The snow may not be here yet, but the Christmas season has officially begun with the first of the four weeks of Advent. That means chocolate-filled calendars and advent candles on sunday, christmas markets and gluhwein. Around here it also seems to mean fog thick as pea soup – which I guess kind of fills in some of the “white” missing with our lack of snow. Feeling festive, we filled the whole weekend with christmas-y activities.
There was skating in the outdoor rink of Unteraegeri. The kids are just starting to skate and I can confirm there is no genetic predisposition for ice skating skill by virtue of being Canadian. Or if there is, it is would be through their dad and they got my gene for it instead. Sorry kids. Their dad, on the other hand, looks hot as ever on a pair of skates thanks to the typical canadian boyhood spent playing hockey. Ooh la la.
After skating we headed back to our little town and its very own Weihnachtsmarkt. It was dark, cold and foggy, but the town square was glowing with light and the locals were out getting sloshed and merry on gluhwein. I once again had a moment of “this is why I moved here” – the whole place exuded a cozy glow and it was heart warming to be recognized and greeted warmly – newcomers and foreign as we are. Oh, and then there an alpenhorn playing, and raclette and wurst, which never taste so good as at a christmas market… JOY!!
On Sunday after brunch on Gottschalkenberg we headed to the Einsiedeln christmas market. This one is renown in Switzerland for being both large and lovely. I found it simply crowded. The swiss ladies had their heads down and elbows out and I was getting a fair share of jostling and abuse until we made our way up to the the massive monastery (founded in 1130) that the town is famous for. There the crowds dispersed a bit and I could sip a shared lukewarm gluhwein and soak up the atmosphere of lights, wooded hills and sprawling buildings ranging from baroque to medieval. This place definitely warrants a visit in its own right and I will be back there when the crowds are gone, I think…
I can’t wait for what the rest of December will bring. Mostly, I hope it brings snow because I am eagerly awaiting gathering material for some winter scene painting!
Well, that is all for now folks. I need to stop neglecting my children and get on with the evening routine. However, I am happy to say that there should be a new painting on here in the next day or two, and maybe a few pics of Basel decked out for its Christmas market after next weekend! Hope you are keeping toasty and warm…