I hope everyone is now fully in the swing of the holiday season! And I hope – for those of you who follow Mockingbird on Instagram – that some of the pictures from our Not-a-River-Cruise European Christmas Market Tour helped kindle your own holiday spirit. My fellow intrepid Mockingbird travelers and I had a delightful time traipsing across France and Germany, basking in the glow of countless strands of twinkling lights and soaking up the jolly atmosphere.
Each Christmas market offered beautiful decorations, delicious food and hot drinks, and a stunning array of ornaments, crafts and other gifts. And as if that weren’t enough, the markets were infused with a contagious happiness: everyone (including the dogs) were enjoying themselves. Even the cold air (and one sudden snow squall, which rendered us into mobile snowmen) couldn’t dampen the goodwill-to-all mood.
When the end of the week all too quickly arrived, we agreed it was too difficult to pick a “favorite”, as each city had its own distinctive flavor (figuratively and, in the case of the sausages and mulled wine, literally). From chestnuts being roasted on the sidewalks outside Paris’s dazzling department stores, to charming Colmar, whose higgledy-piggledy rooftops and streets could have come straight out of JK Rowling’s imagination, to the unbelievably medieval Rothenburg (where one can experience possibly the most entertaining city tour ever), we found new delights at every stop along our journey. (Our bulging suitcases were testament to this.)
Although I am – for the time being – fully satiated on bratwursts, I do miss the aroma of hot mulled wine drifting through the air and must remind myself that the lebkuchen (gingerbread) I brought home from Germany are gifts and not meant for my own immediate consumption (okay, well, maybe a little of it is?).
If you wish you could have been bundling along with us through the brisk winter air amidst fragrant Christmas trees and mounds of cookies…next December will be here before you know it! Next year’s European Christmas Market Tour will be December 1-8, 2018. Save the date and reserve your spot before January 31 to receive 50% off your deposit.
And finally, if you’re looking for last-minute gift ideas for this Christmas, don’t forget the gift of travel! Sweaters wear out, but travel memories last forever. Coming next week, our annual “Give like a Mockingbird” philanthropy guide!