Willkommen to Frankfurt,Germany

It was 7’oclock in the evening and I was walking along a crowded sidewalk in Frankfurt, Germany with my mother and 13-year-old brother. It was a week before Christmas and this big city was hustling and bustling, full of excitement. We were heading to the German Christmas Market held in every city in Germany. It was a long walk, about 45 minutes, but we did not want to miss any of the sights, which were truly priceless.
Just by looking around I could tell that I wasn’t in Jersey anymore. Being an avid fashionista, I immediately noticed what seemed to be a 24/7 runway show. In America, it is fully acceptable to walk around in a giant sweatshirt and oversized comfortable sweatpants, but here you wouldn’t be caught dead in them. It wasn’t just the girls dressed in trendy jeans and couture coats, either. Guys dressed in fitted pants and tailored jackets were right there with them.
As I turned the street corner, I could see the bright string of lights lining the roof of the small shacks of the Christmas Market and the enticing smell of Gluwein, a warm, mildly alcoholic wine, and sausages lingered in the air and teased my nose and taste buds. Along the narrow cobblestone street, performers and artists attracted locals and tourists alike with wild magic tricks and colorful portraits.
When I finally snapped out of my hypnotic wonderland, I found myself transported into an entirely different one. I was standing in front of my destination, the German Christmas Market, or as it was written in giant letters in front of the entrance, Christkindlmarkt. Rows of log cabin-like shacks were lined up each selling there own piece of Germany. I stepped through the entrance and absorbed the culture. The temperature outside was a bit below zero, and a light snow flurry had begun, but it wasn’t enough to keep me cold. The warm delectable air coming from the food shacks had already warmed me up. Each vendor treated me with kindness despite the fact that I spoke no German.
There was a bridge right next to the Market that over looked a beautiful part of Frankfurt. So before I left, I bought an intricate, small, bowl like candleholder that was made out of colorful stained glass, and when the candle inside was lit, a vivid image of a small German cottage covered in a blanket of snow appears, and in the sky above the house were stars replaced with tiny holes so that when placed in a dark room, “stars” would appear on the walls. I fell in love with it and couldn’t wait to use it, but of course I couldn’t leave without trying some of the German delicacies! I ended up buying hot orange juice with honey, a long sausage inside a long bread roll, and two lebkuchens, cakes resembling a soft gingerbread, for my mother and brother.
When I got to the bridge, I climbed up the stone stairs and walked to the center of it, since this bridge was meant only for pedestrians. I looked out to the river and could not believe my eyes. The sky had cleared up and revealed its starry display over the absolutely still water. The view was a perfect example of the city’s historic past and its will for the future. There were tall futuristic buildings in the background with lights illuminating them. But in the front were beautiful buildings that were no doubt many hundreds of years old. As I took a deep breath and took a sip of my warm juice, I thought to myself, “Willkommen to Germany.”





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