Tschüss 2nd Christmas Day, Servus Mr. Sunday Frost!

A little Frostbite will complete this photo though! , Germany 2020

Today was cold, I felt cold when I went outside. I easily get cold feet so I am not a big fan of Winter. Ugly gardens, bare trees, big bulky jackets and freezing hands. We all miss that good kind of snow, the kind of a white winter wonderland snowy landscapes but I guess here in the Southern part of Germany is not that all white now…it´s grey but cold. Actually we already drooling and have plans on sledding and rolling down the hill once we have enough snowdays but then…. nothing!

We dreamt of that white Christmas, but we had only rains, wind and more rainshowers.

Still I am out for my daily nature walks and runs. See,I´ve learned to dressed up for the weather.I actually own now several types of Jackets, just for me to survive the seasons here.Weihnachten is gone, the 1st and the 2nd said Tscüss already, but there´s always way too much food during Christmas, most especially on Christmas day. Toomany Chocolate Santa Claus as well!

Here in Germany, we have 2 days of Christmas,imagine that. I really don´t know why one day is not enough, it´s just the way it goes here. The weeks before Christmas is already loaded with lots of Christmas cookies and Glühwein (mulled wine), then comes the Raclettes and grilling, and Fondues, and endless snacking….so we got to move!

Frosted Fall flower in the Park nearby

Anyway, after the 2nd day of Christmas comes Mr. Frost. But again, it was not the same as last year. I noticed in my Archives that I had more photos of last year´s Frosty days but then today was just a teaser. Well at least it makes the dead flowers and leaves look attractive.

I am still thankful of every sunrise view from my Kitchen window

So everyday, I decided to always have my morning run and take long leisure walks. You know those walks to help you calm down, destress, and just think of nothing. I also take a walk to help my body with all the digestion that needs to be done . Yes, there should always a reason to eat a slice of homebaked cake. Here in Germany, we always have the Coffee/Tea plus Cake time ( Kaffee und Kuchen) even if it´s Christmas, we´ve got to have a slice of cake.

As I am walking to the new track, ( I said it was new because the asphalt was new and the road looks well), I was really feeling well and relaxed. Normally in Winter I only do 5 km rounds but I decided to run further.The sun was out and it shines its golden rays on barren fields, casting shadows on thin wimpy tree branches, and setting a downcast mood somehow.

I actually find the views simply breathtaking.

I discovered new running tracks, this time with views. I am so glad that detours lead to great discoveries. I am already looking forward to running more in this new paths in Spring and Summer. I was completely alone, with only the chirping of birds that can be heard. The path was muddy and the earth smell like mud.When all the leaves of the trees are gone, you can see more of the area.Some areas that I never imagined that existed is now in full views like the hidden bridges, small pathways to the woods, and the treehouses.

The bird nests on top of the trees made me smile. I was reminded of the day where we took a walk in the misty and foggy afternoon just to feed the ducks.We brought stale breads with us and just enjoyed the crazy and chaotic sound of glutton ducks and birds all fighting to have the bread we threw into the lake.For us, that was simple pleasure.

I always watch the migratory birds in our area during winter. There can be quite of them and it´s really refreshing to see them once in a while. Looking at the swarm of birds flocking on top of stones in the middle of the Danube river gives me chuckle. Are they isolated too?!

I was in awe particularly when I spotted these birds, all hanging out together in a cold Sunday morning.They flew in batches above my head and the sound they made is outstanding. Who would have imagined that simple bird watching can be therapeautic, beautiful and yes, reassuring.

Reasurring me that there are still lots of beauty outside even if at one glance it´s ugly.I quickly snapped few photos before my fingers turned completely frozen.

Fallen leaves, but not actually forgotten.

Officially, winter had just begun here in Germany. Today , the 27th of December was actually memorable to us here. Happened today is the first local resident from Ingolstadt received the Corona Vaccine, a radical start of vaccination, a sign of hope from our struggle to stop Corona from continuously spreading.

It is not grand but the beauty of Frost is quite fascinating.

I guess I also found a new Miracle marvel, a walk into nature and inhaling fresh air is definitely invigorating.My Sunday is blessed and I hope yours too!

Walking on a Frozen lake

My Neighborhood covered in Snow

My Old Town In Winter

Unforgettable Winter Sightseeing

No Ordinary Year

Until then, Bis bald, schönen Abend.

tschüss.

One of a kind: Nürnberger Christkindlesmarkt

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Falling in love with the Glühwein tradition in German Christmas Markets

One of my wishes came true this year and that is to visit the world-famous Nürnberg Christkindlesmarkt, or probably the best Christmas market in the world, as far as Christmas markets are concerned. It’s one of the oldest, grandest and also the biggest ! Yes, I am saying it’s of world-class— and simply one of a kind, unforgettable and extraordinary Christmas market-fair-trade-fest rolled into one!

I cannot use too many more adjective for it but it is really worth a visit.From an Asian like me, I love everything about Christmas Markets! As an Expat, its one of the culture that I have fully integrated and loved. Despite the cold weather, everyone should try to experience this if they have a chance. I say this because I am totally thrilled and pleased with the experience of seeing everything that I’ve read in internet in full life and colors. Just like Oktoberfest—another magnet here in Bavaria, Nuremberg set a world record of number of visitors during Adventzeit. The crowd is simply overwhelming!

It’s a shame not to write about it since it’s really on my Bucket List–something that I never expected to be. I can’t get enough of the nostalgia from the Bitter-Sweet  Marriage Carousel so we end up exploring the Christmas Market and we were really blown away!

 

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Once in a lifetime experience in Germany’s Christmas Market

Maybe its a mistake when we decided to visit Nuremberg on the second week of Advent because it was packed, crowded, beautiful,charming and definitely exhausting! The crowd was something that I never expected to be. Despite of the grey , cold, windy, storm-ish winter weather, people, old and young, on different ages flocked to the streets of the central Hauptmarkt  square to witness the grand and only one Nürnberger Christkindlmarkt!

We arrived at around 11:30 am but we were lucky to find a table for lunch only around 2pm! Everything was packed, but the atmosphere is really something different. People are smiling, the vendors in the stalls are courteous and everyone is just in jolly mood.

 

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Not a Winter Wonderland, but still beautiful

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Creating memories in Nuremberg

We visited Nüremberg before  but the atmosphere in Winter is something different. The surrounding is filled with Christmas decors- in fact, what’s make it unique it its very traditional decors made of copper, wood and one-of a kind materials! Bright lights and the colors of Christmas is seen everywhere. Every shop compete with its own unique charming decors. The smell?— Oh your senses will be filled with the aroma of cinnamon, pastries, fruit cakes, Bratwurts, Nuremberg sausages and Glühwein. The taste of Nurnberger Christkindlesmarkt!

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Aniseed, cinnamon, Lebkuchen and more Lebkuchen!

As a child, I can’t recall a Christmas market experience. I remember, we attended the midnight mass during Advent and there are few stalls of vendors selling traditional “Puto bungbong and Bibingka” ( sticky rice cakes) outside the church and nearby is a Carnival where we play and had fun rides. But nothing like the Kinder Weihnachtsmarkt in Nüremberg. For little ones, the rides, the grand carousel and the overwhelming threats for children is so tempting. From chocolate covered fruits to kinder punches and tasty threats that are beautifully displayed in every stall.

The first time I’ve ever tasted Lebkuchen from Nürnberg is when my husband brought some when he had a trip in Germany while we are still living in Kuwait. The taste of Spekulatius, cinnamon and Lebkuchen is unforgettable. I have tasted different Lebkuchen and Ginger breads here in Germany but I must say that I would always come back to Lebkuchen Schmidt.Highly recommended and worthy to bring as a gift to your love ones. Only be wary of the long lines especially during peak seasons! It’s not only their Lebkuchen but their cakes and Pastries are mouth-watering too!

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I’ve visited Nuremberg in Summer and my neck was cramped looking at beautiful old architecture, and the old city has always something to offers. The streets of Nuremberg during Christmas season are endless, chaotic,but really unforgettable. There’s always something to explore, to see and even if your feet already aches from walking, then just take a break and melt into the crowd.

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Christmas decors, balls and other Traditional Christmas ornaments made from different materials.

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Crowds in Nuremberg Christmas market

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Frohe Weihnachten

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Time to rekindle your childhood in the Kinder Weihnachtmarkt.The fairground is beautifully decorated with Nativity stalls, snowmen, sleighs and a winter wonderland for children. It offers lots of food stalls as well as toys stalls so it’s a perfect timing for gift buying too. I went to this Kinder Weihnachtsmarkt when the Christkindlesmarkt is too crowded for my daughter and I am even afraid to get lost!

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Happy writing— Giant pencils as a gift for the Little ones.

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Mistletoe!

Or kiss your Honey while taking a quick stop on this Mistletoe bundle!

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The world is your Oyster when it comes to food while you are in the Market. You find every type of food depends on your taste. The only downside is if you get a place to sit! On our visit we tried dome Balkan food and despite that its quite expensive, we were not disappointed with the taste.

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Tropical dried Fruits ! Yumm…

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Take the Carousel ride rain or shine!

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One happy little visitor!

There are thousands of Christmas Markets all over Germany and you can never have enough or shortage of it. Even our local Ingolstädter Christkindlemarkt can never be ignored but then if you have the chance to visit a Christmas Market, then go to something that worth the travel–and that is the Nürnberger Christkindlmarkt! I’ve just read that it’s almost 400 years old since the earliest writing about it was since 1628!

Nürnberg left me an impression and continue to do so… I wish it does the same to you. Maybe on my next visit, I’ll discover something else. From the mystical Kaiserburg Old Castle up to the overwhelming Tiergarten, I’ll leave you with endless options. My writing is not enough , you should be able to experience it with your own eyes.If there’s a market that I would like to bring my family in Philippines to see–then it is here.

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

What do you think of German Christmas Markets?

Here in Germany we have 2nd day of Christmas so here’s wishing you all Happy 2nd Day of Christmas and a Happy New Year! Until next time.

Tschüss!

 

 

Anticipating in Silence

“Some Days are made of Silent Anticipation “

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A lighted candle always brings anticipation and I love how it creates a “Silent moment”in any child.

Waiting for Christmas has always been exciting for both young and old ones, but here in Bavaria, it’s as big as Oktoberfest I must say. Though people look forward more to a warm mug of Glühwein instead of beer and Zimtstern  (Cinnamon Star cookies) than Pretzels. I, myself is looking forward to see all these new things in my eyes.There’s something about experiencing things for the first time–everything seems special. I can still remember my daughter’s excitement when she saw her boot was filled with goodies during St. Nicholas Day ( Nikolaustag) . All around the city and on each home, everywhere is decorated and the atmosphere of Christmas is so heavy here in Bavaria. I know that in other regions, the traditions vary and things are celebrated differently, but with same looking forward for Christmas Day.

Children have this big anticipation in their eyes, a longing for something exciting! There’s the glow in their eyes when they know that they are counting the days for the big day comes starting with the Adventkalendars. It is practically a calendar with treats or chocolates in every date with small doors.On the 1st of December children get to open the first little door, behind which they find a chocolate or some other little treat. On the 2nd of December they get to open the 2nd door, and so on and so forth up to 24 December. Now, which kid will complain? Even the adults loved this one. Enjoying every piece of chocolate in silence.

Christmas in Germany is one of the happiest and most celebrated holidays of all times here,but Christmas here comes in a long, sweet, waiting game. As early as November, the city center was transformed into a winter wonderland and place for the Christkindlmarkt. Another custom that I have observed here is their Adventkranz  or the Advent wreath. This is a truly one German cozy tradition,though the concept of Advent wreath originated from German Lutherans in the 16th century, but spread out to other denominations. German families celebrates the 4-Sundays of Advent before Christmas  with an Advent wreath  shaped into a round, flat wound of fir pine It is adorned with cinnamon sticks,orange peels and with 4 red candles.

From Hamburg, the Advent wreath started its triumphal procession out to the Christian world: In 1925 an Advent wreath with four candles was set up in a catholic church in Cologne for the first time. Since 1930 as well in Munich.

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Advent, Advent, a Little Candle is burning.

On every Sunday during Advent another candle is lit until in the end all four are burning. “Advent, Advent, ein Lichtlein brennt,” goes one children’s rhyme. “Erst eins, dann zwei, dann drei, dann vier, dann steht das Christkind vor der Tür.” “Advent, Advent, a little candle’s burning. First one, then two, then three, then four. Then the Christ Child’s at the door.”

Children watching the candle in silence, but with eager anticipation. Looking admiringly on the packed gifts under the Christmas Tree and watching the lights flood the living room while listening to Christmas carols. One of the things that I love doing here nowadays is watching the locals decorate their houses in a very unique way, totally different from the culture that I grew up with.When I am out,I love watching people in silence as they all go around with their busy hustle and bustle during Christmas season. Busy shopping, gift wrapping, and some are just celebrating life everyday in the coziness of the German Christmas markets. With a warm mug of Glühwein and with tasty treats, or a bucket of roasted almonds or chestnuts. Some towns are famed for their Christmas markets, for example Dresden’s Striezelmarkt (named after a type of cake – now known as Stollen – traditionally sold there) and Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt (“Christ Child Market”).

Anticipation doesn’t need to be loud or grand, because  some days in Christmas season are made with silent anticipation.

 

In response to this week’s Photo Challenge :Anticipation