When my husband first floated the idea of moving to Switzerland, I thought first of missing our friends and family, and second — visions of
sugar plum fairies European Christmas markets began to dance in my head. I just love the festive vibe, hot wine (vin chaud in French or glühwein in German – miss you!), steamy snacks, and crisp air.
As I started to browse the “best of the best” markets – Colmar, France kept coming up and my crush really started to build on this delightful little village full of half-timbered homes.
It was not an enormous sacrifice – Colmar was incredible. Just under four hours from Geneva, we took Swiss rail to Basel and then the French transit SNCF directly to Colmar and walked straight into town.
Unlike many European markets that take place in one square, Colmar has six distinct markets that serpentine throughout cobblestone streets, so everytime you turn the corner into a new one you can’t help but gasp. Colmar is said to be the inspiration for Belle’s “poor provincial town” in Beauty & The Beast – and we had to half-wonder what she was whining about – it was so gorgeous.Amsterdam, Bruges, and Annecy?!) Historically, the colors were meant to indicate the profession of the homeowner (blue for fisherman, red for butcher, etc.) We loved it during the daytime, dusk, and nighttime!
We wandered all afternoon and evening…back to Basel to check out their Christmas market before retiring to the (surprise!) Basel Courtyard Marriott. It was really charming, but after spending a full day in Christmas paradise, it did somewhat pale in comparison. But it wasn’t Basel’s fault – Colmar is just next level! wonderful year we have had and what’s to come.
That does it for us in 2018! As this post publishes,🤞 our entire family has made it Chamonix for Christmastime altogether! Please cross your fingers for lots of snow – we have lots of skiing, snow shoeing, tobogganing, and even an igloo adventure ahead! Remember to follow along on Instagram to see some highlights of our trip!
Thanks for all your kind reading throughout our first expat year, your online and offline thoughts mean so much! I’ll be back next year with some updates about my French progress, and having a baby abroad, and you can always check out the travel tracker to see the 12 countries and nearly 40 cities and regions we visited this year. We hope that you enjoy a wonderful holiday surrounded by those you love. See you in 2019!