Thursday, November 28, 2013

Christmas spirits

(I don't actually)

Officially, I think Christmas should start after my birthday. But it is in full swing in these parts, and I've got to say, I'm getting in to the Christmas spirit. It's hard not to when there are twinkling lights in (it seems) every tree, to light up the dark that otherwise arrives around 4 pm, it's proper cold and there's Germanic treats to warm your hands and stomachs on offer.

Germany, of course, is widely known for its Christmas markets, and quite a lot of the festive spirit rubs off on neighbouring parts such as Eastern France and Luxembourg. I haven't been to the Metz Christmas market yet, but the Luxembourgish version has a distinctly Germanic feel to it. You can gorge yourself silly on bratwurst, rösti, or speck (or fondue, waffles, chocolate...) while sipping glühwein served from novelty mugs, browsing the usual assortment of Christmassy tat and listening to live carols (on a Wednesday night, no less).

A Christmassy wonderland

The view from afar

Bit blurry, but you get the idea

I went along after work with some of my colleagues, and whether it was the company or the mulled wine, we had a lovely time. There were many laughs after Em and I bought "sneeballen" (which I assume is German for snowballs) - a dense shortbread-like ball (folded as though someone had scrunched it up like a ball of paper) covered with chocolate, caramel, nuts etc. It actually wasn't that good, but we got our money's worth in laughs trying to bite into the things. It was nearly impossible to get any purchase! Defeated by the balls...

Attacking the boules

Hot dog!

More mulled wine
Definitely a good idea to cheer up the winter season! And the atmosphere was great as well. A little secret about Luxembourg - due to the multiple languages spoken in the country anyway, plus the European institutions, the international banks and the thousands who pour across the borders to work every day - it's actually very cosmopolitan. I love walking around the markets and hearing people speak different languages (and being fairly sure most of them aren't tourists). I think this will not be my last Christmas market of the season, it would be a shame not to experience a German one being so close!

8 comments:

  1. I really really want to visit Luxembourg. Too bad it can't be during the Christmas market! I love Christmas markets so so much! Probably because I never experienced one before moving to France. I'm so sure I would have also been tempted by one of those sneeballen. Sad to hear it wasn't really any good.

    -Shannon

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    1. These definitely beat Tours' Xmas markets (sorry Tours)! You'll have to let me know if you do visit!

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  2. Glad you had a chance of some relaxation and fun in the middle of your long work week. And your red coat is so right for a Christmas market! :) Mum xx

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    1. It was a lot of fun, and since we ste plenty there I didn't have to cook at home, so it wasn't really tiring.

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  3. Lovely pictures of the Christmas lights! So festive and cheery. Also, I never associated Ferris wheels with the holidays until coming to France. They seem to be a staple here.

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  4. Awww I miss French Christmas markets. The one in Luxembourg looks amazing!

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  5. It's ridiculous how happy Christmas markets make me. I'm going to the one in Aix in a couple of weeks and I cannot wait!

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