My first market this year was in Vienna with my friend Jodie, followed by a few trips to the Düsseldorf markets, and finally, with a trip to a neo-Gothic castle near the Dutch border with my friends, The Brydens.
This is one of the best parts about living in Germany. I love looking at the crafts, the people, and I can't stress enough how the lights impact my mental well-being when it gets light at 8:30 in the morning and pitch black dark by about 4:30 in the afternoon. This is true for many places in the winter, the difference between here and where I used to live in Colorado is that, in Düsseldorf, it doesn't get very bright during the day- just mostly gray. In Colorado, it is pretty much necessary to wear sunglasses all year long because the sun is so bright that you really can get a sunburn in the winter. Unless you fall asleep in a tanning booth or pull a Ross and get a spray tan too many times, that is NEVER going to happen in Düsseldorf.
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The snacks are delicious, the glühwein delightful (especially with a shot of either amaretto or Cointreau in it), and there's always good company. As long as everyone is properly bundled up, the crowds aren't too bad, and nobody is smashing into people with a backpack, there are lots of laughs and it is just a joyful time. Trust me on the backpack thing...that was a bad idea.