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This Time Last Year -- Christmas Markets in Europe

"This time last year, we were . . . . " How many times have we said those words since March of this year? So many activities and plans we make in the normal course of our year were either canceled or rendered almost unrecognizable in the last 9 months. Vacations, family gatherings, meeting friends at restaurants, having friends in our homes, attending church services while sharing a pew with people we've known for years. On and on the circumstances were changed or else created huge challenges to accomplish. The lessons learned as a result are subjects for future blog posts. Today, however, I am remembering that "this time last year" Steve and I were packing for our trip to Germany, Austria, and Slovakia for the annual Christmas markets -- Munich, Nuremberg, Vienna, Salzburg and the like. These extravaganzas have taken place for HUNDREDS of years. The first official Christmas market was said to have been held in Dresden in 1434, but even before that one, December markets were mentioned in Vienna in 1298 and in Munich in 1310. This is a longstanding tradition in the deepest sense of the word. Yet, for most of them, the 2020 version has been canceled or will take place in a skeleton form primarily for the locals. What a shame.

The architecture, the history, the craftsmanship, the decorations, the FOOD -- all are unique and reflective of the culture. I am SO glad I got to experience it, and I hope you will get to go in the near future. Yes, it involves a long flight. Yes, it will be cold. And yes, it is a wonderful memory-maker.

Here are 4 posts I wrote about the experience that you might enjoy revisiting:

A Town's Passionate Commitment (as it turned out, Obergammerau 2019 was postponed)

But here are more photos I'd like to share while I'm feeling nostalgic this morning. Enjoy!

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