Christmas isn't a season. It's a feeling.
-- Edna Ferber
Au contraire, Edna! In Europe Christmas IS a season.
A season of festive markets and merriment as we learned on our recent trip north to Budapest and Vienna.
|Far too many from which to choose! Vienna Christmas Market stall|
I've always been a fan of Christmas although I admit the years have worn down my enthusiasm for decorating the house, buying and gaily wrapping gifts. Now that we live in a rural part of Greece -- with a couple of hardware stores and grocery stores as our year-round retail outlets -- we have far less commercial hoopla. The holiday continues to be largely celebrated as it should be, as a family event.
|Dried oranges and cinnamon stick decorations tempted in Budapest|
So the celebration for this family of two aging expats and two cats, might best be described as minimalist: enough that the holiday doesn't pass by completely but certainly not a Hallmark Christmas movie in the making.
|Nighttime magic in Budapest|
BUT that doesn't mean I didn't jump for joy when I realized that some Christmas Markets would be open in the two cities we were visiting. . .a per-chance occurrence, not pre-planned.
|This one a few blocks from the Danube was our first Christmas Market|
Once that fact was determined I began researching European Christmas markets. The articles are endless as are the recommendations, btw: 'most charming' the ones 'not to miss', 'the 10 best. . .', the 10 least. . .'
|The Scout against a Market backdrop - Budaest|
|A bit of magic in Budapest at the market|
|My first European Christmas Market - but not my last!|
|No thanks! We passed on this one in Budapest|
|Hearty fare for shoppers in Budapest|
|This fellow was BBQing some tasty looking salmon|
Another evening I warmed myself drinking mulled wine, spicy and warm. A drink I normally wouldn't have consumed but there, nothing else seemed better.
|Christmas was in the Air in Budapest|
|Too many choices from which to choose|
Leather bags in a rainbow of colors
|Colorful ceramic ware from cooking pots to flower pots|
|Budapest after dark|
A trip to Budapest is far more than its Markets though and next week we'll take you on a sightseeing trip which made for a time travel trip of sorts through its history. Hope to have you back with us then and until then, safe travels to you and yours. Thanks for your time today!
Linking soon with:
Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
I've been lucky enough to visit many Christmas markets over the years and Budapest and Vienna have some of my favorites. Visiting the markets is a very special way to kick off the holidays and get in the Christmas spirit.ReplyDelete
Your posts were among those writings that had me wanting to visit the markets. Thanks for helping to inspire me!!Delete
Visiting a Christmas market or two has long been on my bucket list. Meanwhile, I did enjoy visiting the Budapest market through your post and images. And now I know what to avoid when it is my turn to attend--the rooster testicles stew.ReplyDelete
Now I had one reader insist that it is quite tasty - especially if you don't know what you are eating. I will take her word for it and live quite happily ever after! Thanks for stopping by Carole.Delete
Love those European Christmas markets. You demonstrated perfectly why travelers should try to visit at least one when possible. Super!ReplyDelete
Some of my favorites were those we just happened upon - the small ones on street corners. Loved it!! And so glad you do too!Delete
The Christmas market in Budapest is beautiful. I'm looking forward to visiting one in London soon.ReplyDelete
Hope you write about your visit - I would love to see and read about the London markets! Thanks for stopping by!Delete
wow, your corner of the world is getting right into Christmas. I feel like we are a little subdued here this year. It has been an unseasonably hot start to summer. Who can think of roast dinner and pudding? Your pics take me back to when I was a kid and we went into the city to see the displays in the windows of the big stores and to see the light. I hope you have a gentle lead up to Christmas, and I wish you and yours all the best. Happy travels. xxReplyDelete
Thanks so much Jill. It has been a bit of a shock to return to Greece where the sun is shining and temperatures are hovering at 70F -- summerlike from our old lives in the Pacific Northwest. The Christmas Markets up north did the trick for Christmas spirit though! Happy holidays to you and yours ~ xxxReplyDelete
Aren't Christmas markets fun? In Spain, people rarely decorate their homes, and instead the cities do the big tree and decorations so people celebrate outside together and small pop up markets happen here and there. I much prefer that. I haven't experienced a Budapest one, but have enjoyed London, Marseille and a few others.ReplyDelete