Saturday, December 20, 2008

Brussels Christmas Market, American Club Holiday Bazaar, Uccle & Ixelles Christmas Mkts (Dec 1 & end of Nov)

It's very common in the month of December and sometimes even at the end of November to see Christmas Markets spring up throughout the city. They are usually outdoors; though some are under huge covered tents. My neighbor's sister-in-law, Anna, was visiting from Serbia, so the two of us and her nephew (my neighbor's son) decided to head out one evening to the Brussels' Christmas Market downtown (Monday, Dec 1). They had several wooden booths with a variety of things for sale, ranging from Asian tea pots and cups to scarves, gloves and hats (plus a lot of knick knacks, ornaments, jewelry, wooden handicrafts, ect...). They even had a huge ferris wheel and skating rink along with a cute carousel for little kids. There were also plenty of food and drink vendors with the most popular being 'Vin Chaud' booths which is mulled wine (basically hot sweetened red wine with spices). However, we settled for some hot chocolate and Belgian waffles after walking around a bit and enjoying the Christmas atmosphere.

Besides the main Brussels' Christmas Market, I've been to a few others. At the end of November Shannon and I went to the annual Holiday Bazaar in Waterloo put on by the American Women's Club of Brussels which I'm a member of. There were over 150 vendors with an extremely wide selection of items including lots of polish pottery, wine & beer vendors, jewelry, purses (cork purses were interesting), American foods you can't find here, incense wooden smoking figures (very German), toys, handicrafts, clothes, ect...

On Friday, November 28, my neighbor, Klara, Anna, Stephanie and I also went to the Uccle Christmas Market which is one of the many communes within Brussels. Another weekend Shannon and I went to the Ixelles (our commune) Christmas Market which is where we bought my nephew's, Garrett's, Christmas present, a medieval wooden sword and shield. Though, we should have also bought my niece, Emma, a shield or mask to defend herself against her rambunctious brother! I already heard that the sword is put up for awhile! Just remember, Kathy and Clay (their parents), this was Shannon's idea!

(All the photos below are from the Brussels' Christmas Market...I didn't have my camera at the others)

Brussels Christmas Market with cute wooden booths set up all around Place St. Catherine
Notice the skating rink and huge ferris wheel behind me (we didn't go on either, but maybe next year...Shannon and I have actually ice skated one time in Brussels at an indoor rink. I love ice skating!)
It started to drizzle by the end of the night, but here's another look at all the booths
Anna, my neighbor's sister-in-law, and her nephew, Andrija, in front of the carousel

1 comment:

Dallas said...

Great photos. We missed the markets this year, but I'm already looking forward to visiting them next year. We tried to find the skating rink this last weekend, as it was supposed to be open through the 4th, but no luck. I think I was looking in the wrong part of downtown.