It's damp, breezy and always grey, but Christmas time is still my favorite in Germany.
The Christmas Markets are so lovely ... artisans, tasty wurst and potato and steak vendors, toys and stuff to stuff stockings, with ornate wooden stalls and entire buildings erected for some weeks in the main town squares.
This one in Bremen is in historic Town Hall center — a town hall from the Middle Ages!
People from all over the city and Europe flock here and at markets all over the country for a month before Christmas.
What I like best is that people gather - you can see friends and family sipping (or really drinking alot of) gluhwein (hot mulled wine) and gluhbeer (that's new), and spending the evening OUTSIDE.
Tonight, it was raining. And cold. And there I was with 1,000 others as if it we were not getting wet.
I took a crepe and stood atop some steps and looked out, content to be solo amidst the party and conversations; it reminded me of friends here and beyond with whom I have shared great conversations.
I spent my year after high school here in Germany, in Paderborn, and met some of my closest friends there. They are with me still, and Germany still feels like home.
In fact, I am here with Olaf, who has been a confidant since age 17. I met him on a train trip to Bremen during my first week here.
And here we are. Again.
It is good to have this blog and share this journey with you. I look forward to what the next leg brings.
Thank you friends, from all corners, for being here. Many who have supported me in spirit and in my crowdfunding campaign to keep this project strong.
People like Sarah Shaw, who has been a friend most my life through all the changes, now in England. Kellan Morgan, in Nicaragua, and Elliotte Bowerman and Chris Wilson way out in Cali, and the Eismann-Thomas family, with whom I typically celebrate.
I won't be there this year to run through the neighborhood with the bells, Wendy. So ring them for me. I will listen wherever I am!