This post is part of a series on European Christmas markets.
Before Christmas we took a winter vacation to the Alps, zooming down on the high-speed train with a couple of visiting friends from back home. Our base was Garmisch, Germany (home to winter Olympics and Germany’s highest peak, the Zugspitze), but we also made it to surrounding towns to indulge in amazing Bavarian beer, seemingly brewed everywhere by both secularists and monks alike.
We’ve posted photos on our updated gallery page (now arranged by country) of Garmisch and Mittenwald, Germany (a town straight out of Disney), and Innsbruck, Austria, which was by far the highlight of the trip.
We arrived at sunset, our train snaking through a high Alpine pass and then working its way down the steep slopes towards the twinkling lights far, far below. In fact, when we arrived in the city and looked back up towards a light flickering on the mountaintop, we swore that if we hadn’t known better we would have thought it was a star.
Luck was on our side, and we happened upon a festive Christmas market just as a light snow began to fall. Musicians played gorgeous classical music (the kind of Christmas tunes you wish they played in elevators) from a medieval second-story balcony, while we sipped on hot spiced wine (gluhwein) and shook our heads in amazement. I really can’t capture the magic with words, so I’ll let this short video do the work (and the pictures in our gallery, of course!):