Christmastime in Germany

I believe, like most, that summer is the best time to travel to Europe.  But, if I had to pick the second best time, it would be during the Christmas holidays.

Germany truly comes alive for the holiday season.  Every city across the country has a Weinachtsmarkt (Christmas Market), which often start at the end of November and continue until Christmas Eve.  Some cities’ markets continue into January.  These are wonderful for travelers to visit because they tend to be located in the aldstadt (old town) near the cities main cathedral.   That means while hitting up some siteseeing, you can also get in a visit to the market.

The markets are filled with vendors of all types; food, drink, treats, and crafts. Some have kiddy rides and big rides like ferris wheels.   What I like is the variety of traditional German foods all in one place.  You can get wursts, pretzels, fish sandwiches, stuffed potatoes, potato pancakes, crepes, strudels, and much more.  The Weinachsmarkt is known as a place for friends to gather for the hot alcoholic drinks like Gluwein and other drinks like cocoa, egg nog, and punch as well.

Besides traditional food, I also love checking out the traditional Christmas crafts.  You can find ornaments, ceramic Christmas villages, and woodcrafts.

While visiting a historic site or beach is a must see while on vacation, it most likely won’t get you in touch with the locals.  Learning about other cultures is one of the highlights of travelling abroad.  One of the ways to really connect with culture and natives of a country is to take part in their celebrations.

I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to visit multiple Christmas markets and not only see how the Germans celebrate this time of year, but how different regions of the country celebrate as well!

Solicitors Welcome??

On our second day here, we had an interesting experience with a solicitor.  She rang our front door bell.  Since we don’t know anyone here yet, we didn’t want to answer.   So we let it go.  She walked around the house to our back door and knocked.   Hubby went to the door and told her we don’t speak German.  In English, she started to tell him that she worked for the storm company and wanted to know if we owned the house.  He said, “No, we are renting.  We can’t help you.”  We thought that was the end of it.  Then we look out the window a few minutes later and she is sitting at our patio table having a drink and organizing her briefcase on the table.   Hubs ask her what she was still doing there and she said, “Just having a rest and a drink!”

Is it just me, or is that kind of strange?  I wouldn’t see that ever happening in the states.  She finished up her drink and threw the bottle in our recycling bin.  Did I mention that they are crazy (in a good way) about recycling in Germany?