Christmas Markets

Just back from a great couple of days staying with our daughter in Belgium, where we went to visit mainly her, of course, but also the Christmas Markets.

She took us to the Christmas Market in Brussels on Tuesday, which was quite an experience as neither Ian nor I have been to one of these events before. Masses of stalls selling a huge variety of products loosely – or otherwise – related to Christmas, gluhwein (hot mulled wine to us Brits) flowing freely,

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hot roasted chestnuts, pancakes, and all sorts of goodies including Welsh cheese! I fancied my chances on the ice rink, but was dissuaded as we had no insurance. I learned later that the E111 (which we did have) would have been quite sufficient for any broken bones. Naturally we also found time to visit a chocolate factory, and that evening Becki took me to a chocolate cafe, which produced all varieties of chocolate drinks to die for. Well, you have to if you’re in Belgium, don’t you?

The Christmas Market opened in Leuven (where Becki lives) the following evening. Throbbing with people, especially young people, and vibrant with energy and colour. Smaller than the Brussels market, but much larger than I expected. I loved Father Christmas’s rooms – a number of log cabins, each one set out as a different room in Santa’s house, kitchen, bathroom, lounge, bedroom, and of course, the workshop.

Leuven, which is a small city similar to Norwich in character, goes to town with its Christmas lights. Mostly small, white fairy lights and immensely effective, adorning the trees and streets. There are two wonderful, large deer in lights just outside the railway station, and further along in the city square outside the cathedral is a large stable, complete with the Holy Family and live sheep.

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All this adds to the party atmosphere, which was enhanced by the entirely unexpected and superb firework display just as we were leaving the market.

It was very cold in Belgium, but equally cold here in the UK when we came back today via Eurostar. We loved it all, and I’m definitely booking again for next year.

3 Responses to “ Christmas Markets”

  1. Guy Incognito Says:

    You look a little blurry, Vicar… would that be due to the cold, the chocolate, or the mulled wine? ;)

    But seriously, it looks like you had a lovely time. Happy Christmas! :)

  2. janice Says:

    Definitely the latter, Prof. Highly recommended.

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