Visit to the German Christmas Markets in Köln
On 3rd December a group of 40 students accompanied by Ms Copperthwaite, Miss Bourré, Mr Snow, Mrs Hopps and Miss Cebreiro left King James’s to visit Köln (Cologne) in Germany. The trip included visits to the various themed Christmas Markets (there are 7!) including an angels market and a fairytale market. At the markets you can buy traditional crafts and gifts and try different German foods on offer. The trip also included a walk along the river Rhine and a tour of the old town. We went to the Lindt Chocolate Museum where we saw how chocolate is made and produced into novelty shapes and sampled the delicious chocolate fountain. No visit to Köln is complete without a trip to the famous Gothic Cathedral, which took 632 years to build! We climbed the 509 spiral steps to the top where we had a magnificent view of the city and paused halfway to see (and hear!) the largest free swinging bell in the world. The highlight for many was the ice skating on the open-air rink with some finally getting the hang of it and a few bumps and bruises!
The trip to Köln was largely cultural. Christmas in Germany is a magical time and it was wonderful to have the opportunity to see how they celebrate it. Most students were able to speak some German with the help of a ‘survival guide’, even if they had not studied German at all! Everyone had a lovely time and returned rather tired from a packed weekend but feeling very much in the Christmas spirit. Fröhliche Weihnachten!
On 11th December, Year 7 and 8’s were treated to a German festive feast. Wharfedale lockers were transformed into a German Christmas market with music, decorations and tables laden with traditional German food: Brot (bread), Wurst (sausage), Lebkuchen (spicy gingerbread) and Stollen (marzipan cake). There was also a German quiz and decorative Engeln and Schneemänner (angels and snowmen) to make. This was to celebrate Sankt Nikolaus Tag, which is on the 6th December - when German children put out their shoes in the hope that they will be filled with sweets and treats the following morning.