Oh, the smell of glühwein infused with flammkuchen the twinkle of lights; Christmas trees, the bustling crowds and overall merriment penetrates the senses to make for the perfect outing at the Basel Christmas Markets.  2012-11-22-Christmas_mkts_11

Living in Basel is wonderful year round, but during the month of December the quaint markets that sit so charmingly in Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz make the city come alive with a true Christmas spirit.  Stalls that perfectly transform these squares into tiny, winter villages can make even the biggest scrooge smile with all the joy it brings.  The smells, the lights, the cathedrals, the sounds, and cheer all come together to make the perfect Christmas package.

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We visit the markets each year with our two little believers at our sides, at least a half-dozen times.  Each time we stroll the streets soaking in the Christmas spirit a bit more making us all eagerly anticipate the BIG day all the more.

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But when the markets are taken down (this year they closed on the 23rd), a sense of emptiness follows.  The streets and squares are back to their status quo, but there is a true melancholy that lingers.

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The Christmas market atmosphere is new to us, as we never saw or engaged in their delight when we resided in the US.  There is something to be said for the feeling they bring, and the magic they induce.  Now that we have grown so accustom to the markets, it just might not feel like Christmas without them.  If you are ever in Europe during the holidays, visiting a Christmas market and sampling the food is a must.  The memories are certain to linger for months, if not years to come.

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We hope you have had the chance to visit the markets, or hope that you can next year.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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