Germany is famous for its Christmas markets. Unlike my last post, which was in a uniquely remote location, most markets are located in the heart of any city or villiage. Here are some of the highlights from the market in Mainz, capital of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate.

The center of the market in Mainz clusters around it's centuries-old Cathedral

It's possible to sit in an old wine barrel while enjoying your hot beverage (reservations in advance are recommended).

"Glühwein" is often the beverage of choice. This can be translated into mulled wine or hot spiced wine. The wine is heated and mixed with winter spices such as nutmeg and cloves.

More than just for beverages, there is also plenty to eat, as well as a vareity of stands selling goods and wares which would make great Christmas gifts.

Every corner is detailed, from ornaments on the Opera House tree, down to the decorative gingerbread houses adorning the tops of waste bins.

Decked out merry-go-round

There is lots of interesting architecture to look at in the area, from the Gutenberg Museum to the timberframe houses.

Of course there is the traditional wooden tower, spinning with carved figurines, too.

On the way back to the train station, stop in Schillerplatz for a crepe or some roasted chestnuts.

Merry Christmas everyone!