Nothing screams murder like shopping near Christmas. So either through sheer idiocy or a blatant disregard for our sanity or the safety of others, we decided to visit Lincoln’s Christmas Market held in and near the grounds of the castle. I always find a Taser handy at this time of year for crowd control as its quite likely that by the end of the day I would want to murder someone, starting with Dick Turpin in charge at the park and ride who laughably thought that I would stump up 15 whole English pounds for the convenience. Nothing like encouraging people to support local business in these hard times eh? Instead, we took our chances parking in the centre of Lincoln. Easy peasy, £5 for 4 hours and no queue to get in.
So off we march up the famous Roman road, Steep Hill of Lincoln. Aptly named as all those puffing red faces will testify to as they clamour to grab the handrail. Feel free to quench your thirst on the way up or taste some traders nuts as they roast them on an open fire. There’s plenty of them about. There’s also 1 billion people jostling for position seemingly coming at you from the opposite direction, like a salmon swimming upstream, you hope that at least one of your party makes it. Judging by peoples faces its either very hot in December or very hard work.
Finally reaching the top, Lincoln Cathedral dominates with its shadow casting down. Nothing like a massive and mighty medieval building to subjugate your peasant population. Passing the castle’s main gate and shuffling slowly beneath the murder holes, you get the foreboding feeling that the traders are about to make a killing. As though wallets and purses mysteriously open where money magically disappears (its that magical time of year remember). The only defence to this is to forget to go to the cash point in the first place – like us, or be robbed for the park and ride. Now inside and at the mercy of the traders at which point you notice the castle walls are clad in scaffolding. I’m sure it’ll look nice when its finished, its only been a thousand years in construction.
Sights, sounds and smells bombard you with pretty looking stalls and a barrage of bratwurst and beer tents to bemuse you. Of course, the traders located inside the grounds of the castle have misinterpreted prices, converting the euro symbol straight to a sterling symbol or they’ve added an extra 0 at the end. Your wallet finally assaulted as much as your senses. No wonder the queue to exit the castle grounds was enormous, the traders outside the castle walls significantly cheaper than the Santa hat your purchased inside. The only place to escape the madness is inside the Cathedral or a pub or your car back to home. i have a sneaky suspicion that we may attend next year by train with cash in hand.