It has finally arrived, the thing that I have been looking forward to since I decided to move to Strasbourg. Christmas markets have finally arrived!!! And to kick start the beginning of the greatest creation ever (Christmas markets), I decided to plan a trip with my friends to spend the whole of Saturday (yesterday) visiting the best Christmas markets that Alsace has to offer.
It took me a total of three hours to plan the trip, I spent all of Friday morning getting train and bus schedules, finding the perfect and quickest routes, researching the various Christmas markets, reading reviews and finding out what was on offer. After vigorous research (thank you English and History degree for amazing research skills), I was ready for the trip and so were my friends. The Christmas markets that I decided on were Kaysersberg, Colmar and Mulhouse (there was no point visiting Strasbourg Christmas market because we live in Strasbourg and can go anytime).
Saturday morning we met at 11:30 and started our adventure. We headed to Colmar and took a shuttle bus to Kaysersberg. Kaysersberg was beautiful and small. For someone who had never been to a European Christmas market before, Kaysersberg was the perfect place to start. The town itself was a typical Alsacean town with its old Germanic houses and scenic rivers. Next we moved on to Colmar. Almost all of my friends in Strasbourg have been to Colmar and I always seem to be busy on those visit days, but finally I was able go and see the Colmar Christmas market. Colmar was much bigger than Kaysersberg and was the biggest Christmas market we visited that day, they had beautiful lights guiding tourist from the train station to the market kiosks. And the huge ice rink in the middle of the park with bubbles everywhere made everything seem so surreal. We spent most of the day in Colmar and had lunch there.
The final Christmas market was Mulhouse, my friends were tired, cold and exhausted by then. All 8 of them were ready to go home but I insisted that we visit Mulhouse. When we arrived at Mulhouse Station, they all looked like they wanted to kill me for forcing them to go to Mulhouse, this was not a good sign. And then the town itself was nothing compared to Colmar, there were no beautiful lights guiding us to the Christmas market, in fact the town looked deserted. My heart was dropping each step we took closer to the market. Finally we turned our last corner and went through an archway and entered what seem like a fairytale. What stood before us was absolutely enchanting. We all just stood there for about two minutes in awe. It was so beautiful, so magnificent, better than I could have imagined and hoped for. It was perfect. It was far smaller than Colmar but yet it was so much more than Colmar. There was a Ferris wheel in the middle of the market and all the buildings had been decorated so beautifully. I wished so badly that I had pictures (my friends do but have not uploaded them on social media yet), but since I had all the plans and train times on my phone I could not take any pictures in case my battery died (and we all know how unreliable iPhone battery life is).
That was the perfect ending to a wonderful day, and even today I can still picture Mulhouse, and I want to go back and experience it all again. I love Christmas markets and next weekend I’m going to Munich to see how the Germans do their Christmas markets. And I promise to take pictures of Munich.