Taking a page from Koln and Brussels, Maastricht has dispersed its Christmas Markets this year. Under the banner “Magic Maastricht”, the venues have spread out from the Vrijthof to a half-dozen locations, including the “Keerst aan de Maas” location outside my apartment.
Reality Check: I’m tickled by the depiction of Kesselskade, above, with my apartment windows darkened and the vacant apartment below me fully lit.
The Vrijthof site, below left, has more stalls with shops, less food than usual, and a second ice rink next to the SkyWheel. The Markt Square venue, below right, is a tiny area of crafts and food around a central plaza (apparently, there was a plan to put huge ribbons around the town hall in the background to make it look like a wrapped gift).
I think that the best change this year has been in the lighting. There are icicle lights in many of the trees, and the boulevards are lined with twinkling trees (Wyck, left, below). Even the High Bridge over the Maas is draped with icicle lights (distant right, below).
It’s a good time to mention my favorite threesome: The crisp Krakauer sausage, the sweet Gluhwein, and the gut-bomb Oliebollen. My friends roll their eyes but ‘tis the season for me.
Maastricht’s winter carnival continues daily from 11am – 10 pm through January 2.