Our Last Christmas Market

December 21, 2010 at 11:20 AM 6 comments

Before I begin, I want to shout from the rooftops that hallelujah, the days will start getting longer now! Today is the shortest day of the year. We will have 8 hours 10 minutes of daylight. (At the height of summer, the daylight/darkness is reversed. There’s about 16.5 hours of daylight then. It’s glorious and lends itself well to backyard BBQs that go late into the evening.) Suffice to say, I’m incredibly excited that the days are getting longer. In one month, we’ll have 39 more minutes of daylight. In two months, we’ll have 2 hours and 13 minutes more daylight that today, and in three months, the day will be 4 hours and 2 minutes longer than today. Hurray!

With that out of the way, I also have been thinking a lot about our upcoming move and how this is our last Christmas here in Germany. This makes me pretty bummed – I really love Christmastime here. It’s actually cold. Texas is no help there. The ground often gets dusted with snow (it’s snowing right now). And there are oh so jolly Christmas markets in every city from here until they don’t speak German anymore. Sometimes you can even come across markets in the Netherlands, Belgium and France. Beyond that, I’m not sure. Anyway, this is something that the States is definitely lacking.

When we went to the Heidelberg market last week for the second time this season, I stood in the Heidelberg Marktplatz and used all my senses to take in the market experience. I noted to John that I cannot think of a photo that would accurately capture what it’s like to be at a German Weihnachtsmarkt. Directly in front of me, there was a three-story tall Christmas pyramid. To my right were old buildings that serve as restaurants and shops on the first level and people’s homes on the second and third levels. Behind these buildings is the Heidelberg castle, a fairy tale to behold in and of itself. Behind me was the Heiliggeistkirche (Church of the Holy Spirit), which was first mentioned in a manuscript from 1239 AD. Surrounding me were the adorable Christmas market booths, from which amazing smells drift. I could smell crepes, roasted chestnuts (so NOT tasty! Blech!), Glühwein, onions, brats…it goes on and on. The sounds of German and a couple other languages sprinkled in surrounded us as well as the bitter cold of the evening. We were prepared for the cold and were decked out in long johns, jeans, fur-lined boots, sweaters, jackets, gloves, scarves and hats. When you have the right gear, the cold isn’t so bad.

As we sipped our warm drinks, heiβe Schokolade (hot chocolate) for me and Glühwein for John, we both did our best to take in the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and feeling of being at the Christmas market. Wouldn’t you know that it also started to snow? Sigh…I really do love it!

And speaking of snow, we had quite the freak snow storm yesterday. We were expecting above freezing temperatures and some rain, but lo and behold, we ended up with about 3-4 inches of snow and very slick roads. At times, it was coming down pretty hard! John even had some trouble getting home early in the day due to slick roads and bad traffic. One of his co-workers said their typical 40 minute drive home took over 2 hours yesterday. I don’t even want to know what would have happened to the roadways in Texas if this weather had hit there.

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Entry filed under: Our Goings On. Tags: , , , , .

City Sidewalks, Busy Sidewalks The Markets Aren’t Over…

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Angela  |  December 21, 2010 at 1:58 PM

    Christmas markets in Germany sound kind of dreamy! I read another blog of an au pair in Germany, and she always talks of a different Christmas market. It makes me want to pack up and come to Germany for December!

    Reply
    • 2. osarah  |  December 23, 2010 at 12:10 PM

      You should try to plan for a trip here during late November/early December sometime. The markets really are fantastic!

      Reply
  • 3. Satakieli  |  December 21, 2010 at 4:25 PM

    The Christmas markets are so lovely here, and they actually remind me a lot of home because we have German Christmas Markets in England too!

    As for snow in Texas, it snowed a little tiny bit one winter when we lived there. Hubs and I decided to go out to Target for something and the roads were EMPTY. Hardly any stores were open either, just for the tiniest sprinkling of snow! We both laughed so hard about it.

    Reply
    • 4. osarah  |  December 23, 2010 at 12:11 PM

      Awesome – I didn’t know England has the markets too! And yes, the cities really do shut down in Texas at even just the threat of a single snowflake falling somewhere within 100 miles.

      Merry Christmas to you guys!

      Reply
  • 5. deiala  |  December 21, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    You’re right. There’s nothing compared to Christmas Markets. I think I’ve been twice every week since ours started at the end of November.
    And it absolutely adds to the atmosphere to have snow…

    Anjoy your last season over here!

    Reply
    • 6. osarah  |  December 23, 2010 at 12:12 PM

      Thanks! We’re doing our best. We went to the market one last time last night just to soak it all in. I’ll miss it!

      Reply

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