I am very lucky to have another friend voluteering to write two more christmas market reports for me. This is the first one from Ulrike, a friend from back then in school and, you might notice that, she is currently doing her PhD in English linguistics. Stay tuned for her report on Freiburg’s Christmas market. But first we start we Mainz.
Mainz Christmas market in one word: jam-packed!
Apparently any reason to flock the streets is welcome here: carnival, farmers’ market, Christmas market, you name it. Despite having to share the experience with any teen, twen and their granny, the Christmas market is actually very nice – sorry, am ever the Christmas market sceptic, but we’ll get to that. The city really made an effort: The market stretches across three squares across the centre of town, from Höfchen to Rheinstraße, all the way along the cathedral. There’s lots of decoration, over-sized Christmas pyramids, gigantic angels and an entire life-sized manger. Alleys are wide – though nowhere near enough to hold Friday evening crowds – the usual bric-a-brac on sale isn’t too bad (no immediate eye-cancer scares) and (come on, who goes to a Christmas market for anything else): The mulled wine is good!!
This being a wine-growing region, rumour has it there are even stalls where what you get is actually heated vineyard-quality wine which you then sweeten yourself: non-sweet = non-bad + non-headache, so always appreciated here. We never made it there, though, but anything I had was a fair deal above average bottled, super-market quality mulled red sugar water.
Somewhere hidden right in the middle of the market (yeah, that’s an oxymoron right there) is this nice largish square (and my orientation’s reputation’s not getting any better here – no idea how I missed that the first time round) with wooden flooring, surrounded by massive kegs you can rent for the evening so that you basically have your own room. Try early, you won’t be the only one who wants to combine drinking and keeping their feet dry. Though for anyone who could not get their bid in for a roof (keg!) over their head, there’s a huge fire in the middle.
So unless you (me) go with a massive back-pack (nuts) filled with an office-load full of technical equipment (nerd) and have to spend the evening dodging people running into your pack or (probably imaginarily) trying to steal your kit, Mainz Christmas market is actually a good place to spend a snowy December evening.