Posts Tagged ‘Christmas Markets’

‘Tis the Season for Christmas Markets!

Despite the cold and the snow we’ve had so far this winter…

Snow, Snow, Snow!

Castle!

Russ and I were eagerly awaiting the Christkindlmarkts to warm us up with holiday cheer (Ok, a little corny, I know). Christkindlmarkts, or Christmas Markets, are a fantastic tradition in Germany. In the weeks of Advent preceding Christmas, each city welcomes the Christmas season by setting up a market of open-air stalls featuring crafts, Christmas decorations, yummy breads, delicious German eats, and warm drinks. The markets are also often filled with music, as live music groups perform right in the center of all the happenings, so Christmas music fills the air.

Russ and I were lucky enough to visit 2 wonderful Christmas markets together: Ulm and Nürnberg.

Ulm was just a 40 minute train ride away, so we headed there on a Sunday afternoon.

Entrance to the Ulmer Weihnachtsmarkt

Ulmer Weihnachtsmarkt

The Ulm Christmas Market was small but nice. It is nestled right beneath the shadow of the monstrous Ulm cathedral, the Münster. We really enjoyed peeking at the stalls of crafts. We also sampled our first glühwein (literally, glow-wine), a hot-spiced mulled red wine.

Music Group Performs on the Steps of the Cathedral

Ulm at Night

Our next excursion was to Nürnberg, where one of the largest and most famous markets is held. Nürnberg is famous for several things–Lebkuchen (gingerbread) and Prune People. Yes, that’s right, I said Prune People (Zwetschgamännla).

Prune People

I don’t know why, but these men made from dried prunes are all the rage in Nürnberg. They are built on stands and are representative of basically every hobby there is. They were quite fun to look at, but we didn’t feel the need to bring any home.

The Nürnberg Market was fanatastic and featured all of the typical goodies one looks for in a Weihnachtsmarkt: Nussnacker (Nutcrackers), Stollen (a type of bread with candied fruit), Christmas tree ornaments, glühwein, bratwurst, candied nuts, and much more.

Christkindlmarkt Stall in Nürnberg

Christmas Ornaments

Lebkuchen and Gebrannte Mandeln (Gingerbread and Candied Almonds)

 

Glühwein, front and center!

The Entire Market

Nürnberg Market

A Cold Day!

The Prune People are Featured on the Signs, Too! 🙂

We stayed until it got dark and munched on some Nürnberger sausages and some candied almonds. Nürnberg was truly a wonderful market, they even had an international portion for their sister cities, and our enjoyment was enhanced by the magnificent surroundings of the city. The beauty of the surrounding church and the Schöner Brunner (beautiful fountain) and the Christmas lights only helped to improve our experience even more.

Schöner Brunner

A Beautifully Lit Nürnberg Market

Beautiful Fountain

Nürnberg by Night

Nürnberg by Night

Schöner Brunner

100 Gram Mandeln, Bitte!

Part of Our Nürnberg Loot...Meet Heinrich

Inspired by Nürnberg, I decided that I had to get to one more Christmas Market for the year. So this week I trained it by myself to our state capital, Stuttgart, while Russ was at work. Stuttgart has a really nice market that is more spread out than most. The best thing about Stuttgart was the decorations on the roof of each stall. Every stall had their own unique and beautiful arrangement of a Christmas theme–it was quite impressive! I spent a few hours looking around at the goodies again, and this time had a bratwurst and some heiss Apfel (hot apple juice with cinnamon and rum). Delicious!

Stuttgarter Weihnachtsmarkt

Stuttgart

Stuttgart

Nutcrackers!

Stall Roof!

Another Stall Roof

Stuttgarter Weihnachtsmarkt

The Giant Nutcracker

Christmas Market season was a lot of fun, but we are really looking forward to making the journey back to the US for Christmas. We cannot wait to see our friends, family, and of course, our pups! We’ll be taking a blogging break until we return to Deutschland in mid-January. So, until then…

 

Fröhe Weihnachten und einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr!