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Sparkling Stuttgart

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It’s impossible to photograph the elaborate decorations on top of each of the 250+ booths at the Stuttgart Xmas Markets. Photos don’t do any of it justice.  The crowds and the lighting just can’t be mastered with the iPhone camera I am using for this trip (decided not to haul the Nikon around the markets).

The booths of the Stuttgart Christmas Markets meander through the central part of this contemporary city, through an exclusive shopping district and around a few historical buildings that survived WWII.  Along the way there is a large model train display, complete with a child-size train for kids to ride, a very busy ice rink, and of course, the requisite dozens of food and drink options.

I hesitate to even call these booths, because many are more like small pop-up stores.  These structures are substantial and the fact the operators seriously compete for best decor honors is obvious.  The lush greenery is all real and every one of the booths is different and unique. Although vendors sell the usual Xmas decorations, angels, candles and toys, oddly, this market also has items usually found at a home show, or maybe an infomercial (think devices to keep pots from over boiling and special chopping tools).  Knives, spatulas, pots and bathroom cleaners notwithstanding, the lights and decorations produce a magical effect.  Several mammoth Christmas trees add to the ambiance as does an Advent Calendar in the windows of City Hall.

Based on the massive crowds around every Gluhwein stand, I wonder just how much is consumed in Germany during the four market weeks . . .

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A small section of the decorations atop a booth selling wild game food products.