We visited the newly created, Christmas Market @ St. Stephen’s Green in the city centre of Dublin. It was nice, but wasn’t the best market I’ve ever been to – not that I’ve been to tons. I had been thinking about the Galway one. A German mother from the school, told me about it and said it’s great and most similar to an authentic one she is used to back home.
After being in nightmare traffic for a while and finally getting into a garage, we were off. (The garage on the way back was horrible too – 40 minutes in a queue zig zagging down the ramps of the garage to get out….. though it could have been worse. [I was once in a 5 hour traffic jam on the highway trying to get home to say goodbye to Nils who was going to Europe. It was due to a major ice storm and everyone in Boston had the idea to leave work at 1 pm … oh and I was pregnant so i couldn’t go.]
The market was great – nice atmosphere, set with the beautiful City Hall in the background (tours are available M-F and you learn a lot of the city’s history, etc) When we arrived it was like 2 pm, so the lights were on but only got prettier as the sky became darker. I don’t have tripod so taking nice light photos is hard for me, plus it was packed so I can’t just focus on the photo as I needed to focus on the kids.
I watched a video on the market and they said that some vendors come in from their country and spend the entire month in Belfast and it was clear that was the case. Some great food vendors including (but not all) an Asian noodles, Moroccan, a couple French, German sausage & beer tents and a huge section of Dutch food …. the poffetje line was very long, so the kids settled for a chocolate sprinkled waffle. I picked up some schenkstroop as I ran out and as Nils always travels without checked luggage, getting some from Holland has been a problem.
There was a carousel which the kids had a ride on – Maebh chose a horse, but Soren opted for the teacup which he was joined by a boy named Nick. They were spinning like crazy & loved it.
Oh and after about 1 hour there, they made a “public service announcement” warning everyone that it has come to their attention at a group of pick-pocketers have arrived in the market, so until security has them, they’ll be implementing a one-way in and out system ….. there were some shady characters around which I wouldn’t be surprised if they were the ones. White males in their late 30’s, early 40’s…. very short hair, they always wearing track suits and sneakers – they totally fit the methadone look which I can point out a mile away!!
Overall it was a great market and we’ll surely make it an annual tradition. The city itself seems great too…. we’ll come check about the Titanic Quarter, W5, Belfast Zoo, Ulster Museum and so much more. It will be a great place to explore all it offers, plus there are some great National Trust properties in NI which I’d like to visit.