It’s been two long years since our last visit to a real German Christmas market – and with the opportunity open again to us this year, a three-hour drive felt like a small price to fulfill one of our few yearly traditions. With Austria back in full lockdown, and numbers elsewhere still in the wrong direction, it was time to seize the moment.
After a long drive where I dozed off mainly to skip Teko’s occasional crazy driving, the 19th century Postwagen was our first stop, the very same place we came in for a nice lunch 11 years ago on my first trip to Aachen, a few steps up from our usual McDonald’s back then when I was a still very much unsure about my place here in Europe.
From the looks of it the place hadn’t changed at all – with Teko’s birthday coincidentally today, not only did we celebrate by having the entire dining area to ourselves, I was glad the meal turned out to be really good, the Sauerbraten and breaded perch very well done, ushering in a great beginning to our return to Christmas past.
For obvious reasons 2019 was the last year when most things weren’t as uncertain, when we all could still cross borders frivolously just to chase that storybook kind of yuletide spirit. With present times a little bit more forgiving, though which I fear may be temporary, the chance to relive a Christmas feeling that’s been missing for a long while was like a gift, and opening it ever so slowly was as salving to the soul as anything else. I’m happy to say the feeling of childlike wonder was still there, along with the thrill and joy of discovery.