Monday, December 04, 2006

christmas market monday

J suggested that those of us who had the chance should visit a Christmas market on the weekend and post some pictures. I just happened to attend two different markets, one on Saturday, the other on Sunday. More on that in a minute.

Friday afternoon (Mr. M only works until 1 p.m. on Fridays, lucky guy) would have been more of a success if that obnoxious and very persistant door-to-door storm window salesman hadn't rudely interrupted the "little nap" we were enjoying after lunch. Being German, Mr. M somehow feels obligated to answer the doorbell or the phone no matter what he's in the middle of. Oh well. It was good for a laugh.

Friday evening turned out much better. We went to a friend's house for a delicious traditional fall/winter meal of Bregenwurst mit Grühkohl (bregenwurst with kale), and boiled potatoes. Although I'm usually quite happy to eat what's set in front of me, I find the last sentence of the Wikipedia entry on bregenwurst to be strangely comforting.

Saturday I bussed it to Hannover to do some shopping and took my camera with me. I didn't go to the large Christmas market in the older part of town, however there was a smaller one set up in front of the main train station that was quite nice.

Sorry the pictures aren't really up to par. It was a grey day and I had other things on my mind, but I think you can get the idea. Glühwein, bratwurst, gingerbread hearts, arts and crafts, rides for the kids. You know the drill.

My dear friend Ginnie is going to be in town for the next couple of weeks starting today so we may just tackle the much bigger Hannover market together some time soon.

Sunday morning found me five tiny towns over visiting my English friend F and her little boy R who will be turning four at the end of January. Christmas came early for R this year. His eyes lit up when I lifted a well-used but still perfectly servicable scooter and pedal go-cart out of the trunk of my car. Our kids are too big for them now so we thought we'd do everyone a favour and recycle. More vehicular fun for R and less junk in our garage. What a deal!

On Sunday afternoon we strolled on down to Dullsville's very own annual Christmas market. It was, well, dull. Duller than it's ever been before, unfortunately. Something was definitely missing this year and I have the feeling there may have been some boycotting of certain groups going on. We are not (nor do we care to be) party to all the social politics and intrigue that goes on in this little village so I suppose we'll never know. Again, the pictures are not great because there was barely anything to take pictures of. Maybe next year.

We made the best of it, though, enjoyed the Christmas cheer and bought a few raffle tickets. And guess what? Lucky Boy13 won a gift certificate for €7.50 worth of goodies from a local bakery. He was well pleased.

One of the highlights of the Christmas market was finally getting to see the inside of the newly-restored Michaeliskirche, the beautiful Lutheran church in the centre of town. Thanks to many donations from the community, experts had been working on the church's interior since September, painting, polishing and repairing until the lovely sculptures and ornaments had their old glow back. It's an impressive sight.

Yesterday also marked the first Advent Sunday in Germany. That means that the holiday season is officially in full swing. I'm a little behind this year - haven't even made my Advent wreath yet, but I'm not worrying. Christmas is going to happen just the same.

Advent, Advent, ein Lichtlein brennt.
Erst eins, dann zwei, dann drei, dann vier,
dann steht das Christkind vor der Tür

(Advent, Advent, a little light is burning.
First one, then two, then three, then four,
Then the Christ Child stands outside the door.)


At December 04, 2006 5:40 p.m., Blogger Haddock said...

I guess thats what friday afternoons are for! ;)
I haven't even made it as far as a Xmas market this year let alone get a whiff of glühwine, but we are planning on trying to get to the Franfurt one soon :)

At December 05, 2006 1:51 a.m., Blogger Cathy said...

Great post, Christina! I would love to go to a Christmas market!

At December 05, 2006 3:33 a.m., Blogger Rositta said...

Oh well, I'm jealous and homesick. I do miss Christmas in Germany. Not quite the same here in T-Dot (Toronto).
Lucky you, too bad about friday!

At December 05, 2006 3:39 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is not what I envisioned. It looks a lot like the Dogpatch Festival. I think I expected it to be indoors and overflowing with beautiful things.

At December 05, 2006 8:05 a.m., Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

Wow! Dullville even had a Glühwein stand! ;-)

I'll be going to the Chrismas Market in Basel. I'll be posting more again soon :-)

At December 05, 2006 3:56 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are little Christmas markets all over Provence right now, too, with good ideas for presents and good snacks. I'll taste just about anything, but prefer to avoid the bregen.

At December 05, 2006 5:05 p.m., Blogger Expat Traveler said...

LOL - love the friday afternoon ritual.

Oh the pics from the xmas market are what I needed! We went to granville over the weekend but it just doesn't do it for me...

I'm homesick!!! Really I'm going to push for a visit next Christmas time with P!

More pics are certainly welcome and I do hope you will visit the big market in hannover!

At December 05, 2006 5:59 p.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

My heart just soared, Christina, when I saw these familiar pics, which I WOULD have seen about now, as we speak, had I ended up going to Hannover after all. Sigh. But as we know, there is usually a reason for everything, and if not, certainly an occasion to learn acceptance!

I needed this today. Thanks!

At December 05, 2006 8:36 p.m., Blogger Andrea said...

wow busy!!
Those buildings in the back ground of your photos are beautiful! I whould have a very sore nexk if I was shopping around there.

At December 06, 2006 1:01 p.m., Anonymous Maribeth said...

I am planning a trip to Berlin next December. My best friend wants me over and I want to go ;~)
The pictures were great!

At December 06, 2006 7:56 p.m., Blogger Sigrun said...

Hi Christina, vielen Dank für die schönen Bilder vom Weihnachtsmarkt. Bei uns ist er leider sehr klein. Aber ich genieße es, durch andere Blogs auch die anderen Märkte zu sehen!


At December 06, 2006 9:45 p.m., Blogger christina said...

haddock - Oh yes, the afternoon is my favourite time of day. ;-) Hope to see some pictures of the Frankfurt market.

Cathy - Hopefully you'll make it over again some day.

rositta - Wow, Toronto is called T-Dot? That must have happened while I was away.

Betty - I think Dullsville = Dogpatch in many, many ways except we don't have any gators or cheese grits. There are some indoor craft displays but most stuff is outside.

canswiss - Yeah, check out the fancy sign! :-) Depending on the season, there's ALWAYS going to be either Glühwein or beer available.

meredith - Mmm, I bet the French Christmas snacks are delicious. The bregenwurst is actually really good if you try not to think about what might be in it. :-)

Expat - It would be great if you and P could come over some time. I know how much you miss Europe. We might take the kids to the big market and then I'll take pics for sure.

Ginnie - Oh, I know! I'm SO sorry things didn't work out, but you've got other issues to take care of right now. The Christmas market will be waiting for you next year.

Andrea - The building down town is the train station and the one in Dullsville is the church. I guess they are pretty big!

maribeth - Excellent idea! And you've got a whole year to plan your trip.

Sigrun - Thanks for dropping by! It seems the markets are getting smaller and smaller each year. I'll try to get some photos of the really big one where things are still busy.

At December 08, 2006 1:48 p.m., Blogger Alison said...

I think the markets are the best thing about europe at Christmas time. Sorry to hear the one in your town was a bit sub-par but there should be loads of great ones elsewhere in germany... Koln was very nice indeed :)


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