This time last year, I was heading for Europe and the holidays, both to visit family and friends who are almost like family, and to do a little business. Of course, when your business is pleasure, that’s not too hard, and I had long wanted to sample the European Christmas markets. I wrote about it and here’s the story on line.
But the on-line version lacks the photos that the paper version does, so I thought I’d share some of those, as well. Almost three weeks in French-speaking Switzerland, Strasbourg and Stavanger, Norway, led me to good food and interesting things, not to say a great deal of happiness.For instance, this is an example of a log I found for sale at a small market in Switzerland, meant for, I assume, post-skiing warmups and other outdoor cheer. Pretty remarkable, I'd say.
In Montreux, My pal Martha and I found a stand with langosh, or langos, a sort of Hungarian fry bread - just mouthwatering.
I saw stands for foie gras sandwiches both in Montreux and Strasbourg, and as good as the langosh was, the foie
gras was even better. And how about rainbow reindeer cakes?
The market vendors sell from individual chalets. Here's a night shot. The fire in the back is at a stand with a man who was smoking fish over it.
And here's beautiful Strasbourg, worth a visit any time of the year.
To drink, perhaps some vin chaud? Or hot apple cider with honey and cinnamon?
To go with roasted chestnuts sold out of a mini-train engine?
I'd thought santons, the figures that go around a creche, were only found farther south in Europe. But here are some in Strasbourg. Notice the Pope making an appearance. Naturellement.
A riotously OTT tea room, like stepping into a mad woman's jewel box:
They decorate the streets there, too. The cathedral in Strasbourg dates back a thousand years.
The non-food items for sale - which were the great majority of the wares (although one of the 10 markets in Strasbourg was for local food and wine) - were not quite the made by grandfather by the wood stove sort of thing one might imagine. But the experience was great, and occasionally downright magical.