This photo is of skaters at one of the great Christmas markets, the one that takes up the main streets of Munich. As I sadly and angrily think of the carnage this week at the market in Berlin, I thought I’d post some photos of markets I’ve loved over the years–not that I ever buy much. The point is for people to be together, enjoying the season and laughing at ice and snow.
Vienna has some of the most beautiful markets, each with its own unique flavor. The one at the Rathaus–the City Hall–is the largest and has the most festive lights. For weeks before Christmas, it’s packed day and night with happy people strolling, eating and drinking.
Inside the august halls of the Rathaus, the Christkindl angel speaks with thrilled little children. In Austria and Germany, the angel seems to serve somewhat the same function as a visit to Santa in the United States. But it has not become a big photo op–it’s just a chance visit, all the more thrilling because it can’t really be planned.
Children sign up for gift workshops in the Rathaus, making presents for their loved ones. No hovering adults are allowed. I would love to receive a lopsided gingerbread man from the baking workshop.
My favorite Vienna market is the one in the plaza of the historic Karlskirche.
The Karlskirche market is especially kid-oriented. There’s a big straw play area with animals ready for the bolder kids to pet.
One of the most popular activities at Karlskirche is to lead a gentle llama around on a leash. As soon as I find the photo, I’ll post it! Meanwhile, I’ll dream of being in Austria or Germany again at a Christmas market–hopefully in snow.
I haven’t posted in awhile because on my last trip I caught a nasty virus which took awhile to overcome. Am I discouraged about traveling? Not a chance. I’ll be on a plane again as soon as I can. And I’ll be praying for world peace and harmony.
Join me next time for more explorations in European art, history and culture!