Although more like Christmas from a movie than a sunny New Zealand Christmas! Everywhere people are in big coats with hats, scarves, mittens and novelty Christmas jumpers underneath rushing past the beautiful Christmas window displays up and down the high street. It’s been gradually getting more and more Christmassy here since October, and on November 22nd the Edinburgh German Christmas Market took over the Princes Street Gardens and St Andrews Square. The city and markets are packed full of people with hundreds of shopping bags, trying to get their Christmas shopping done early and heading to The Dome for their annual visit to check out the decorations and have a cocktail or two.
The Dome where I work decked its self out head to toe in Christmas decorations in October, the whole place smells like cinnamon and cloves and everyone that comes in says it smells like Christmas. I am wondering what Christmas smells like to Kiwis… perhaps chocolate dipped strawberries and sun block! Now that the Christmas markets have started we have a queue of people waiting to get in that extends (outside, in the cold) down the block.
James and I decided to see what all the fuss was about and spent Wednesday evening at the German Markets. They are pretty impressive, lots of little wooden stalls overflowing with Christmas decorations, like toy soldiers and Russian dolls which fill the markets with colour. Continental hot food is readily available from apple strudel to bratwurst along with traditional gingerbread biscuits and other treats to take home. Best of all they have bars every few meters where you can get a hot chocolate, glühwein (like mulled wine), hot apple and Drambuie toddys in a mug to keep your hands warm as you walk around the market, you just return the mug to a stall once its run out of warmth. There are pretty lights through the trees everywhere and a big Ferris wheel set up with views over Edinburgh along with an ice skating rink filled with people wobbling about in bright orange skates. My favourite is the beautiful carousel next to the ice skating rink, I think I may be too big to have a go on it though!
Hopefully it will begin to feel a bit more like Christmas now that it’s December…
Ashleigh and James x