What do you do on a cold, winters day when the rain is battering down and the wind is almost blowing you in the opposite direction? Most normal people stay in a place they can be warm and dry but not me, I head to the German market to have a wander round and get myself into the Christmas spirit before it shuts (which is today in fact). There’s nothing like a traditional German market to brighten up a dull day; the ever so famous Christkindelmarkt has been resting at the Millenium Square in Leeds for a long time now and returns every year. It was a little difficult trying to get some photographs in the dusk air, with the funny looks and my lens constantly getting splashed but never the less, I went ahead anyway.
As you walk in either entrance you are greeted with a warm (or maybe more cold at the end of December) welcome of pretty attractions with each one being different. The market has over 40 wooden chalet stalls decorated with festive greenery and twinkling colourful lights, all creating a unique continental Christmas atmosphere. The market also includes themed indoor venues where you can take shelter and some funfair rides, including the beautiful carousel and the kiddies swings. I think most people had already explored the market as it was pretty dead when I visited but that just gave me more of a chance to soak in the festive vibe. There’s nothing I love more than an authentic market filled with a variety of goodies, lovely scenic spaces, excited individuals and jolly music being played.
Obviously, the one thing that stands out for me is the food. There’s nothing better than the sweet smell of pretzels, smoked German sausages, mulled wine and brewed coffee. For me, that just smells spells out Christmas. The huge beer tent seems to be the most popular place but I’d much prefer admiring the display of novelty biscuits and souvenirs, luxury chocolates, delicious crepes, drizzling donuts and a ton load of sweets so that’s what I did. The German community really do know how to tempt me into a food coma.
The array of seasonal gifts, gorgeous decorations, handcrafted toys, cards and jewellery on show were certainly an eye catcher. There were so many cute, dazzling items that I could have easily taken home with me. I even walked round twice just to make sure I didn’t miss anything as each masterpiece has such delicate detailing to it. My favourites were the glistening, all silver chic baubles and the dainty Christmas houses. I’m such a sucker for a piece like that.
I ended the day with a Starbucks Honey and Almond Hot Chocolate (which was extremely calorific but absolutely heavenly may I add) and a visit to the huge Christmas tree (or just a regular tree with lights round it) in the heart of the centre. Plus, a drenched hat which had to be placed right over my eyes so it didn’t blow off, an eyeliner emergency and a number of ripped carrier bags but none of that even mattered. I had such a lovely, relaxed family stroll which won over the weather by a mile. Any kind of Christmas market is such a great way to celebrate the festive period. I cleverly balanced the light and darkness and attended in the late afternoon so I could experience both sides and see it all lit up and I’m very glad I did!
In other news, I can’t believe it’s only 5 days till Christmas. Although the market did set off the Christmas spirit, I still don’t think it feels like Christmas is only a short time away. My gifts are all bought and wrapped now so I’m all prepared, now I’m just waiting for a movie marathon on Christmas Eve (and in the middle of editing a Christmas themed post I’ve never done before but am excited to publish). Maybe then, the day before, it will feel like the 25th December is near. It’s crazy how fast this year has gone but I’m looking forward to another new year to see what adventures that brings. Let the festivities begin!
Have you been to a Christmas market this year?