|The girls are ready for their gluhwein photo!|
|Finally all ready for our gluhwein in a hut picture!!!|
Sorry for the long posting gap folks, life got a bit busy, as it is wont to do in fits and bursts.
Long story short, these days I'm a bit of an nomadic snail, bumming around Europe until early January, at which point I leave to be a nomadic snail in New Zealand for a couple of months, then I'll probably resume my life of frantically rushing from one location to the next at the drop of a hat.
|Is that really what it looks like? Yes, yes it is. Somebody knitted for a tree.|
It's not that I haven't been busy seeing lots of places recently, I have, just that I was so busy frantically rushing about that I didn't get a chance to gather my thoughts (or pictures) together coherently. Most recently I have been (back) in Germany for a holiday- Berlin for a few days (another post altogether) and the Christmas markets around the Frankfurt region. I have an easy afternoon today, just sitting on a coach from Frankfurt (where I left my Christmas market holiday friends) to Cologne, where I will meet up with an old school friend who I haven't seen in about nine years, aside from one day earlier this week! And aside from running about Germany, I've also been doing work related things like conferences, and talking and networking and generally schmoozing.
Anyhow, lets get on to the Christmas markets, because they are well worth knowing about! Christmas is rather a big deal in Germany, it would seem. Every town has Christmas markets to some extent I am told, but some are bigger and better than others. Big towns have numerous ones, they were all over the place in Berlin!
There were lots of exciting things in the Christmas markets, in particular Gluhwein, mulled wine to warm you up while you stroll the cobbled alleys between stalls examining all manner of Christmas decorations, from hand-carved hanging tree decorations to free-standing, highly decorated glass candle-holders and munching on deep-fried potato. It's amazing how many different ways there are to deep fry potatoes, I had no idea! Surely the most versatile food sources to ever exist! It's actually hard to capture the atmosphere of the Christmas markets with words, and the pictures quite assuredly don't do it justice at all. For starters you can't taste the sugar-coated almonds or chocolate-dipped bananas (yes, it's a bit of a sugar overload, particularly for me, I seem to be getting more sensitive to it by the day!), or watch your breath coming out in little steamy puffs while you get into the Christmas spirit. I was rather captivated by the Christmas ornaments though, they're just endless in variation, it's really quite impressive. I have declared that if I ever do something so boring and grown up as owning a house, then I will surely be coming back to Germany to deck it out for Christmas! I do like Christmas.
|A mystery musical instrument!|
|Two of our party with markets in the background.|