I remember one of our first visits to Europe, probably close to 10 years ago. We were on a longer road-trip around Christmas time and to pass the time I asked Markus to try to teach me Stille Nacht. As long as I can remember “Silent Night” has been one of my favourite Christmas carols and I thought it would be a good way to pick up a few more words in German.
I think I managed to get about two lines down, and certainly wouldn’t have remembered them a few days later.
Now our choir is singing it for our Christmas performance. I know the song and understand all the words. I love the music and think the lyrics are beautiful. And it reminded me that last year we went skiing near the town where the lyrics were written in 1816. These are the kinds of lovely memories and connections that have been a gift from our time here. I will never forget them.
Annie brought a friend over after school. The two girls played happily in Annie’s room for over two hours. When they started to get bored…and hungry…Markus suggested we check out the Christmas Markets, as they just opened.
In looking for a parking spot Markus parked farther away from the market than I would have liked, and I was all grumble, grumble, grumble until we walked out of the parkade into the opening festivities of the inner-city skating rink.
This is a relatively small outdoor rink used mostly for public skating for kids. Annie used to go all the time when we lived around the corner at the Delevo. But one of the larger local banks is the rink sponsor, and they sure do put on a great opening show. We only caught about 10 minutes but we saw dancers, figure skaters, fire breathers, a stunningly-dressed violin player, small pyrotechnics and a fantastic aerial artist. The girls were all wide-eyed with wonder. Impressive.
Then we walked through old town, marveling at the Christmas lights. There were zillions of people, a brass band playing from the Goldenes Dachl, and of course the market stalls. Markus and I ordered kiachl with sauerkraut and kiachl with cranberry for the girls (although they ended up eating half of our sauerkraut ones…good Austrian mÃ¤dchens,) We snacked on honey roasted almonds and drank mulled wine. So lovely.
After dinner (is fried bread considered dinner?) we went to the main market where the girls went on the pony ride. On the walk back to the car they ooohed at the stuffed giants lining the streets and tried to guess which fairy tales were hanging up on the walls.
I absolutely love Christmas season in Innsbruck. It is a magical, amazing time, with so many things to do it is hard to keep up. Once we get a little snow up on the mountains, it will be perfect.