Theeyyy'reee baaaacck! Ladies and gents, it's Christmas Market season again here in Germany and the entire country basically threw up Christmas last weekend! It's truly a magical sight to see. Hundreds of towns across Germany have completely decked their streets and markt squares with evergreen-lined stalls, twinkle lights, and jolly reindeer to kick off the holiday season as festively as possible. It's SO hard to miss home when Germany puts on such a show at Christmas time. In fact, my parents will be arriving here on Friday to experience the markets for themselves this year! I must have done a good job of talking them up because my mom texts me almost daily with a Christmas market countdown. I'm positive Germany won't disappoint. :)
In years past, D and I have made it a point to visit as many Christmas Markets as possible during the season. We've visited 8 so far (would have been more had we not gone back to the states for Christmas last year), but we have goals to hit at least 5 or 6 this year alone. Mostly because this is our last Christmas Market season before moving back stateside this coming summer. I'm already mourning the loss of my beloved Christmas Markets! I can't even. Ugh. Anywho, to kick off our marketing adventures this year, we took a 2 hour drive down to Stuttgart to see what wonders their Weihnachtsmarkt had to offer!
Stuttgarter Weihnachtsmarkt is one of the more spread out markets we've visited. With over 250 food and handicraft stalls, it's no wonder. There are two main sections for the market...one just off the New Palace Schlossplatz (just in front of the Old Palace) and the other right smack dab in the middle of the Marktplatz. Walking from one section to the other, you'll find a slurry of stalls and decorations along the way. In the Marktplatz, the Stuttgart Rathaus has been turned into a giant advent calendar, a door opening each day revealing coats of arms for each borough in Stuttgart. Of course, while winding in and out of the rows of festive stalls, you'll find German lebkuchen (gingerbread), candied nuts, a myriad of traditional German market dishes like bratwursts, kartofflepuffers, and spätzle, as well as my personal favorite...GLÜHWEIN!!! That hot mulled red wine (or white, if you prefer) is too delicious for words. I so wish I could ship some to each of you to try...it's that amazing! At the Stuttgart market, I was able to find the hot version of my favorite summer cocktail...the Hugo. It's totally giving my precious glühwein a run for its money! Yum yum!
After filling our bellies with market treats, we spent some time wandering the city to see a few of the sights. We stopped in front of the New Palace for a few photos and wandered down Stuttgart's largest shopping district just for fun. All in all, the Stuttgart Christmas Market was great. A bit too crowded for my taste, but that's only because it was the first weekend the market opened. Had we gone during the week, I'm sure we would have fought the crowds less. I'm just happy to have been able to mark another beautiful German Christmas market off my list!
On to the next! :)