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Monday, November 28, 2011

SPOTLIGHT - Advent in Strasbourg

We decided to go to Strasbourg, France (just a little over 2 hours away from our home) for the weekend and were stunned by the masses of decorations and people there for their annual Adventsmarkt. Most cities in Germany (well, in this case, just across the border from Germany) have a Christmas Market starting the first weekend in Advent. These involve lots of wonderful smells (like hot Glühwein, a spiced red wine, and freshly-made waffles, roasted chestnuts and sugar-coated roasted almonds - are you drooling yet? I am!), lots of quaint booths with Christmas-y or hand-crafted items for sale and throngs of people.

Here in Strasbourg the streets and buildings were all decorated as well, each street having its own individual lighting design and storefronts with entire scenes.

I found this scene particularly amusing: above the butcher's shop (appropriately named Porcus) are sledding ceramic pigs and prize-winning wild pigs...

Here are lots of polar bears and some penguins interspersed with the greenery:

The light display of the big department store Galeries Lafayette:

And, of course, no visit to Strasbourg is quite complete without Flammkuchen, a very-thin crust baked with crème frâiche, onions and cheese. We ate these three specialties: one with bacon, one with tomatoes and the last very-sinful one with chunks of blue cheese, Comté and cheddar. Yum! There's also a glass of the slightly spiced Christmas beer to complete it!