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Diary of a New Würzburger: Christmas Markets

21.12.2017
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For the last blog before Christmas, and the last for the year, it only makes sense to write about what I had been looking forward to ever since I found out I would be coming to Germany – the Christmas Markets! Of course I’ve been to Christmas markets elsewhere, but they were in New Zealand where it’s Summer, and in China where Christmas is not a tradition, so I was very excited to experience the authentic Weihnachtsmarkt as much as possible.

You can smell the Christmas Markets before you see them; the combined aroma of crepes, candied nuts and of course mulled wine is hard to walk past. In Wuerzburg the Christmas market stretches right down the middle of the city centre, through the Marienplatz, so it is hard to miss. The first time I visited, Wuerzburg was under a blanket of snow, so the soft lights and Christmas trees were all the more special. For shopping, the market has everything from the traditional nativity scenes and carved wooden characters, to local artwork and perhaps surprisingly even a stand for kitchen utensils.

Whether it was window-shopping or grabbing a last minute gift, the real highlight for me was holding a mug of warm cider, wine or hot chocolate. The content of the mug was enough to draw me in but I had no idea that each Christmas Market around Germany has its own unique mugs, and for a small deposit you can keep them.  It’s safe to say that I now have too many mugs than I know what to do with, but they make a great souvenir!

My parents have been visiting this past week, so of course I took them to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. The last time I was there the weather was considerably warmer and the trees were lush and green so I was interested to see what their impression would be in the middle of winter. Rothenburg ob der Tauber has such a strong Christmas and Christmas Market tradition that I shouldn’t have had any concerns! It would be a struggle to find a single house in the town that hasn’t been decorated for the season, so from the minute you step through the town gates there is a warm and cozy feeling.

The Rothenburg Christmas market itself is full of snacks and treats, and surrounded by countless Christmas stores and the Christmas museum itself. It’s the best of both worlds to take a walk around the old town in the frosty winter afternoon and finish up with a bratwurst or a waffle from one of the market stalls.

So that’s it for my first experience of Christmas markets in Germany... I can't beleive I'll have to wait one more year to see them again!

Happy Holidays and see you in the New Year!

 

 

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