.: Lake Constance :.

While it’s quite cold outside, I was checking some old photos and I’ve realised that I had never shared my photos from Lake Constance (Bodensee in German). I went to Lake constance with some friends from Germany. We did a tour all the way from Bochum, down to Frankfurt and then Konstanz.

The lake is situated in Germany, Switzerland and Austria near the Alps. Specifically, its shorelines lie in the German federal states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, the Austrian federal state of Vorarlberg, and the Swiss cantons of Thurgau, St. Gallen and Schaffhausen. The Rhine flows into it from the south following the Austro-Swiss frontier.

All I can say is, it’s such an amazing place!!! The perfect relaxation for a summer day. The town around the lake are pretty lovely as well. It feels like paradise 🙂

You wake up in the morning and this can be your view

Our morning breakfast

Totally miss this food! German bakery is excellent!

Then we went to explore the Unesco Village Unteruhldingen – a pre-historical village. It is an incredible place! I could hardly believe I had a chance to see something like this in the middle of the Lake 😀

All the towns around are so lovely

Delicious pizza (it’s not a pizza, but I can’t remember the name) and local wine

After lunch we went to visit a medieval castle (Burg Meersburg) in Meersburg.

Drawing from the Grimm brothers

Then we did a boat tour, which is totally awesome

Beautiful isn’t it? I can hardly wait to be back.

Tips:

  • The best way to reach lake constance is by taking a flight to Zurich and then a train to Constance. It takes roughly 1h. Because I was in the German side, I had to swap trains.
  • It’s very easy to move around the lake by taking the local bus

.: Christmas Markets – Dusseldorf & Cologne :.

Finally I had a chance to look at my photos. Didn’t took as many as I would like too and since I didn’t had a tripod I didn’t took any photos on the evening – which is the most beautiful part. But hopefully you’ve seen his photos from the previous post.

1st morning – Dusseldorf

 

I really love this awesome buildings below. Really impressive

The down-town is quite pretty as well. Fortunately it wasn’t painfully cold!

Next stop: Cologne and the famous Koelner-Dom

Did you know that there are 7 different Christmas Markets within Cologne? The most famous one is the Cathedral one, and mostly known by tourists. The locals love the Rudolfplatz and I love the old market one!

The gluhwein (mulled wine) with rum is just the best!

Seriously the markets are amazing when night falls! The light decorations are the best I’ve ever seen! Impressive. I took a few photos with my phone:

These trees are magical

My christmas mug collection this year:

Day 2 back to Dusseldorf

Last gluhwein

Famous Nord-rhine chocolates

What’s your favourite Christmas Market?

.: And the best ramen is…. Takumi Dusseldorf :.

Did you know that Dusseldorf has the biggest Japanese community outside Japan in the world? Lots of Japanese companies have placed european headquarters in Dusseldorf. Although I knew this, I never had the chance to really have a meal in dusseldorf in a japanese restaurant, so I couldn’t miss it this time. For more information click here.

After a quick research on the internet I found a Ramen restaurant called Takumi, and oh boy how rigth they were. You know a place is good when there is a queue full of locals. We didn’t had to wait long though, as the service was quick.

We were welcomed by a big gentle smile which warmed my heart, so I was more than excited for our food. The place is quite cosy, such as a real japanese place. In fact you forget easily that you are in germany.

The ramen was so delicious and so warm I could only smile really

This has to be the ultimate comfort food! Pretty healthy too

So I have been researching for the best Ramen spots in UK on Zomato. I’ve listed down 2 which were also recommended by dear Miho from Wander to Wonder

* Kanada Ya, Soho
* Shoryu Ramen, Soho

.: Give me a pillow and some warm food – Germany:.

While I haven’t touched my photos yet… sharing where we’ve stayed and restaurants we’ve visited.

Transport

The best way to get from the airport to the city is by taking a train. There are regular trains from the airport to the city centre (5.30€ per person) or even to nearby cities such as Cologne, Duisborg, Essen, Bochum, Dortmund (I still know the sequence by heart!). You can buy the ticket straight at the sky train station in the airport. From the city centre you can either walk or take a taxi which is what we did. It was around 10m journey and we’ve paid €10. You can also take the underground or any bus, it costs €2.50 per journey.

Hotel

First night we’ve stayed in Dusseldorf Courtyard Hafen – which is located in the harbourside of Dusseldorf, roughly 20m walking along the river to the city centre.

(Note all the photos below, except if mentioned, were taken from google)

The fireplace – as mentioned in the previous post – was gorgeous

Our room was pretty spacious and comfortable bed too

View from our room (with my mobile phone)

Service was really friendly throughout our stay and as I know this is critical for some of you, the wifi was pretty good too.

Dinner @ Dusseldorf

Because our flight got delayed, I ended up not going to the Christmas markets in the city, but we’ve decided to have some food in the hotel itself.

Beer!!! It’s so good

The food wasn’t that great to be honest, I felt I had too much cheese. His chicken tasted pretty much the same as my pasta

For dessert we had the applestruddle – again ok but not that brilliant

Lunch – Cologne

For lunch we had a currywurst in the Christmas market. I didn’t took any photo so I’m using google’s

 

 

The best one to me is the Bochum one here (offical website link)

Hotel in Cologne

We’ve stayed in the Marriott Cologne, as it was the perfect location near the main train station

The lobby of the hotel is really beautiful

I have to stay I was a bit disappointed with the service at the reception. There was a big queue and I was dismissed quickly because my room wasn’t ready yet. I’m glad I was a platinum though! But I didn’t let myself to get down as I was counting on a view of my room and the comfort of the famous marriott beds! We left our luggage with the concierge and off we went to explore the markets.

Once we’ve returned after a few mugs and gluwhein’s later, our room. Loved the decoration! A mixture between the Renaissance Zurich (which is still my favourite decor) and the Austrian one – his favourite

The lounge – Pretty big actually!

The view from the lounge

For dinner I wanted a nice German spot, but it was full already (Weinhaus Vogel) so we ended up to one which we’ve noticed while exploring the Christmas Market – Toro Negro

Lovely location, environment but terrible service. We felt really ignored! Poor poor service, gladly the food was really good, The meat really tasty and tender and the potato really tasty too. For the first time in a while we didn’t left any tips

At least it wasn’t expensive

Because a restaurant isn’t only about the food, I was glad once I was out! Really poor service

We then went to enjoy the Christmas markets and had an amazing sleep in our comfortable bed 😀 Breakfast next morning was pretty good too (we had it in the lounge) and headed back to Dusseldorf.

.: Christmas Markets – A look from his lens :.

I’ve just returned last night from a weekend away in the German Christmas Markets in Dusseldorf and Cologne. I wanted to show him the magic of the German christmas markets, which I ended up craving for after more than 2.5 years working in the country. It was a lovely weekend away but I have to say now I feel a weekend to rest from it!

As I didn’t had time to download my photos into my computer, I’m doing an unusual post and sharing his photos instead. He’s quite happy that he has a light compact camera with wifi included (Lumix LF1) – for such a small camera I have to say I’m impressed with the quality!

I’ll share my photos next weekend – I’ll try!

Ready?

Some photos at the airport:

Our first night was in Dusseldorf – Unlike my original plan, I didn’t manage to visit the Christmas market that evening, we decided to enjoy our hotel instead. We fell in love with the fireplace:

Dusseldorf walk in the morning

Then we’ve headed to Cologne

He had his first currywurst. For those of you who know currywurst can you tell me what’s your favourite one? Because to me the best one I’ve ever had is still the one in Bochum!

The eggnog was delicious and so was the gluwhein!

Cathedral Market – this is the touristic one

But if during the day it looks nice… wait for the evening! The markets become absolutely magical with all the lights around. I didn’t took any nocturnal photos with my camera, just with my phone so expect crap once I post them

Look at this tree, isn’t it perfect??

And once I’ve noticed this decoration I could hardly believe it!

Magical isn’t it? 🙂

What’s your favourite Christmas Market?