a girl, a guy, a tomato, a bean, and a bear

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Trier Christmas Market

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On Thursday Evie and I (and all necessary baby gear) packed in the car and set out for Trier, about an hour's drive west of us. It was one of the first cities Justin and I visited on our arrival three years ago, and is reputed to be the oldest Roman settlement in Germany. The Christmas markets have been one of my favorite things about living in Germany, but winter isn't necessarily the best time for road trips here. On Thursday I had to chisel huge sheets of ice from the car windshields, even at 2 in the afternoon, around when we left.

Because this should be our last Christmas season here, it was especially important to me that I make it to at least one market (I'm hoping to maybe hit another before the 25th). Partially because of the weather, partially because of the complications that come with a 5 months old, and partially because Justin is not here, I had to really force myself to get excited about making the trip. Knowing I'd regret it if I didn't make the effort--even if it turned out to be a disaster--I did my best to prepare, and we set out.

And it was actually pretty fun. At least all disasters were averted. Somehow with Evie in tow, I can't help but think of all the ways in which we could be stranded, smashed, lost, or otherwise in a pickle setting out on a road trip. Thankfully all went really smoothly and I think Evie really enjoyed her view facing out from the carrier. Many passers-by sent admiring glances her way and smiled and pointed to make sure their companions didn't miss out on catching a glimpse too.

Trier is very close to Luxembourg, and thus there were many French speakers there that day. I heard voices exclaiming excitedly, "Père Noël! Père Noël" and looked around to see none other than Santa Claus approaching us. "Le petite fille...une mademoiselle, oui?" he asked me. I've never gotten used to the European concept of personal space, and having this strange French dude...ahem...Père Noël, approach was slightly disconcerting. I'm always worried I'll be pick pocketed or something too, even by Santa, so I'm sure the look on my face wasn't exactly how he was accustomed to being greeted. In any case, he reached into his bag and fished out something that he kept cupped in his hand. He continued speaking and was saying stuff that went beyond my limited French, but I got the gist that I was to keep it out of sight from Evie, and pocketed it quickly. Then he came for my camera and again I'm thinking, "Oh no! Père Noël is stealing my camera!" He handed it to an approaching teen who agreed to take our picture. This entire exchange basically convinced me that I might want to get out more...even this limited human interaction was a little frightening after my months of isolation with baby and puli.

It began to rain a little and we packed it in. On the way back to the car I stepped into a toy store that, oddly enough, also had home decor items and a variety of knick-knacks. I found a couple of coasters (exciting, I know!) and a magnet. I'll post pictures of those and Evie's gift from Père Noël soon!


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