I type to you here from an internet cafe in Cologne, Germany. They have a fantastic Christmas Market, which is renowned as Europe's best. After my day of work in Brussels I jumped on a Thalys train over the border into Germany for a quick day trip. The hotels here are good and quite cheap - mine was 40 Euro. The city is transformed come Christmas time - and I promised myself a trip here last year after coming back from a challenging trip to Liberia for work - I was there with the heat, humidity, poverty, instability and mosquitos and only came back days before the 25th - so this year I'm determined to enjoy December.
I'd recommend this place if you're looking for a cheap but still quite genuine christmas experience. They speak English almost everywhere here which is just as well since I have forgotten most of my schoolboy German! I keep speaking to them in French by default!
I'm off to Neumarkt now which is in the centre of town and then on to the other christmas markets dotted around town. Then on for a stroll down the Rhine which I always remember hearing about from my friends at school who had parents in the British Army stationed over here. So .. without further ado - adieu!