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European Christmas Markets

This Christmas, instead of having Emily fly back home again, we decided to fly out to Prague to visit her and her now bigger bunny, Baby Scout. While this came with a higher cost for airfare than either our summer trip or our Thanksgiving trek last year, it was worth it to finally have the family all together again.

This was Jacob’s first time on the European continent. He was unable to join us on our last trips on account of school and military obligations, so it was going to be an adventure regardless of how our plans would take shape. At first I thought we might take the RegioJet to another city within the Czech Republic, such as Karlovy Vary or Brno, or perhaps even hop the border into Germany. However, when I looked at the costs for such excursions, even Dresden, only a two-hour jaunt from Prague was going to be twice the cost as it was going to Berlin over the summer. This could have been dependent on a number of factors; from rising costs due to inflation (though recent articles have stated that the rate of inflation has slowed, I have not seen this to be the case, at least with the Christmas season) or the increased demand for travel during the holiday season.

Very busy in Old Town on Christmas Eve

I would venture a guess that some of the popularity stems from the Christmas markets that have become a holiday tradition. We visited one on our trip to London three years ago, and while it was fun, it was nothing compared to the holiday bustle of those in Prague. There is something about being in the maze of wooden stalls set in the historic Old Town Square looking for last minute Christmas gifts while sipping on hot cider and sharing an order of churros with warm gingerbread sauce.

We visited two Christmas markets on Christmas Eve, with the intent to check out more following the Christmas holiday. The bigger markets run through January 6, giving us more time to find some traditional souvenirs to bring home to family members.

After a hearty brunch at Venue in Old Town and a stop at the Del Mart for some last-minute groceries in preparation for Christmas meals, we walked through the Old Town Square market. It was very busy in the early afternoon, with visitors walking through the labyrinth of stalls featuring items such as amber jewelry, wood decorations and small toys, embroidered items, and glass ornaments. And of course, there was a variety of snacks that the kids could enjoy. Though breakfast was very filling, we could not resist fresh churros. And it wouldn’t be a proper trip to a Christmas market without cider or mulled wine. So we bought two cups of hot cider: a regular hot cider for the kids, and an alcohol version for the adults, of which Jacob and Emily both are. The regular cider was what one would expect, but the alcohol cider was very strong! I was glad there were four of us to finish the cup.

After looking at some of the stalls, we headed back to Emily’s apartment to drop off our goods. It had been a full morning with shopping and family time. The kids, as well as the adults were ready for some rest. But the adventure was not yet over.

Wenceslas Square

After some rest and dinner at one of the few places we could find open, a Czech restaurant not far from Prague Castle, Michael and I headed back out and walked to Wenceslas Square. The square looked so pretty at night with the sparkling lights. The stalls featured mostly food selections, though there were a few that had giftable items. We did not do too much shopping, opting instead to just enjoy the walk through the square on a cool, but pleasant evening. We did get a mulled wine from one of the shops, which was enjoyed on the walk back through the square.

There is still more to see on this trip to Prague. I look forward to the kids hanging out with each other, and enjoying some nice family time, which has been harder to do with them getting older. But it still a great blessing that they can be together, and I am thankful for the time we have this Christmas. I wish you and yours a blessed holiday season. With love from the Cranky Camper.

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