No one does Christmas Markets like the Germans (except maybe the French)! They have the biggest (Dortmund); the most famous (Nurnemberg), most beautiful (Mannheim); most atmospheric (Wuerzburg); the oldest (Dresden); I could go on but you get the point. Last year we had a lovely holiday in and about Dresden, visiting the main city markets as well as many of the smaller ones. Every town, village and hamlet has it's own 'Christkindelsmarkt'
Germans, especially in Saxony, take Christmas seriously! There are white lights twinkling in every window, on every available evergreen and around most doors. Each village has it's own 'candle pyramid' sitting proudly in the square with lights blazing. The carved, wooden statues made in the area are fascinating to look at; the attention to detail is amazing. I bought a peddler. He is carrying a tray of nutcrackers, cooking tools hanging from one arm and carving tools from the other with pottery on his back…And he is only 5 inches high!
Mon mari wanted a pyramid – a large one of course. After pricing the one he wanted (2500.00 euros), he decided not…then we found a little village that sells the hand-carved wooden parts. He can build his own! What more can a D.I.Y. guy ask for? Guess what we're doing next December?
Everywhere there are Christmas markets, selling Christmas trees, decorations, candles, pyramids, lots of local handcrafts and, of course, gluhwine, hot chocolate, wurst of every size, shape and color and enough sweets to keep many, many children (and dentists) happy. Dresden claims to make the original and best stollen. As every stall is kind enough to offer taste samples I, quite happily, did my best to test the veracity of their claims. (It also allowed me to skip a proper lunch the 3 days we were there.)
Our hotel was a lovely spa and for 280 euro per person total, gave us a large room for 3 nights, a typically huge German breakfast buffet each morning, 2 '3' course dinners and 1 '4' course dinner (and 2 '1' kilo stollen). No one does Roast Goose, Red Cabbage and Spaetzle like the Germans… And they manage rather nicely with the sweets as well.
If you are looking for a Christmas getaway and want more info, send a comment.
Today, we check out the market in Nantes – not famous or well-known….we'll see….