I adore Christmas, everything about it oozes all that is best about people. I’m not religious – not really- it doesn’t mean I don’t go all warm and fuzzy at a choir in a church singing carols and the ‘Christmas message’ isn’t lost on me.
It’s the only time of year where people are truly kinder to each other, there is a tangible sense of peace even amougst all the stress. We make a concerted effort to spend time with family and friends. We stand still for a moment and take stock of our lives and promise to be better the next year- while all these things might fall by the wayside by January the 4th, December holds eutopia.
The Christmas markets offer some of these things: people are happy, no one seems frustrated about being stuck behind a slower-moving individual, happy to go with the flow – we smile, we laugh and we amble. We admire the skill of a craft, we find the time to stop and chat and actually make eye contact with the vendor, we eat street foods and drink hot alcoholic beverages, we buy odd little curios that offer nothing more than a memory come January: this is what I love about them, I feel all the excitement of a child seeing the twinkle of Christmas lights and the rest just sweeps me along.
Bath Christmas Market.
Bath Christmas Market is not all in one spot as i’d expected but dotted around the city in clusters that you stumble across as you make your way around. The stalls appeared to be grouped (in the most part) according to what they were selling, in some ways this made it easier to navigate to the stalls that held your interest as the streets were very busy and I didn’t want to elbow my way to a stand that didn’t hold any interest for me.
The Christmas spirit here was injected by the angelic voices of a children’s choir that stole my heart and the fiddler beneath the watchful eyes of the statues on the minster that made me smile.
This is a very popular market, there was a queue at least twenty deep for practically everything and any hopes at enjoying the other tourist attractions the city had to offer disappeared with a glance at those waiting( a reason to return).
The streets held a victorian feel, I love the Dickensian look of a lot of the shops with their multi-paned windows, you can just imagine the ladies in their long full skirts going about their day sweeping the streets with their hems. I’m sure it’s not a time I would have wanted to live in, but I’m drawn in by the romance. (squint and you can’t see the modern signs). The shops, not wanting to miss out on the influx of trade also enticed you with Christmas widow displays and sales. We had as much fun perusing the wares in the shops as we did the Market itself and they were warmer!
The Ivy getting into the swing
when shuffling along became tiresome we retreated to a quirky looking coffee shop near the food stalls that tantalized you with all the smells.
There was a mix of multicultural cuisines
Our history again fascinates me, I spend so much of my time in our older cities, staring up and wondering ‘who walked the streets before me? who will walk them after I am gone?’
The minster is intricate and ornate on the outside, the queue was too long to discover what the inside had to offer so I contented myself with circulating it instead. I bet Christmas mass in a place of such grandeur is a moving experience.
the date on the inscription caught my attention, where will the city by in another two hundred and sixty years.
With tired feet, we left others to enjoy the festive streets and we left armed only with a new hat each.