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CHRISTMAS MARKETS

Welcome back for another Christmas blog. I want to share about a special time for me when I was privileged to travel out of the United States for the first time in my life. In all truthfulness, that was the only time I have ever traveled beyond the borders of our country.


A few years back I earned the opportunity to go to Berlin, Germany during the holiday season when they have the absolutely stunning and breathtaking Christmas Markets. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. These markets were not something I had ever heard of and I was awestruck. But let me back up a few paces and tell you a little about my trip.


Living in Oregon, it was a bit of a long travel day to arrive in Berlin by way of one airport somewhere in the US that I don't recall and then across the ocean to land in the Paris airport. To say the least, I was not impressed with the one in Paris. And then off to Berlin, a beautiful and very clean city. It is worth the visit if you have the chance.


My hotel was a bit unusual compared to American hotels. It was almost industrial looking, clean to a fault and everyone there was hospitable and welcoming to our group. That made for a very long day and a great sleep.


Now to the best part, the Christmas Markets. Our first walk over to the markets was across from our hotel and it was nighttime. The lights were mesmerizing and the fragrance of freshly prepared German food was enticing. The decision of what to eat was made nearly impossible so we had to sample delights from several market booths.


I picked out a couple of locally made German scarves which were everywhere since as you may know, it gets a little chilly there. They are lovely and I still enjoy wearing them when it's cold enough here. Oh the winter chill in Berlin and the wafting fragrance of a favorite beverage, Gluhwein, a warm mulled wine. Talk about delicious, it warms you up from the inside out. We had to sit and sip and of course people watch.


We walked over to see a stunning church that was over 200 years old lit up with the original lighting and feel the history there. As you know, Berlin was divided and much of it destroyed in WW2. Thankfully many of the historical buildings were preserved. Another two historical locations I was excited to see in person was Checkpoint Charlie and the Berlin Wall. It is difficult to describe the intensity of how it felt to be in a place of that magnitude.


The next day we toured more of Berlin and more Christmas Markets. I love the lights at Christmas and will be sharing more on that later but let me conclude with this thought; the festive lights of Berlin are unforgettable and I will always treasure that time in my life. What a special Christmas memory.

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