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  • Cultivating Connections Travel Planners

A Romantic Winter Wonderland

Updated: Oct 18, 2021

Strasbourg, Europe, France, River Cruise, Christmas Markets, travel, destinations, Christmas, vacation, group travel, family travel
A Romantic Winter Wonderland

Who says you have to be home for Christmas when you can have the perfect Christmas getaway for you and your special one? You must not miss out on the delights of the Christmas Market. You can enjoy a romantic winter getaway kissing under the mistletoe in Strasbourg!

This town is home to Europe’s oldest Christmas Market, which has existed since as far back as 1570 and since the time of Shakespeare, Moliere, and Louis XIV. Though eleven other markets have arrived at the expansive Strasbourg holiday scene, the original still remains the main occasion. It is centrally located near the Strasbourg Cathedral; the marketplace is decorated with thousands of whimsical Christmas lights and fanciful decorations. If you are a foodie or a lover of wine, you can visit the Place d’Austerlitz for connoisseur delights. In Place Kléber, the tradition of donating to charity and the less fortunate is practiced to date. Gifts are left under the tree and visitors are called to speak with on-site charities to learn more of their works. Throughout the streets, you will be enamored by the beautiful melodies and holiday songs sung by orchestras, choir groups, and gospel singers.

The tantalizing aromas of pretzels, roasted chestnuts, and vin chaud (hot mulled wine) will incite the festive spirit in you as you stroll through 300 or more cottages of seasonal goodies. You can watch a colorful light show as it shimmers on the 100 foot Christmas tree towed in from the nearby Vosges Mountains and made the centerpiece for the market. There are also nativity plays and an ice skating rink which are all parts of the festivities, as well as the stuffed white storks you’ll find in almost every booth. Storks are symbolic; a city mascot and an Alsatian symbol for good luck.

Of course, it won’t be France without the food. Therefore gingerbread, dried fruit, citrus fruits, goose, foie gras, bièrre de Noël that is, Christmas beer, and biscuits are always available.

Also, the history of the first Christmas Market in Europe is always celebrated. Aside from being the oldest, it is said that the tradition of decorating Christmas trees with glass ornaments started at the Chriskindelsmarik. In 1539, the world’s first documented Christmas tree was used inside the stunning Strasbourg Cathedral, and it signifies the tree of life in the story of Adam and Eve from the bible. Apples and wafers were also attached which signifies the forbidden fruit and the Eucharist. Parishioners also started placing fir trees in their homes, initially hanging them from the ceiling starting from the 1500s. However, after a drought hit the Alsace region in 1858, it was replaced by a new tradition of glass ornaments.

France, they say, is the place of romance. You and your loved one can go to a romantic winter wonderland in France without the hassles of planning. Contact me for your perfect romantic getaway with clean, comfortable accommodations, unique, and memorable culinary options. You will surely enjoy authentic experiences you can’t forget in a hurry.


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