So enjoy this walk back through my years of European travel in December, from Munich to Budapest. Try to imagine the smells of wurst on the grill, and especially the clove scent of mulled red wine. Bells in churchtowers and city halls donging and tinging, the hubbub of locals mingling with tourists. The clouds of stall keepers’ and shoppers’ breath, the handmade wooden souvenirs and ornaments, the smell of fur and pine. That’s the spirit of Christkindlmarkt or “Christ Child Market.”
A favorite memory of mine was leaving the Vienna market on City Hall Square by S-Bahn. (See the 7th pic in the slideshow.) A mother and father stood him on a seat in the very back of the tram car so he could view the panorama out the rear window. Seeing the decorated trees, he lit into a version of “O, Tannenbaum” in thick local dialect. He was no Vienna choir boy, but he sure left me with an indelible impression of the city’s atmosphere. Way to go!