As a Christmas gift to you, our readers, we’re sharing the joy of Christmas markets in Germany. And what a joy those markets were!
Our Viking river cruise, “Christmas Along the Elbe,” altered its itinerary as cities closed markets unexpectedly due to an increase in the number of Covid cases. But even without the promised markets such as the one in Dresden, we were treated to four other locales brimming with talented craftsmen, smiling vendors, and fabulous food and wine. So we bring you our favorites from Dessau and Magdeburg.
Christmas is the day that holds all time together.Alexandria Smith
Dessau’s market — although one of the smallest we saw — was packed even mid-day. The main reason? An appeal to all ages. With a ferris wheel, car tracks, and skating rink, Dessau welcomed adults as well as active youngsters who cared less about the shops but loved the rides. Yet the adults — tourists included — were drawn to little pop-up shops boasting Christmas goodies. We learned about German smokers (they burn incense and blow out the smoke!) and wooden cut-out scenes that cast a soft glow when placed in home windows. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Christmas market without food and drink. And so we sampled German sausages and sipped gluhwein (a mulled wine, of sorts) served in its own take-home mug. Dessau was truly a market for all.
At the night market in Magdeburg, guests were greeted by a show of falling snowflakes on the façade of Magdeburg Cathedral. And then welcomed to the shops and eateries inside.
After showing proof of vaccinations and picture ID (required at all German markets), we roamed the magical Magdeburg Night Market. A ferris wheel similar to the one in Dessau looked even more enticing here in Magdeburg as it lit up the night. Temporary Christmas shops against a backdrop of historical buildings became a not-soon-to-be-forgotten memory as anything lighted showed up beautifully. From little paper houses to German candle-lit scenes, Christmas markets after dark took on a whole new meaning.
Here’s hoping you’ve enjoyed our tour through two small but wondrous towns along the Elbe. We’ll share the magic of Hannover and Berlin markets in our next post.
Until then, may the blessings of Christmas be with you all year long, no matter where you live.
Travel the world,
Rusha and Bert