Many have asked me why we chose to do a trip through Europe in Winter. The answer is quite simple. It’s a personal choice, but for me, there are just so many more things to love about Europe in winter. I have summarized some of them here.
Snow is plain awesome. It makes me giddy and happy and un-apologetically child-like.
This picture of me looking goofy, and only slightly over-the-top, was taken in Berlin when the first snow fell there for 2017, in early January. There is something truly magical about it.
As an aspiring photographer, it also makes for some mean photo opportunities. Some of my best Instagram snaps have been of snow covered landscapes.
Full disclaimer…. I am the type of traveler who tries her utmost best to stay away from the tourist trap, the overcrowded monument or over-rated tourist destination.
So for me, the space can be enjoyed much easier when the queues are shorter, the streets are quieter, and the locals are not annoyed by the influx of tourists.
I am a traveler, not a tourist. And it is important to understand that there is a difference.
Europe is much more pleasant with less tourists. And i have found that everyone who travels like a tourist, always says something to me like “You went in summer, right?”
This shows immediately the difference in mindset.
Gluhwein warms the body and the soul. From the inside out.
A spiced, warm wine. No one makes it better than the Germans, but it can often be found throughout Europe during the Winter time. At every restaurant, cafe and Christmas Market.
We got to visit a number of Christmas Markets over the 2016 festive season.
There is a distinct smell in the air. Roasted peanuts, freshly baked pretzels (Bretzen is the better name in Bavaria). Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Gluhwein, and Christmas.
Yes, it just smells like Christmas.
I am by nature, not the biggest Christmas lover, but the Europeans know how to do it right.
They capture a feeling and give it away for free down every street.
Some of the Christmas Markets go on into the night (Tollwood, for example, pictured below). They are a great place to meet some locals, socialize, drink some great beer, watch some traditional dancers and live performers.
Europe in Winter
Overall, Europe would not have been the same for me in the summer.
Of course, you have to keep in mind the intention of your trip and what kind of experience you’re going for.
For me, coming from sunny South Africa, it was amazing to experience something different. The only time i had seen snow before was on the Drakensberg Mountains as a kid. But it wasn’t snow falling. It was just snow covered mountains. To stand in the snow as it falls down on you was an experience on its own.