December 6th is Saint Nicholas Day. Put your shoes out the night before with treats in them for him. If you've been good, he'll leave you fruit and nuts. If not, it's sticks or coal.
This is the beginning of the outdoor Christmas Markets in Europe. Lighting the incense in my snowman smoker, I’m reminded of the magic of slow falling snow in Munich, and mingling with people bundled in heavy coats, fur hats, and boots to experience tradition and test the universality of a smile.
Amidst scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice we looked over hand-crafted Nativity scenes and ornaments, tasted gingerbread, roasted chestnuts, carmelized almonds in paper cones, marzipan hearts dipped in chocolate, cutout cookies, Pfeffernusse and stollen. Carolers sang from balconies. The Glockenspiel chimed. Hot chocolate and hot Gluewhein were drunk standing up, and we kept the commemorative mug.
The Munich Philharmonic Mozart Concert was wonderful. Not at all tired, we stopped at a corner Bistro. A gentleman offered to order for us,"They need something to calm them up." We were served Chamomile tea with hot milk.
copyright 2005 Red Convertible Travel Series