Fotoeins Fotografie

questioning home & place-story

Posts tagged ‘My DE Xmas’

Jesuitenplatz, Altstadt, Koblenzer Weihnachtsmarkt, Koblenz, Germany, fotoeins.com

Koblenzer Weihnachtsmarkt in der Altstadt | Koblenz Christmas

Someone once said to me: “when the weather gets cold and crappy, it’s never too early for Weihnachtsmarkt.”

I replied that depends how early into opening week it is, how many people are aware the markets are open, and how many people are around.

It seems early, but I’m having Glühwein at one of Christmas Market stalls in the southwest German city of Koblenz.

Markets have been set up at six plazas in the city’s Old Town: Jesuitenplatz (J), Liebfrauenkirche (L), Münzplatz (M), Am Plan (P), Willi-Hörter-Platz (W.), and Zentralplatz (Z).

At the intersection of the Mosel and Rhine rivers, within this special wine-growing region, it makes sense to have a ‘white’ Glühwein: it’s hot, it’s got alcohol, and it’s goin’ down somethin’ awful smooooth, like throwing on warm tonic to ward the late-autumn humid chill.

What’s also important is how all of this fuels the remaining two of my four weeks in the country.

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Augustusbruecke, Neustadt, Dresden, Germany, fotoeins.com

Dresdner Weihnachtsmärkte – Dresden’s Christmas Markets

You’re visiting Dresden, either on a day-trip from Berlin or Leipzig, or you’re staying in Dresden for a couple of nights. By day, you’ll see, for example, the Semper Oper and the Zwinger, and you’ll walk through the Neustadt. At night after dinner, you might catch the golden glow cast by lights on the architecture.

But by late-November in the Saxon state capital city, you will likely encounter at least one of the following Christmas markets in the city:

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Leipziger Weihnachtsmarkt, Christmas market, Marktplatz, Leipzig, Sachsen, Saxony, Germany, fotoeins.com

Leipziger Weihnachtsmarkt – Leipzig Christmas Market

After tracing the likes of The Peaceful Revolution, Martin Luther, Bach, and Mendelssohn in Leipzig, the sparkle of bright lights and the promise of mulled wine beckon. Emerging from the Markt S-Bahn train station, the sounds of the underground give way to the din of crowds. The city’s central Marktplatz (Market Square) is home to the Leipziger Weihnachtsmarkt (Leipzig Christmas Market) and people are out en masse despite the cold bite in the evening air.

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My Berlin: In Neukölln for Two Christmas Markets

The simple truth is out there: Berlin is massive. Though local transport options provide easy access to all one might hope to see, eat, drink, or do in the German capital city, fact is, my to-do lists have never shrunk, and it’s all I can do to keep up. The task seems almost impossible in a short stay, but that’s never stopped me from trying.

Why I haven’t spent more time in the borough of Neukölln is a minor mystery. Perhaps, it’s my long-honed instincts to avoid the new wave, to focus once more on the old wave. Perhaps, it’s my stubborn contrary nature. But thanks to friends’ recommendations, I’m inside two Christmas markets in Neukölln on two consecutive weekend evenings.

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Weihnachten, Backwaren, Cafe Gundel, Karlsplatz, Hauptstrasse 212, Heidelberg, Germany, fotoeins.com

My Heidelberg: Café Gundel’s Christmas cookies (Weihnachtsgebäck)

Short sensory list

•   Sights of the Weihnachtsmarkt: bright lights; Christmas pyramid; red and yellow stars; unveiling of the Backwaren (backed goods) made especially for the holiday season.

•   Sounds of the Christmas market: the klang of full mugs distributed and empty ones collected, shouts of laughter from conversations scattered throughout the area.

•   Smells and tastes of the Christmas market: candied almonds, cashews, and peanuts; roasted chestnuts; balls of fried dough with powdered sugar; mugs of hot mulled wine, available in several fruit flavours; grilled bratwurst; fried potato pancakes with apple sauce.

When the Christmas season brings out special baked goods, it’s time to pay attention. In Heidelberg, my favourite café in the university town doesn’t hold back as photos of the “Backwaren” (baked goods) show. There’s something for everybody at Café Gundel.

And on it goes: small lifetimes can be spent, seeing, smelling, and sampling the entire collection.

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