I decided to go to Christmas markets in Dusseldorf and Bath. I wondered if Christmas outside America was equally a commercial affair out to get people to buy stuff. Everything is so global it can be hard to tell, as American Christmas music blasted out in Germany. I did realize how many of our traditions are probably from German or English traditions. After buying a few ornaments and handmade presents for family and friends I moved on to the most interesting part of the markets for me, all the food.
The first night involved train station market potato pancakes and mulled wine before heading off to a local brewery.Brauerei Schumacher, what a spelling, releases their extra rich latzenbier three times a year that used to be reserved for monks and the wealthy. We accidentally showed up on the right day to try it.
Ok this was the local market and not the Christmas market but I finally got my mettwurst sandwich and ate half before remembering to take a picture. A friend in Berlin originally suggested it at 5 pm at a market that had it premade or from the supermarket. Even I have limits for raw meat. This one came from gesturing wildly at the very crowded butcher who had me walk across the aisle to the butcher before returning. Many thanks to the people next to me who helped me translate.
At one point I wandered off the very ornately designed tourist markets that they put on a nice map for you into a random local market. Gone were the hand carved wooden everything replaced by mass market produced cell phone covers and plastic toys. It felt like a street full of mall kiosks. The potato pancakes and bars were still there. While I’m usually sick of Christmas music and commercial decoration it was fun to check out all the different variety of Christmas markets.