Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Festive Season in Germany

The funny thing about blogging is that it takes a hell of a lot of work. From thinking about what posts you want to write, to sitting down and finding the time to write them and then either taking photographs for the blog post or trawling through the thousand photographs you have taken recently to find one that fits the theme of the post it definitely isn’t easy. I have loved blogging about my time away so far but the past month or so I haven’t really been in the mood to sit and write anything. The lure of Christmas markets and Glühwein has been so strong that I’ve spent almost all of my spare time traipsing around Bavaria eating as many Fricadelle’s as I possibly can getting more and more excited for Christmas not sitting inside by myself tapping away on my laptop.

Have no fear though, I have been storing up a lot of exciting stories and adventures to write about and am looking forward to some chill time over Christmas where I can sit down and really sink my teeth back into blogging. I fly home on Thursday and am spending a night in Edinburgh before I go home for Christmas which I am so beyond excited about. I’ve been away from home in the run up to Christmas now for the past 7 years however never have I been away right up until Christmas Eve’s Eve (Officially one of the longest days of the year - not the fun and excitement that Christmas Eve brings and knowing that Christmas is still two days away is almost just too much to handle!)

The run up to Christmas in Germany is certainly a bit different to the run up in Britain. Definitely much of the same characteristics but I hesitate yet can’t deny it’s so much better. So that this post isn’t just another ramble I thought I would share with you some of the differences I have noticed and run you through the five best things about the lead up to Christmas in Germany. I wish I could spend December here every year!

1.       Christmas Markets: There is no way on earth that this could not take the top spot. Every town no matter how big or small seems to have a Christmas market. This year I have managed to visit a pretty impressive 8 Christmas markets. Each one is unique and has its own personality and I am going to attempt to chart my tour round the Bayerish Christmas markets in a blog post soon although it may need to be split in two. I won’t say too much here about them other than they are the most magical places in the world and there is no better way to spend a cold December’s evening than wrapped up warm exploring a beautifully decorated Christmas market with friends.

2.       The decorations: None of your tinsel tack here, sorry tinsel lovers…. I have been lucky enough to live in Nuremberg (which I’ve said a thousand times I know) the home of Christmas markets so the whole city is a twinkly treasure box of beautiful lights and glorious Christmas trees. Real woodland foliage and Christmas trees make the atmosphere in the city so magical and everywhere you turn there are beautiful decorations and little festive nooks and cranny’s to explore.

3.       Food: Fulfilling the stereotype so far this festive season I must have eaten my own bodyweight in bratwurst and fricadelle’s. But that’s just skimming the surface. The vast array of food you can get at the Christmas markets is just incredible, both sweet and savoury. Surprisingly enough I am yet to try some of the Nuremberg Lebkuchen which is definitely on my list to try before I go home and I’m also going to attempt to fit about a kilo of Gebrannten Mandeln in my suitcase cause why not. Shout out to Louise for making me try these in Vienna because I absolutely loved them.

4.       This one may be a bit cheesy but it’s so lovely seeing how a different culture celebrates Christmas. From the character of Christkind to Christmas being celebrated on an actual different day (24th like what) it’s been really interesting to observe different traditions. Particularly rewarding has been being able to teach the children at school about how we celebrate Christmas in Britain and even tell them about some of our family traditions and see their faces light up with excitement.

I have also been lucky enough to teach the children some English Christmas songs. Who else can say they have been lucky enough this Christmas to listen to Rudolph the red nosed reindeer for an hour and a half. Twice. Send help.

5.       Glühwein: I was going to put this in with the food then realised it really wouldn’t be fair considering most of my festive season has been spent drinking the stuff. A sweet and sticky hot wine, each Christmas market has its own variation of the stuff meaning it would just be rude not to sample one mug or five. They are also served in the most adorable little mugs which you can smuggle away, but with a deposit (Pfand) of up to 5 euros I’ve managed to resist.

Judging by the fact alcohol and food made up two of my points you can get a good estimate as to why blogging has fallen by the wayside. On that note I think it’s time to round up this post. Hopefully there will be another post or two before Christmas while I play catch up so until then….

PS. The photo at the top was from one of the little sit down cosy sections at the Fürth Christmas market and the one below is from Passau!


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