Every day, I pass by Christmas trees for sale already in the local square. Chriskindlmarkts, or Weihnachtsmarkts, abound. Lights have been strung up around the city. Decorations for the tree glitter and gleam in all the store windows. Greg allows me to play Christmas classics at home. All we're missing is snow!
Today my family (with my other aunt, Smadar, who is visiting from Israel) visited Bad Toelz to see the Chriskindlmarkt there. Almost every city has one going until December 24th. But this one was supposed to be an especially traditional market. Booths lined the cobblestoned streets, selling everything from wood cut-out decorations to chocolates to scarves to gluehwein (a mixture of red wine and spices supposed to keep you warm).
We did in fact try out the gluehwein as well as the latkes and apple sauce dish, pide (covered pizza-like food often with bacon or potatoes and cheese), and chocolate covered strawberries and bananas (this I think is not traditional ;-). People were walking around, snacking on roasted chestnuts, sugared nuts, meter-long sausages on baguettes, and meat sandwiches.
In terms of artistry, I wasn't very impressed. The only booth that attracted me was the colorful bird houses. I think it would be much nicer to go at night when all the lights are out though. I know of at least two more markets that we'll hit up here before I give my final review of them. Bad Toelz as a city was beautiful with the river winding through it and the Alps nearby.
And although we didn't do much, I thought I should send out an update on our Thanksgiving. Germans know that it's an American holiday and that we eat turkey, but not much more than that. I actually had to remind myself that it was Thanksgiving! Greg and I didn't have time to plan anything with friends so just the two of us had dinner at a great restaurant near my new workplace. However, it was nothing like drenching everything (stuffing, mashed potatoes and yams) with cranberry sauce and digging in with family and friends. Enjoy the left-overs for us!