I'm already missing the warm coziness of Christmas. I'm not prepared to end this holiday season quite yet, which I guess is good since I still have a few European Christmas Markets to talk about!
This is the finale of our three day trip to Freiburg, Germany for the Annual Christmas Market. It's still our favorite of all the Christmas Markets we've been to so far, two years running. (You can read my little tips and reviews of those market in the European Christmas Markets tab, soon to be fully updated for 2014.) If you remember from my last post on Freiburg, we began that Friday at the Freiburg Munstermarkt in search of our Cinderella brat, and then headed back for a last spin at the Christmas market to pick up a few last minute ornaments, presents, plates of food and a cup or two of liquid cheer before heading back home.
By Friday afternoon the market was really packed, which added quite a bit festiveness to the atmosphere, but also made maneuvering a little less seamless. Using a stroller would have been a nightmare, as was evidenced by those using them. In a crowded Christmas market such as Freiburg's babywearing was surely the way to go. Oswin was right in the action and loving the lights, accordion players, and all the people. It was as if she wasn't quite sure what to happily freak out about first.
It turns out the appropriate answer to her question was everything, absolutely everything at once. Talk about sensory overload for a little country girl!
We grabbed some warm beverages and striebele, which is very similar to funnel cake, and took in the crowd. I was sad to be leaving when the weekend was only just beginning, but happy we were able to squeeze in a trip, especially on such short notice.
Our times at the Freiburg Christmas Market will always be some of my fondest memories here in Europe. After almost five years it still blows my mind that we can hop in the car, cross country borders, and within three hours be eating brats and drinking liter beers in Germany. It used to take me longer to drive from my parent's house to Penn State for college! Being able to road trip truly opens so many avenues for travel in Europe, without the airline regulations or luggage restrictions, and I'm so thankful we've been able to take advantage of that.
I really hope that we can return to Freiburg for a third year of their Christmas Market and Friday Munstermarkt, especially now that we know where to find our favorite bratwurst, a decent cup of coffee, and late night spaetzel. Some people don't like to return to the same place twice, but for us it's a lot of fun. You learn the spots to go for this and that, and how to get around. We even stayed in the same apartment as we did the year before, and it felt a lot less foreign to us. It was nice to know what to expect of your living arrangement, especially when traveling with a baby.
I couldn't really end a final Freiburg post without showing the goods, could I now? This picture doesn't do justice to these cute ornaments, but you get the idea. Some wooden pine cones, walnuts and pretzels, some little wooden gnomes in knitted sweaters (I've name the old one Gandalf the Grey and the younger one Bilbo), a few wooden snowmen, and the start of our kitschy 70s looking ornaments collection. And yes, that is a ballerina pig you see: one for us, and one for Oswin's collection.We rounded out our haul by purchasing a bag of gluhwein spices, two large hurricanes for votive candles, a special light for atop the tree that is traditional to Freiburg (it looks atomic, which is great since I don't do stars on top of Christmas trees), and finally, after three trips to Germany, my very first Stein. Ahhh it was a good trip indeed.