One benefit of basing my research in Spain: there are holidays for EVERYTHING! Last week featured 2 holidays (Constitution Day and Immaculate Conception) for which the Universitat was closed. Like several others in my office, I “bridged” these holidays with the weekend to take a nice, albeit short, trip to Munich and Salzburg.
In retrospect, going north in winter is usually a bad decision. Why leave the sunny-and-70 climate December climate of BCN for the cold and snow of Bavaria? However, I found that this was the PERFECT time to go to partake in the Christmas markets that these cities are so well known for. Munich was an absolute blast – between the Bavarian palaces, churches, outdoor food markets, and – of course – beer, I had a wonderful time. Salzburg’s Christkindlmarkt was, for lack of a better word, ginormous! It sprawled over 4 city plazas, bringing lots of warmth: warmth from the Christmas lights, warmth from the grilled wursts, and warmth from the hot Gluhwein served at every turn. Seeing the cities at Christmastime gave me an interesting impression of how they would be in the summertime months – perhaps I will have to return when it is warm to know for sure!