December 19th, 2016
Berlin, Germany, Christmas Markets, Open Air Markets, Handcrafted Gifts, Tradition, Weihaachtsmarkt, Europe
I am remembering so well when last year I went to the opening of the Christmas Markets in Berlin, Germany. It was Thanksgiving and visitors were a little apprehensive after the tragedy in Paris. Berlin was well guarded. It is a beautiful city and it transforms itself into a living Christmas. There were about 60 markets around the city. Buildings, shops, restaurants were all decorated with real trees and thousands of lights.
And today, once again another tragedy happened. It was at the market called City Weihaachtsmarkt. I remember telling my children that if someone wanted to do damage these Christmas markets would be perfect targets. The first photo above is right across from where today’s tragedy occured. And, the second one is of that particular market, as well. This West Berlin street called Tauentzienstrasse is very upscale; sort of like the the Fifth Ave of Berlin. Our hotel was 2 blocks away.
Residents of Berlin were comfortable with the fact that so many refugees were being accepted. They have had no problems with others that have assimilated the culture. But, they did say that if something did happen things would start change very quickly. So, here we are.
Getting into the Christmas Spirit was easy in Berlin. You could not help it! Some of the Christmas Markets are bigger than others, and some are more family oriented. The food was amazing.
All markets are laden with traditional food, drinks and crafts.
The tradition of these markets go back to the Middle Ages. I would go back again because there is still so much that I did not see. Discovering the world is a must. It is getting much smaller and definitely more dangerous. If you are traveling abroad you can enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. It is a way of staying connected through these uncertain times. If you enroll, they will send you travel alerts, weather surprises, uprisings in any particular country, so please visit https://step.state.gov/step.
Until next time I remain. Merry Christmas!