Sunday, December 7, 2008

Essen Germany Christmas Market

Essen – there is an interesting history of the city from Wikipedia:

"The oldest archaeological finds date back to 280,000 B.C. Other finds date to between 120,000 and 10,000 years old.

Essen was part of the settlement areas of several Germanic peoples (Chatti, Bructeri, Marsi), although a clear distinction among these groupings is difficult.

The Alteburg castle in the south of Essen dates back to the first or second century B.C., the Herrenburg to the 8th century A.D."

It still amazes me, where my country has such a relatively short history (as America) that such history exists just about a three hour drive or so from my home in the Netherlands.

I must admit, I did have an idea in my head of what I imagined a Christmas market to be, and perhaps in the past it was more like the traditional German event that I pictured.

Yes, there were the German gingerbread hearts, the Nativity scene, and Gl├╝hwein. But outnumbering the traditional stalls of hand-made (German) Christmas ornaments, decorations and foods, were many foods and items that I was less interested in seeing.

Belgium chocolates, polish sausage, turkish foods and purses, French crepes, Dutch tulips, various oriental inscense, kung fu memoribilia, and Chi Gong, and an American stall selling Route 66 signs, old licence plates from various states, and Jack Daniels signs.

The logos of Marlboro and Coca Cola (both red and white Christmas colors) were prominent, and two Starbucks were within two minutes walk of each other. McDonalds and Burger King seemed to be doing brisk business too.

Later back in our hotel, I got to watch German television. Unlike the Dutch who only subtitle American films, Germans dub – so “For Your Eyes Only” became an even more amusing film to watch as Roger Moore’s mouth would move, but instead of his voice, German would come out without a lot of the inflections that James Bond is known for in English.

On the way back (via the autobahn), it snowed a lot. Sometimes it seemed as if we were just driving through a pure white fluffy world. Beautiful, but brr – cold!

Look, I found a Christmas bunny!

Really good food, and as usual, I ate a lot.

Festive, party-like atmosphere everywhere!

Music, and free things to enjoy all over the market

Lights everywhere

Essen is so pretty!

Hey - Merry Christmas everyone!