At the end of November, I hopped on a train to Manchester the spend weekend with the fabulous members of Team Armenia: leaders with Girlguiding with whom I spent three weeks in Armenia volunteering with the Armenian Girl Scouts. But that’s another story. We get together every so often for a weekend to catch up on each other’s lives, and this particular weekend we planned to do so while exploring the Manchester Christmas markets.
I haven’t visited the Manchester markets before, but I had always heard very positive things. Let me start off by saying that they turned out to be the best Christmas markets I have ever visited! We began exploring around three in afternoon, and soon found that the market sprawls across a large area of the city in little sections. This is ideal as nowhere gets to crowded, it feels like there’s so much to see, and everything is still within easy walking distance.
As the dusk descended it seemed to get more festive. We were lucky with the weather: it was cold but clear and that seemed to bring lots of people out to enjoy the atmosphere. I think Christmas markets feel so much more enticing when they are all a-bustle with lots of revellers. The twinkly lights and the beautiful decorations certainly made everything seem all the more Christmassy, even in November, and I loved sauntering along in the growing dark, camera out, enjoying the illuminated flashes of sparkle and the pretty displays glowing in the night.
Looking back, I do think I should have sampled more of the food on offer. There was a huge range, from the traditional German hotdogs to the gluhwein stands wafting the delectable scent of mulled spices in the air. We passed vendors of waffles, pancakes, crepes, chocolate, marshmallows, macaroons, pizza, cheese… you name it. We did make a pit-stop for hot chocolate which was devine: thick and creamy, I opted for a shot of amaretto in mine to make it extra warming and delicious, and then also forked out for a flake as it seemed appropriate. It was absolutely delicious.
It’s a wonderful feeling, standing amidst happy crowds, hands cupped around a warm mug, Christmas tree towering over head: I felt as though I could simply inhale the festive spirit. It really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
Eventually our feet gave in and we went for a round of drinks before spending the rest of the evening nestled into the warmth of a restaurant booth with good food, even better company and a whole lot of life chat to catch up on. What could be better?
P.S. This post is one of my December series inspired by Shimelle’s scrapbooking class Journal Your Christmas. My aim is to blog every day throughout the month to document all the little moments that make the most wonderful time of the year. Merry Christmas!