A week or so ago I described the Advent Market we attended in Mullheim, and, if I remember correctly, said it probably didn’t compare to the classic European Christmas markets that I had heard about. I was right.
Last Saturday, despite a forecast of rain and no snow on the ground, we made the hour-long drive to Colmar, France, to see what the fuss was all about. The market had been recommended as one of the best – and it lived up to expectations.
I should point out that I’m not a Christmas market type of guy. I don’t care to shop for crafts, which is a large part of the experience. I don’t particularly care for hot drinks – and everyone else at the market was drinking hot spiced wine of some sort. (I know that sounds horrible, but apparently some people like it.)
But it was fun to walk around, see what was on display and soak in the seasonal atmosphere. I could appreciate the craftsmanship of the items for sale at the various booths without being tempted to buy anything. More tempting were the food booths, especially the sausages and pretzels, but I managed to resist the temptation.
That may be because the previous night we had attended a small Advent market in Laufen, Germany. That was definitely a local event, lasting only two days, and priced accordingly – sausage on a bun cost twice as much in Colmar.
We weren’t the only people who thought it would be good to check out the Colmar market. By my estimate there were 100,000 people, maybe more, in the downtown core – but it didn’t feel crowded. That may be because Colmar has not one but five market areas, so not everyone is in the same place at the same time.
I took quite a few photos, but wasn’t happy with too many of them. Because of the weather I decided to leaved my good camera at home and just take one that fit in my pocket. That meant I couldn’t play with exposure times and get creative.
I’ll try to do better next year. Maybe for that visit there will be a little snow.