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Christkindlmarkts

Written by Payton Lee in W. Europe

Gluhwein, crepes, roasted nuts, trinkets, toys, and trees lit up, welcome to the ultimate Christmas festivities also known as Christkindlmarkts. Germany knows how to do Christmas right, and even if you are away from home during the holidays, these markets will put a little warmth in your heart. The Christkindlmarkt or, Christmas market, tradition is centuries old and envelopes a Christian motif of preparing for the Christ child throughout the season of Advent. Folks come together to share and sell everything from home baked goodies to toys to holiday decorations. Nearly every village, town and city in Germany, Austria and a few surrounding European countries have embraced the spirit of Christmas in this fashion. In …

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Pick your Austrian Ski Town

Written by Hank Martin in W. Europe

From up here it’s still difficult to envision the full scope of these mountains. This ski area is disgustingly massive. Eight small ski towns surround the base of several peaks

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Whips, Chains, St. Nick’s Day, and Krampusnacht

Written by Payton Lee in W. Europe

“He knows if you’ve been bad or good  So be good for goodness sake Goodness sake”   Santa is coming to town, but that’s not who you should be afraid of. It’s Santa’s dark counterpart, Krampus who does the punishing. He checks Santa’s list for bad little boys and girls who don’t deserve their Christmas presents.   Krampus is not just a name; it has become a holiday tradition on the eve of St. Nick’s Day. St. Nick’s Day is very popular in northern Europe. Children put their shoes out before they go to bed in hopes that when they wake on Dec. 6th they will find candies or goodies in them. However, if they are bad, it …

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Redemption, Pilgrimage, and Understanding

Written by Hank Martin in W. Europe

Movie Title: “The Way” (2010) Fun Fact: This film is a collaboration between father Martin Sheen (one of the main characters) and son Emilio Estevez (Director), and one of the most prevalent themes throughout is the relationship between a father and son. Synopsis: When his son abruptly dies Tom (Martin Sheen) must travel to Europe to recover his body.  He learns that his son died at the beginning of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage.  In honor of his son, Tom undergoes the journey using his son’s documents, and gets a stamp from each of the locations along the way. Summary: (Contains spoilers) Tom is a well-educated, hard-nosed doctor who has spent his whole life working at a …