‘Sal, we gotta go and never stop going ’till we get there.’
‘Where we going, man?’
‘I don’t know but we gotta go.’
Jack Kerouac, On the Road
Since finishing our thru-hike in late October, that has been us. Other than two specific scheduled events, we have been floating, planning our travels no more than a few days in advance at most.
Since late November we have been mainly in Germany, but also in Belgium visiting friends and seeing the sights. We are thankful to have such a vast network of friends who are willing to let us couch surf and take time out of their busy schedules to show us around.
We arrived in Germany just in time for our favorite part of the year, Weinachtsmarkt (Christmas Market) season. We made sure to attend a few.
Weinachtsmarkt and Castle, Heidelberg, Germany
Pyramid and Heiligeistkirche, Heidelberg, Germany
Pyramid and kirche, Hockenheim, Germany
Weinachtsmarkt and Dom, Speyer, Germany
Saint Nikolas delivery, Speyer Dom, Speyer, Germany
Weinachtsmarkt statement, Detmold, Germany
Weinachtsmarkt madness, Freiburg, Germany
Weinachtsmarkt skating on New Year’s Eve, Köln (Cologne), Germany
Steampunk carousel, Bruxelles (Brussels), Belgium
Dancing lights, Bruxelles (Brussels), Belgium
Market Square, Bruges (Brugge), Belgium
One unfortunate impact on all of these markets was the weather. It has been unseasonably warm, which really impacts the feel of the market. It’s a different experience to drink hot glühwein when it’s 12°C (55°F) than it is when it’s -2°C (28°F). For those markets that had skating rinks, the skaters were moving through puddles and pools more than they were gliding.
But please don’t take any of that as a complaint. We recognized that we were spending our December in Christmas Markets in Europe. It’s very difficult to top that.