Getting in the Christmas mood Winter market at the Rheinaue

Bonn · The idea of the UN was to create a little Christmas mood for Cop23 participants. Now the “Wintermarkt” is open for business, cozy and cute, and everyone is welcome.

Christmas spirit didn’t come easy on Wednesday with the permanent drizzle hanging over the Rheinaue. Even if there was hot spiced wine, bratwurst and warm chestnuts being sold at the stands just up from the Bonn Zone at the United Nations World Climate Conference. But this small format of a typical German Christmas market is not a Christmas market, it’s a “Wintermarkt” (Winter market).

It was the UN that had the idea for the “Wintermarkt”, to offer Cop23 participants a little bit of the Christmas mood, explained city spokeswoman Monika Hörig. She said the city thought it was “a very nice idea” and Lord Mayor Ashok Sridharan set about to make it happen. He was supported by Dirk Dötsch, who runs the Parkrestaurant Rheinaue, and the concept was quickly realized. Because it’s still a while until Christmas, the market was named “Wintermarkt.”

For the visitors, they really don’t care what name the market is given. The main thing is - let there be hot mulled wine and something to nibble on. At lunchtime, there are fewer Cop23 visitors and more professionals from the surrounding offices. Even some students from the University of Bonn ended up there by pure coincidence. "We actually planned to visit the Bonn Zone. But we failed with the first security guard we met. After all, we are not accredited," says Jessica Diethold and laughs. The 21-year-old law student is on foot with her classmates Amal Andich and Victoria Gasser and is happy about the small Christmas market. "This is really cute here, and I think the conference participants like it very much," says Amal.

Besides the stands, there is also a small ferris wheel and a children’s carousel at the market, which attracts families with children who are taking a walk through the Rheinaue. Even though the number of visitors is not too high at the moment.

Fredi Zündorf from the "Alpendorf" snack bar and Wolfgang Orth from the Bonn souvenir stand next door are optimistic. They believe that when the Cop23 participants have oriented themselves, they will also find their way to the small winter market. “Word just has to get around,” says Zündorf. “And a little sunshine would not be bad either.” But according to the weather forecast, it should stay cool and above all wet in the coming days. (Orig. text: Lisa Inhoffen, translation: ckloep)

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