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Strasbourg, Capitale de Nöel

O Nöel!

Our experience in Strasbourg was intensely colored Christmas.

Signs all over announced that this is the Capital of Christmas. Strasbourg surely does give practically everywhere else a run for their money as far as the Christmas market density. In the Old Town area you need only walk 2-3 minutes in any direction to spot the next Christmas market.

Place Kébler panorama

Old Town is is surrounded by a waterway and with the state of emergency, only a few of the bridges were open for crossing and had security checking bags. Thankfully no incidents that we knew of. Police and military in groups of 3-4 strolled the streets. They don’t mess around.

Left: Military patrol. Right: Police patrol (dark figures in center).

They don’t mess around with decorations either. Buildings are done up to the NINES. Talk about deck the halls.

These lights danced over the buildings while changing colors!
Balconies, storefronts, and streets were all sorts of decked out.

At times it sorta felt like we were in a Disneyland for Alsace Christmas.

While we walked through this part of town, street performers were playing a jazzy version of Deck the Halls and other Christmas classics.

Food stands were abundant, however options are pretty similar across all of them.

Waffles, pretzels (the ones we’re used to AND these doughnut ones) with or without chocolate, roasted nuts, crepes, and beignets were everywhere.
LOTS of baguettes! And cheese!
Lucky us to break bread with old friends who joined us for the day!

We tried tarte flambée—which is like a toasty flatbread with cheese, cheese, onions, and lardons. The first one was a bit more traditional with a super flat bread, and the second we tried was on a baguette. I think the original was better because the ratios of cheese, lardon, and bread were more even with each bite. The toppings on the baguette ended up sliding around so much it’d be one bite bread and one bite cheese.

Left: Traditional tarte flambeê. Right: Tarte flambeé on a baguette; we had the one in the middle.

Roasting chestnuts are also everywhere! Usually in small stands—many shaped like trains—and freshly roasted. We also encountered other chestnut products like marron glacés (candied chestnuts) and jams/jellies. I quite liked the candied chestnut, despite the overwhelming sweetness. Something about the chestnuttiness made it pretty good, and the candied texture beats the texture of just a roast.The stands sell knick-knacks and gifts, like all the other Christmas markets we’ve seen. But these had a French flair, of course.

It’s a lot of Christmas with all the festivals, mulled wine, and decor, but why not? Tis the season I say!


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