Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Ascheberg and Munster

This morning the parents of our hosts arrived as they plan to stay with the children today while their daughter and we go into downtown Munster.  They live in Northern Germany and had invited us to visit them in their hometown, but that will be for another time. 

It was around noon when we left for Munster, Germany.  Munster had the best Christmas Markets yet! Actually, what was so nice is that Munster was not as commercialized as some of the other towns we have already visited? There were plenty of traditional foods, sweets and drinks – we are still sampling and searching for the best gluhwein!  They were selling lots of other very nice items which we had not seen before – some very traditional German.  Each of the 4 markets is nicely decorated.  We found several items which need to go the US with us!! 
Munster Christmas Market

Munster Christmas Market

Munster Christmas Market


The downtown section of Munster was decorated beautifully.  The buildings were lit and under each arcade were hanging lit advent wreaths.  After dark (it is dusk by 4:00 and dark by 4:45) the whole downtown looked so festive. The high-end shops located downtown also have beautifully decorated windows. 

Christmas traditions in Germany are very strong.  The 4 weeks of Advent are evident in advent wreaths everywhere, advent calendars, opening of a small gift each day of advent, etc.  This past Sunday was the first Sunday of Advent, so the first Advent candle was burning all day.  Everywhere Advent wreaths are for sale.  We have visited several Dom’s (cathedrals) and the steady flow of people is amazing.  Every Christmas market has at least one scene of the creche’, and some have more.  Some of the Dom’s have creche’ displays from around the world - you can walk by to look at them.       
Downtown Munster Decorated for Christmas

More Gluhwein

Germany is keeping its traditional ways of shopping.  They do not have large chain super stores – Wal-Mart has left Germany – they tried, but did not succeed.  The laws are very strong concerning the hours a shop can be open – no 24 hr shops.  They must close by 9:00 pm.  The Germans want to keep their traditional bakery shop, meat shop, green grocery shop, etc. so by their shopping patterns they are speaking their wishes.
Chocolate Tools - Good to Eat!!

Market Store

Mini Brats!! and??

Tomorrow we say goodbye to these German friends and drive for an hour and a half drive to the home of the exchange student who lived with us during the 93/94 school year.  It has been great to reconnect again.  They hope to come to the US again before their son begins 1st grade.  



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