A Christmas market road trip planned a week ago with me, Teko, and our friend, Pieterjan, owing to the unpredictable weather, was a rollercoaster of should we or shouldn’t we. Different weather apps were near unanimous in predicting rainy, definitely drizzling, weather and it was becoming questionable that we’d go at all. Almost to the last minute we decided to go ahead with it and after a pit stop in Rotterdam to meet up with Teko’s friend, change cars, and 4 hours of driving later, we arrived to a lovely, precipitation-filled, and jam-packed Monschau.
Interestingly the market stalls in Monschau barely had any merchandise apart from mainly food – though I was able to finally get an ugly Christmas sweater for my work party from one of the regular shops – and so my search for a wreath, nutcrackers, and even more wool socks was a letdown. If getting into Monschau this time was more challenging than usual with available parking almost nonexistent, leaving as well proved interesting as we found a parking ticket left as a souvenir for us on the windshield. It wasn’t only the rain that put a dampener on that part of the trip.
In any case, the sky cleared up considerably when we were there so much so that a last minute decision to stop by Aachen on the way back was unanimous, and another chance for me to check off my shopping list. What greeted us was another standout Christmas market but with possibly even larger crowds. There was one point when we were literally packed like sardines and could barely move in any direction, it definitely wasn’t for the claustrophobic at heart. Like in Monschau I didn’t see Kathe Wohlfahrt anywhere – rather surprising – but I did go home with a wreath that will hopefully fill our home with spirit for a couple of weeks.
It was a little absurd how crowded the Christmas markets were in Monschau and in Aachen in Germany, this despite the constant drizzling throughout the afternoon, but seeing them once again was a welcome idea, and there really is no better time to do it than this time of the year.
Well, maybe earlier in the day would be better.