The streets were mostly empty and we passed a lone vendor selling roasted chestnuts before we came upon the city center. All of the booths were in position but we were a week early. Oops. We stood there in the cold rain as I sheepishly looked at the ground. Suddenly I remembered another market!
"Okay, so maybe I got Aachen wrong. But I know the Valkenburg markets opened today!" I exclaimed proudly.
"What makes you so sure? Did you read about that one, just like you supposedly read about this one?" asked my husband.
"Yes... well, I'm about 78% sure. I was 100% sure but now I don't feel comfortable with my odds. Anyway, we have to pass by the exit on the way home so we might as well check."
With renewed optimism (on my part), we hopped back into the car and made our way to Valkenburg. Signs on the highway pointed toward the Kerstmarkt and I felt as if I'd saved the day!
|Peter Pan and Captain Hook made their |
way into the decorations.
I certainly never thought I'd be drinking gluhwein in a cave.
|Cafe in a cave.|
The next weekend was the opening of the Aachen Christmas market-- I checked and double-checked to be absolutely sure. We decided to go on Saturday and fight our way through the throngs of people.
|Aachen Christmas Market|
Before we knew it, the next weekend (this past one) was upon us. Because of my market hysteria, I can't let a weekend pass without visiting one. We loved Monschau so much that we decided to return for its market. We were enthralled once again by the half-timbered houses and gurgling creeks. This is what a German village is supposed to look like.
I also ate my first roasted chestnuts! They were very meaty. Jack Frost was nipping at my nose as I nibbled on the chestnuts roasting on an open fire. My visions of a Bing Crosby Christmas have been fulfilled.
Our next stop on the whirlwind Christmas market tour will be somewhere in Belgium. I feel the need to experience Christmas in the tri-border area thoroughly. And now that we are well into December, I know for sure that all of the markets will be open.
We had our first dusting of snow here on Monday. It didn't stick but it was lovely as it fell. This week the weather has been mostly unpleasant: freezing rain, dark clouds, and cold wind. Fortunately the Christmas markets are lovely despite rain, snow, and clouds. By the end of the season I'll have had my fill of bratwurst and gluhwein. Until then, onto the next market!
|Monschau Market, from above.|