At the end of December, just after the official opening, we took the four hour ICE train to Frankfurt for two days of Christmas Market happiness. I love going to Christmas markets. There's something magical about all the twinkling lights, the wood smoke from the bratwurst stands, and the delicious smells wafting at you from every direction.
There are so many yummy things to eat, that I wished I had more stomach space to be able to fit it all in. Candied nuts, potato latkes with apple sauce (or garlic sour cream, your choice), bratwurst, lebkuchen (spiced gingerbread), mulled wine and so many more delicious things that taste better in the atmosphere of the season.
Many booths sold traditional lebkuchen hearts, piped in royal icing with various designs. Some even let you personalise them if you desire and have time to wait. I even saw one woman requesting the writing in Chinese characters for someone back home. One of my favourite stands is the handmade pottery shop where you can buy personalised mugs with names or expressions glazed on them. The Frenchman's name was there, so was mine and the Little Sausage's. I'm not sure if they do them to order if you have an unusual name, but they had plenty of generic expressions like: Grandma, Mum, Rock Star, etc., in case you can't find your own name.
It wasn't too cold and luckily the rain held off even though the weather forecast said it would be wet both days. There were already so many tourists, especially from the Asian countries, and they looked just as excited as we were. The locals clung to the Punch and mulled wine booths and everyone crowded around the pretty handcrafted decorations on display.
Back home, the French christmas markets have nothing on the German ones. Sadly, the lack of good food and traditional handcrafts is the main reason, I think. Somehow African animal statues or beaded necklaces they sell there don't scream "Christmas" to me.
If you can make it to Germany in December you must go to a Christmas market. All cities and most smaller towns have them, located right in the centre - they'd be hard to miss. It's our aim to go every year if we can. Next time, we've planned to go to the one in Munich - a different one each year!
26 November – 23 December 2012
Römerberg, Paulsplatz und Mainkai (Main quay)
Monday-Saturday 10:00-21:00 hours
Sunday 11:00-21:00 hours
Official Opening Ceremony
Monday, Nov. 26, 2012