“After years of dreaming and anticipating this moment it’s finally happening.  I am in Germany about to experience my first Christmas Market.” I can feel butterflies of excitement in my stomach as I hand the gate attendant my ticket, the air is crisp and fresh it’s the perfect weather today in Regensburg.  This is the first market we are experiencing on our river cruise with AmaWaterways called the Magical Christmas Markets sailing along the Danube.

As we round the corner I hear the sound of the organ grinder playing “Walking in a Winter Wonderland”.  At that exact moment I breathe in the beautiful smells of gluhwein, gingerbread, Christmas trees and wood burning fires. Dreams

really do come true.  

Our first stop to purchase a hot steamy mug of the legendary gluhwein in the annual mug for the Thurn & Taxis Market.  This was the beginning of a new collection obsession on this trip! Looking around my eyes didn’t know what to look at first, so much to see and explore.  Mug in hand filled with glorious mulled wine with spices that taste like Christmas.  We stop at the first booth filled with Christmas ornaments the kind I remember as a child traditional glass ornaments of Santa, Christmas trees and such.  

My husband is already wandering off to start exploring the food booths, salmon over an open fire on wooden planks, gingerbread that words can’t describe.  It is nothing at all like gingerbread here at home, gingerbread is art. 

Chocolate, spiced nuts, pretzels and oh so much more to taste. I began to worry about how I would eat my dinner that evening which promised to be a great local meal.  

While we strolled around exploring the booths of handcrafted local products we could stop and sit at one of the fire pits or standing warming tables and sip on our warm gluhwein, how lovely this was. We chatted about how nice this was as we wouldn’t see this happen back home in our country.

Something happened to me while at this particular market I fell in love with Alpacas! Sounds funny I know but while waiting to meet up with our group to head back to our river cruise ship the AmaLyra I waited by a stall where there was a pair of Alpacas. One white and one black, they are amazingly adorable and full of personality. I could almost read it’s mind as we stared at each other I am pretty sure it was telling it’s friend that there was another crazy tourist gawking at them again.

It’s incredible the amount of talent that people have, it was definitely showcased at this market. Hand knitted hats, scarves and mittens done with the finest detail in the most lovely German wool, felt hats with intricate designs, wool insoles for winter boots that I regret not buying. Hand made Christmas ornaments that you will never find back at home which is perfect, I will never forget this market as I hang the purchased ornaments each Christmas in my home.

It felt so good to feel my inner child emerge, she has been tucked away for a long time. I couldn’t contain my smile as I thought to myself this is Christmas Market number one with many to go on this magical journey.  

Karen Gill

Travel Consultant & Owner Plan A Vacation