Friday, December 21, 2018

Lights, glitter, goodies of southern Europe salute the holiday

This store in Madrid was cranking up its displays for the holidays the day after Thanksgiving  (which is not celebrated in Europe, of course). Black Friday, however, is big, a definite tradition throughout Europe and in much of the larger world. 



 This week we share splashes of holiday color from our recent 
southern European and Mediterranean foray. We've spent yule
time in Hong Kong, on the Rhine, in Bora Bora (where Santa arrives on a kayak)
 and in the Canary Islands, where the wise men sang beautiful carols to us.

TO HONOR THIS WEEK of family and friend time, 
Glass in Murano is bright and beautiful for holiday gifts.
Above left, a market in Barcelona offers  everything from 
candles to cheeses. At left, Valetta in Malta lights its waterfront.

we offer a photo essay which we hope expresses our
delight both in travel -- and in the celebration of holidays. Combining the two makes each more special.

From the lavish Christmas markets of Austria, Germany and England, to the pub crawls and food binges in Ireland, to the giant Christmas trees of Scandinavia, the holiday spirit has
swept the globe.   We hadn't expected such
fervor, particularly with the financial unrest
in France and Belgium, and unemployment
in parts of Greece, but people worldwide 
seem to want to celebrate -- even when times
are hard. Glassware in Murano flies off the shelves and food and craft markets are flourishing in Madrid, Rome, Naples, Barcelona, Florence and Venice.
IN MANY European cities, Christmas isn’t just a single day of festivities, but an entire month of celebrations. Bustling Christmas markets abound from Norway to Italy and most countries embark on the Christmas season with enthusiasm.  We came upon colorful festivals, religious ceremonies, crowded night markets, and lots of pub  revelry with food offered in traditional holiday colors of red and green. Europeans don't hurry to put Christmas
to bed,  Some of the decorations will go down on Twelfth Night, though, that festival in some branches of Christianity marking the coming of the Epiphany, usually Jan. 5 or 6. Meanwhile, enjoy the season's color.

Lively scarves in Montenegro salute the season.

UP NEXT: Where in the world will you find yourself in 2019? We offer tips on what's hot,
and where you might find a bargain. Our 
recent foray on the Mediterranean gleaned lots of tips and we share them with you so you can pick a few that might fit your particular slant on life. If you like quiet harbors and a quaint old town, you'll enjoy the villages of some of the lesser known Greek islands. If you like the sizzle of a busy city, you'll find Barcelona will make you happy. Restaurant fan? Ideas coming. Remember to explore, learn and live.  
Left, a picturesque old boat is lovingly tended by his
owner in a harbor near Chania, Greece, where nice
hotels can be found for $125, with a beautiful harbor. 


  1. Exciting to see these recent and varied photos. We follow your travels while quietly remembering ours! May you continue long and lustily.

  2. We are thinking Malta for 2019. Your travelogues sing its praises. Looking forward to pointers.