Monday, December 04, 2006

Weihnachtsmarkt Part II - Lubeck

I wish I had a night vision camera so I could have captured the people at the Lubeck Christmas Market! It was so crowded. On our way to Lubeck we passed through a toll booth, as it had been awhile since Patrick drove to Lubeck, he asked the toll booth operator if we were headed towards the city center (Zentrum). The man confirmed we were going the right way but warned it was packed and there would be no place to park, Patrick asked for his reccomendation and he told us to go home. Patrick was caught off guard by this response and as we drove away he translated for me then we both began to laugh. We drove almost 2 hours to go to the Market, not to turn around and go home so we proceeded toward the center w/o (ohne) hesitation. As we crossed into the city Zentrum there was a digital sign which listed open parking spots in our direction at 4. There were more if we wanted to park significantly further away. As we passed under the brick archway that seperated the center I noticed a silver Mercedes with its lights on and LEAVING a parking spot, it was going to be a good night! We got out of the car and bundled into our coats and scarves as I wished I brought my earwarmer instead of my umbrella and headed down the street without direction. We walked about 5 feet and Patrick asked a woman about our age in which direction we could find the markt. She was not German but gave great directions. The Lubeck markt is one of the more well known and larger markets in Germany. I hear the largest is in Nurenberg, unfortunately that is in the south, about six hours from here so I will most likely not be able to make it there this season. Anyway, we walked about 3 blocks before we stumbled upon the markt, the photo with the ferris wheel was my first impression and this was only a very small section. The section with the Ferriswheel also (auk) included a few other carnival rides, and some booths selling food and drinks. Next to this section was what appeared to be a large church. Patrick informed me that it used to be a hospital and the history in the building said it was build in the early 1200's. I was under the impression thatt his was an indoor Christmas markt until Patrick told me that was only part of the markt. We hesitated at the 2Euro entrance fee as we were unsure of the contents then we noticed the student rate of 50 cents and went in. We got to the door just as they started letting people which was nice as the line was cold and they were only letting new people in after so many people left. When the building was a functioning hospital it consisted of 85 single rooms and a few twin rooms. The original setup remains intact. The rooms are about 8feet by 8 feet with a celing that is about 7 feet high. I stood by the door in one photo to give an idea of how tiny the doors were. Each of these rooms was transformed into a booth for the night and some were open with benched to sit and eat or drink. People were selling all sorts of crafts from all over the world. I would have to say the most interesting was the woman who was selling jewelry made of the tusks of wooly mammoths (I believe from the netherlands). Unfortunately, she was so popular we were unable to actualy enter her room due to overcrowding. We ate heart shaped waffles made fresh by someone's grandma and covered with powdered sugar and cinnamon...yummy. On the outside we further explored the market, the unique and the typical. We stopped and drank a Lumumba, essentialy hot chocolate with Amaretto Liquor and topped with whipped cream (pictured above in our souviner mugs). It is typical in Germany that when you order coffee or some other hot drink it is served in a real mug instead of a paper cup and you pay a deposit, on these mugs you pay the 1.50 deposit and then most people keep them. You can also buy them for the same price and I realize that if we were smart we would have returned the ones we drank from and bought clean ones haha. I thought we had walked the whole thing when Patrick pointed out a whole nother section. This section was by far the most crowded and thus the least enjoyable and by this time we had been wandering the markt for at least about 3 hours so we got out and said Auf Weidersehen to Lubeck! I'm glad I saw this markt as it put the BS markt to shame. Lubeck is also famous for next blog topic.

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