We arrived in Passau, Germany and strolled around the city, anxiously awaiting the opening of the Christmas Markets. I love a city at this time of day, when the deliveries in the pedestrian zones are quietly taking place and the little buzz slowly changes to a hummmm as the city begins waking up.

As was true in each of our stops, the number of Christmas trees throughout these beautiful European cities are endless.

And the lights and banners flanking the streets add so much cheer, even in the early morning light. Welcome Christmas! They all seem to say.

We made our way to Simon Confiserie where we were treated to a lecture on the history of gingerbread and a tasting. I enjoyed learning about the origins of gingerbread so much and fell in love with the treat all over again. I began dreaming of how I could incorporate gingerbread into our Christmas this year in a big way. (I can't wait to show you how I'm incorporating it into our home this Christmas.)

After the gingerbread, we strolled by St. Paul's on our way to a Christmas market:

Most markets seem to open at about 11am.

Simon had a stand at the Christmas market as well. I loved their products:

As the Founder and Producer of a large annual event, I appreciate so very much the time that is put into making each of these Christmas market stands so beautiful (and functional!):

And if you're ever looking for a decorative element that you may very well already have on hand, let just say FIREWOOD!!! My goodness, I saw it used in so many beautiful settings and it's just so lovely even just stacked, isn't it? Add in a tree, some garland... this is the merriest Christmas vignette ever:

Oh, and please take note: A Christmas greenery broom (bottom right). Love love love to infinity:

Every market seemed to have a nativity as well, each so special in their own little way:

And we were able to pay a visit to St. Stephen's Cathedral as well:

This is the sixth post in a series covering my visit to Europe and the Christmas markets in cities along the Danube River, all via a Viking River Cruise. You can find the first post here, the second post here, the third post here, the fourth post here, and the fifthpost here.

I'll be posting a full recap of the Viking River Cruise portion of my trip next week and answering the many questions I've been receiving about it. If you have any questions regarding the river cruise or Viking, please feel free to comment below or send me an email and I'll make sure to cover everything in my post.

MEET SERENA!

Stay-at-home mom, Serena Thompson, dreamed of creating a fun and happy little event to sell her vintage and handmade goods. In 2002, she and some friends held the first event in her neighbor’s barn. The sale became wildly popular and began attracting visitors from across the country and recognition in national magazines. Today the event fills the Spokane County Fairgrounds and features hundreds of creatively and carefully curated spaces filled with vintage and handmade goods. Many describe it as a bucket list event, magical, inspirational, and the best vintage & handmade fair in the country. Serena describes it as the happiest on earth.

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