Christmas Markets 2022–Berlin

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On December 3rd, 2022, we departed for an 11 day trip to sample some of Europe’s Christmas markets.  We were accompanied on this trip by our friend Steve.  Our itinerary was to fly into Berlin, then on to Prague and Budapest.  We returned to LA from Budapest on the 14th.

Gendarmenmarkt Berlin

Our first stop in Berlin was brief since Valerie and I had visited here previously in 2019.  But we wanted to see some of the many beautiful Christmas markets to be found here.  We began with a visit to some of the familiar sights in Berlin, Brandenberg Gate, Victory Column, etc.

Later we managed to get to three of the large Christmas markets located at Potsdamer Platz, Gendarmenmarkt and Alexanderplatz.  All of the usual German delights were available including sausages of all kinds, pork knuckle, pommes and, of course, beer and Gluehwein (German mulled wine).

We’ll cover our other stops in subsequent posts.


Berlin, Germany

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Berlin has an incredible history just within the 20th century.  This makes it an appealing and fascinating destination for people from all over the world.  It’s a history that feels accessible to us since only 90 years ago, Adolph Hitler was making his move in Berlin with the rise of the Nazi Party and the Third Reich.  The subsequent war ended with a crushing invasion of Berlin by 1.5 million Soviet troops and Hitler’s suicide in his bunker here.  Then the city, and all of Germany was divided up by the victorious allies, kicking off the Cold War with the Soviets eventually building a wall that would divide Berlin.  When the wall came down in 1989, Germany was reunified and there was a huge rush of development in the former East Berlin.

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Hamburg, Germany

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The crest for the city of Hamburg prominently features a castle which represents the Hammaburg that was built by order of Charlemagne around the year 808 AD.  Subsequently the castle was attacked and destroyed, by Vikings, then rebuilt no less than 8 times.  Hamburg really got a boost when, in 1189, Frederick I granted it the status of a Free Imperial City and tax free access into the North Sea.  This made the city a major port in Northern Europe.  In more recent times, they have discovered that in fact, Frederick I died before he could sign this actual document but they were successful in convincing others that he had done so.

HafenCity Waterfront Continue reading

Cologne, Germany

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Cologne, Germany’s 4th largest city, is located on the mighty Rhine River, historically one of the great rivers of the continent and among the most important arteries of industrial transport in the world.  As one example, while we were here, we saw 5 or 6 river cruise boats anchored in Cologne.  The city was founded and established in the 1st century AD as a Roman settlement.  When Cologne began building its underground transportation system they discovered extensive Roman ruins.  In the year 310 AD under the emperor Constantine I a bridge was built over the Rhine at Cologne.

Cologne Cathedral

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