Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Markets

When I lived in Germany, I had visited various Christmas markets.  They are common in all the cities and towns during the Christmas holidays.  During my recent visit of Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest, it was hard to miss the outdoor Christmas markets.  They are common this time of the year in Europe.  There was a host of them (five or six)  that we visited in Vienna, two in old town Bratislava, and one in Budapest.  We could have gone to one more on my last day in Germany prior to flight to Seattle, but I wanted some respite from these places.  There is a lot to see, buy, and eat at these Christmas markets.

The following are photos from the various Christmas markets visited in Vienna:

At the Rathausplatz.

At the Marie Theresien Platz.

 At the Belvedere Museum grounds.

At the Am Hof Christmas market, near the pedestrian zone in the city center.  This is the first Christmas market we came across on the first night in Vienna.

The Christmas markets in Bratislava:

The Christmas market in Budapest:

The best Christmas market meal:  Lunch in Bratislava.  The side dish of grilled onions and pepperoncinis was a nice addition to the sausage.

The best Christmas market snack:  Rolled bread with sugar and cinnamon cover in Budapest.  It was hot off the charcoal fire.  The sweet leavened dough is rolled out and rounded around a wooden cylinder. The dough on the cylinder is roasted over charcoal fire, caramelized with butter and sugar; it can be rolled in sugar, cinnamon, walnut, shredded coconut, or chocolate.  The serving is quite large.  I had it with a coffee on the last afternoon in Budapest, as a snack during the overnight train ride from Budapest to Wiesbaden, and for breakfast near the end of the train ride.

The best Christmas market drink:  Gluhwein or mulled wine at all the Christmas markets visited.  It is typically red wine combined with spices, served warm.  It is a traditional drink during Christmas time in German speaking countries.

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