tree - will have a closer look next week!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
One of the stained glass windows was this random pixel design, the others were all traditional bibical scenes.

Interesting window - makes your photo look very poor quality!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
We did see a "Luftwaffe" A330-based transport plane arrive, and my mum was surprised to see the word "Luftwaffe" actually still in use.

Well, it just means "air force" doesn't it? The Swiss have the "Schweizer Luftwaffe"

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
The train to Germany is certainly an option to consider, especially when DB gets to run trains direct to London - this will eliminate the 45 minute wait in Brussels.

I didn't know DB was coming to London. Any guesstimate on the date?



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3331 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 5142 times:

Nice report - did you get the train idea from Seat61? Nice to take a flight on 4U - they have such a great livery, but I hate using STN so rarely look at those options.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
St Pancras station, note the large Christmas tree made from Lego.

I walked through St.P last night and didn't even notice the tree - will have a closer look next week!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
One of the stained glass windows was this random pixel design, the others were all traditional bibical scenes.

Interesting window - makes your photo look very poor quality!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
We did see a "Luftwaffe" A330-based transport plane arrive, and my mum was surprised to see the word "Luftwaffe" actually still in use.

Well, it just means "air force" doesn't it? The Swiss have the "Schweizer Luftwaffe"

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
The train to Germany is certainly an option to consider, especially when DB gets to run trains direct to London - this will eliminate the 45 minute wait in Brussels.

I didn't know DB was coming to London. Any guesstimate on the date?



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlinePs76 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 5105 times:

Hi!

Many thanks for the report. I always wanted to try Germanwings and also Deutsch Bahn. From what I've seen Cologne airport is quite nice. Last time I went in the Channel Tunnel on Eurotunnel the train stopped in the tunnel for half an hour while they had to fix it. It was a little worrying before they told us it was nothing serious!

Many thanks!

P.


User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3018 posts, RR: 8
Reply 16, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 4985 times:

Hi Flying Finn,

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 12):
So nice of you to take your mum on this trip to the famous Cologne Christmas markets, I bet she enjoyed her time there with you!

Thanks, she did. And stocked up on Christmas decorations!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 12):
I really want to try the Eurostar, these DB specials might be worth looking into for me as well!

Do, though you have to be quick on the booking, exactly 90 days before as they sell out. As Gabriel says, look at www.seat61.com  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 12):
I had an overdose of Glühwein

Is that possible?  
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 13):
Nice report

Thanks Gabriel!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 13):
did you get the train idea from Seat61?

Yes   Another of my favourite sites!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 13):
Interesting window - makes your photo look very poor quality!

I know, my hand was shaking too much, and with the flash on it came out too dark.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 13):
Well, it just means "air force" doesn't it?

Yes it does.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 13):
I didn't know DB was coming to London. Any guesstimate on the date?

They ran some tests in the tunnel this summer I think...
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/e1ee38a4-2...9f-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1gLSQxyaD

Quoting Ps76 (Reply 15):
Many thanks for the report

Thanks!

Quoting Ps76 (Reply 15):
I always wanted to try Germanwings and also Deutsch Bahn

This was a good combo!

Quoting Ps76 (Reply 15):
From what I've seen Cologne airport is quite nice

The older terminal is ok, good viewing deck but not much traffic. Terminal 2 is very modern but I didn't see airside (obviously!)

Quoting Ps76 (Reply 15):
It was a little worrying before they told us it was nothing serious!

Oh dear, they should have said sooner that it was something minor, to calm people!

Thanks for the continued comments

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 17, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 4854 times:

Hi Signol,

Nice trip report! I like the train segment as well, quite funny seeing everything on time here in Belgium. Not such a commun site nowadays...


Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6643 posts, RR: 55
Reply 18, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4639 times:

Hi Signol!

Very nice report with nice pictures form a short trip to CGN!

The cathedral in CGN looks very impressive close up; I've only seen it from a distance.

Seems like a very nice short trip!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1464 posts, RR: 33
Reply 19, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 4594 times:

Hi signol,

A really nice bargain trip you did there with your Mum, I'm sure she loved it. I've been to Cologne, but in the summer, the cathedral really is something. I climbed all x00 steps to the top of the tower too!

Your report brought back some really nice memories of my earlier Eurostar trips, changing in Brussels-Midi before catching the sleeper to Basel.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
We arrived at Liverpool St Station and took the tube to St Pancras, where the Eurostar departs from

St. Pancras looks nice, all my trips went from Waterloo.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Sandwiches were bought from M&S,

Mmmm, send some over will you?  

Happy flying
Infodesk   



"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3018 posts, RR: 8
Reply 20, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3976 times:

First I must apologise for taking so long to respond to the latest comments - I've been abroad with limited network connectivity. Normal service has now resumed  

Hi MSS658,

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 17):
Nice trip report!

Thanks!

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 17):
Not such a commun site nowadays...

It's been a while since I last visited BE, but I don't remember many delays  

Hi The777Man,

Quoting The777Man (Reply 18):

Very nice report with nice pictures form a short trip to CGN!

Thank you!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 18):

The cathedral in CGN looks very impressive close up

It certainly was, it was hard to get all of it in a single photo!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 18):
Seems like a very nice short trip!

Indeed it was  

Hi Infodesk,

Thanks for your kind comments!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 19):
I climbed all x00 steps to the top of the tower too!

Impressive, we thought about it but gave it a miss and headed to the chocolate museum instead  
Quoting infodesk (Reply 19):
all my trips went from Waterloo.

I remember that, it was a couple of years ago that the last piece of high speed rail was opened from St Pancras to the point in Kent, so the whole UK leg is now high speed.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 19):
Mmmm, send some over will you?

Lol   Apparently some stores reopened, including one in Paris - nothing in CH though  

Thanks for the comments!

signol



Flights booked: none :(
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