Travelling in Europe… Christmas Market

Lille (France)

Grand-Place

Eating hot marrons (chestnuts), almost burning your fingers although it’s freezing cold and drinking Gluwein (hot wine) is a must when visiting any Christmas market (MARCHE DE NOEL). It was funny to see 3 Canadian (2 of which from Quebec) huts, one was selling clothes, the other 2 Canadian specialities. Below: “Salut les Cousins, bienvenue au Québec”, translation: “Hello cousins, welcome to Quebec”.

Walking in the streets, below and first picture on the left is the P’tit Quinquin Statue in Square Foch.

Below Bibliothèque Universitaire (University Library). I think the entrance, the door and the statue are amazing.

Town Hall and its Bellfry which is 104m high.

Beautiful Christmas tunnel on rue Faidherbe, I just wished there were more Christmas decorations everywhere in the city and not only on Grand-Place and this street.

Luxembourg city (Luxembourg)

Luxembourg unlike Belgium is not a flat country, and there are a lot of mountains and hills. It is a small country yet it is really beautiful and it’s worth it to visit it even for one day, especially the casemates, the palace… Below is Gelle fra (Golden Lady) and is dedicated to all the soldiers of WWI.

There are 2 Christmas market in Luxembourg, one is near Gelle Fra and the other one is on Place d’Armes. Below you can see the Christmas tree and the Christmas crib.

Luxembourgish food speciality is Gromperekichelcher (fried potato patties) which are eaten with apple sauce. And at most markets you will find churros, these are long deep fried Spanish doughnuts (sooo good!!) which are served with chocolate sauce if you wish. It seems that Canadians are very much loved in European Christmas markets (below selling Canadians winter hats).

Brussels (Belgium)

I love all the Christmas decorations that are everywhere on the streets and in the city, I think Brussels wins for having the most decorated city. The Christmas market downtown is called Plaisiers d’Hiver (Pleasures of Winter). Just like in Lille and in Luxembourg, Brussels also has a Ferris Wheel,

Let’s talk about the Christmas tree at Grand-Place… Huge controversy about this topic in Brussels. This year they decided to remove the traditional tree with an abstract version. Why? well they wanted to make it less “Christian” ( I am putting “” here because what they are saying is antithetic considering the fact that they kept the Christmas crib, which is definitely more Christian than a Christmas tree). You can read about the controversy here: BBC article.

Innovation can go two ways: it can be a huge success or a total failure. For me the abstract construction is mostly a miss; I believe that a true tree is irreplaceable, the smell and the view are just mesmerizing. In this case the pieces of blocks are ugly especially during the day when they are white, it’s too abstract and you have to pay to climb to “tree”. However, during the night there are lots of colours, it changes colours, there is music and it matches perfectly this year’s theme of “light”. Yet the best part for me at Grand-Place was not the Christmas tree, but the light show on the church; there were different images, colours, pictures such as Santa Claus and snowflakes that were projected. You can spend a lot of time watching the show and you don’t get bored.

 Light show on a churchBourse

So this was my holiday adventure, happy holidays everybody, I hope you will have an awesome time with family and friends.

until next time,

sincerely,

Nazanin

 

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