Monday, December 1, 2014

Ho Ho Ho and a Glühwein with Rum

Magical Nativity Tower 
Now that Advent has begun, the Berlin Weihnachtsmärkte (Christmas Markets) are in full swing. The weather in Berlin has been unseasonably cold the past few days. I don't remember a late November where the daytime highs have hovered around freezing with a wind chill making it seem more like 17 F ( -8 C). The weather has made the Christmas Markets uncomfortable. Even so, I did manage to visit a few of the Markets and sample the Glühwein. (This hot glowing elixir makes the cold bearable.) This year, I tried it with rum and amaretto. I think I like the amaretto better. Perhaps tomorrow, I'll go into the cold again and sample a Glühwein with Cointreau.

The highlight was seeing Santa and his reindeer fly over the Christmas market (absent Rudolf). Apparently the sleigh is suspended from a cable that runs the length of the market about 40 feet above the ground. Every and then, a real-life Santa ascends the heights and braves the bitterly cold wind as the sleigh zips along the cable, pausing for a few minutes in the middle so that he can wave to the crowd below as the announcer introduces him on the PA system telling us about Santa's annual journey (and also suggesting food, sweaters, and other retail items we can buy at the market stalls). Seen from below it creates a wonderful illusion of an actual flying sleigh. If I had seen this as child, it would have blown my mind. 

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