Essen In Essen

Essen Travel Blog

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My mulled wine

‘Claassen!’  I heard someone yelling while I was walking around the Christmas markets in Essen and thought it was a little strange.  Again, ‘Claassen!’ I heard in the cold winter air, but this time closer.  It isn’t often I hear my mother’s maiden name being directed at me, least of all because I was in a different country.  However, the reason these strangers were yelling at me was because apparently I reminded them of my mother at my age – something I take as quite the compliment.  Strange to think years ago I would have rebelled against such slander, but now that my mother is in her mid 70’s (hope you don’t mind mam that I’m giving away your age) she still looks very youthful and beautiful.

Yummy waffles with cherries and cream
  It’s good to know that I take after her – so far so good. 

By why was I in Essen?  Being so close to the German border, I felt it only right to take part in a tradition that has been in affect for centuries.  Christmas Markets were a welcome respite during the cold wintery months and I felt like I was in need of some holiday cheer. 

Taking a bus for €18.50 return, I got chauffeured to the Christmas Market, and told to meet back some five and a half hours later.  This meant I had plenty of time to experience this part of Germany and enjoy the traditions that went along with this area. 

My brain was put to good use.  I got to speak four different languages; Dutch, German, Flemish and English, and often both at the same time while I had to translate from one language to another for those around me.

  Quite the impressive feat as I managed to do this all while I was walking around the stalls seeing the sorts of articles and ornaments for sale.  Glühwein (spiced mulled wine), Waffeln, Reibekuchen (potato, onions and eggs fried in oil), and roasted nuts were some of the food that was on offer and that I had to explain to people from various backgrounds. 

The delicious smells wafted through the air as you walked around looking at the beautiful hand made decorations, wool products, glass work, and my favourite … the Christmas figurines and the nutcrackers.

After eating my weight on the street, I decided to treat myself to a nice Christmas lunch in a restaurant.  The fact it was lunchtime helped with my decision, but I think it was more the fact it was -3 and I wanted to get warm again.

Christmas Market stalls

Lunch was an easy decision – schnitzel mit zigeunersaus and half a litre of beer.  Now I used to be known for my large appetite, and I have since regained some of my ability after being fed up by the family, but nothing prepared me for the meal that I was about to endeavour.

Schnitzel with two types of sauce options, a large salad and a plate of roasted potatoes meant by the time I was finished, I was near bursting, feeling more like Augustus Gloop, from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and suffering from meat sweats. 

I spent the afternoon talking with some German ladies who were seated with me at the same table, and hugging my stomach while I waited for the pain to subside. 

But I had to continue on the food exploration – after all I was in Essen.  The place named after the German verb ‘to eat’.  This was an imperative right?

So the rest of the afternoon I gorged myself on more food at the Christmas stalls including sauerkraut, bratwurst and then chocolate.  Yes, I am truly getting myself into the Christmas feel and I can say ‘’Ich liebe essen …. und Essen”

Tchüß from Essen


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My mulled wine
My mulled wine
Yummy waffles with cherries and cr…
Yummy waffles with cherries and c…
Christmas Market stalls
Christmas Market stalls
My half a litre of Weißbier
My half a litre of Weißbier
The salad
The salad
Getting ready to embark on the cha…
Getting ready to embark on the ch…
My schnitzel which ended up giving…
My schnitzel which ended up givin…
Some performers in the Middle Ages…
Some performers in the Middle Age…
Cute store which sold old-fashione…
Cute store which sold old-fashion…
photo by: Vlindeke