Monday, November 28, 2005

Winter Wonderland

(in a fond tone) Ah, Germany.

Not a phrase many would say perhaps, except Germans obviously, but I am feeling very nostalgic at the moment, and I only left the country 14-odd hours ago.

No wonder Germans go into the whole Christmas thing in a big way. Aside from still being a very Christian country where everyone goes to church on Sunday the atmosphere is highly condusive to winter jollity.

I've just come back from Stuttgart where we were performing in the Jazz Festival. For the most part we stayed in Schordorf which is a picture box Alpine town, and honestly, I think the weather was conspiring to make us spend the entire weekend cooing and having the kind of winter fun that we all erroneously remember from childhood.

Everything was hilly, with little alpine sheds about and tons of soft, fluffy brilliantly white snow. We yodled to the mountains and heard it echo back. We threw snowballs. We sledged down the hills. If we didn't have a sled we rolled. The possiblity of Lederhosen was raised, but we all hit John until he gave up on that idea. We ran about giggling like kiddies, then stomped inside to drink beer in scarily large tankards like MEN.

Stuttgart itself has the largest Christmas Market in south Germany and is generally considered to have the best one in the whole of the country. It's full of pretty wooden huts and stalls, all selling surprisingly non-tacky Christmassy things. There were ice-rinks, bakeries selling stollen and gingerbread, yummy good quality chocolate, hundreds of places to get highly potent Gluhwein with Schnapps, traditional little lantern things, wooden carved nativity scenes and angels and, er, woollen socks. Woollen socks seemed to feature in a big way.

It was manic, but everyone was smiley and happy and really friendly. Now, I've been to Germany a couple of times before and I know that the Germans, much like the English, can be a miserable bunch of sods sometimes, but there was winter magic in the air and everyone was made sparkly and nice through it. It was bit like wandering through Narnia - 'specially with the whole Christian thing going on.

Next year I'm going get out the mittens, kit out in heavy duty woollen socks, put my rucksack on my front and head over to Germany for a proper Xmas-tide.

Frohe Weinachten!


Blogger I'm Over The Moon said...

I am very very very jealous! Very like wondering through Narnia too- pagan symbolism, christian message! I really like those bits where religions have things in common, celebrating things with a similar feeling to them, Yule being the winter equinox, the rebirth of light, the beginning of the end of the dark days... And eating and drinking a lot, obviously!
By the way, Shoe-Ra, are you going to an event at BCS on the 14th? If so. I'm the girl hiding behind the xmas tree!

9:29 AM  

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