For the past few years, my friend H and I have been going on Christmas Market package tours, to Germany and Belgium. Yup, corny as hell, but it's a cheapish city-break type thing, and the atmosphere tends to be mellow.
I'm not a shopper, but enjoy the calorie-clogged food and booze from the stalls, you get to stay in posh hotels at low rates, and there are always old churches and museums to check out.
Most people seem to like the markets at night, admittedly when the lights are at their best, but it's horribly crowded, and everybody's steaming drunk, especially the loud pushy teens. This scares me, as a feeble, tottering old crone, and I much prefer doing the rounds during the day, and watching telly in the hotel at night!
This time, we went by train, again, but to Heidelberg, which is really too far. We had to change trains twice, and een though we made good time, we were on the road for close to twelve hours.
We were one of the youngest 'couples' in our group, and a lot of the people were distinctly odd-looking, including a pair of sisters who looked like terrapins, a 'Fred Munster' clone, and a tiny old gal with a huge red suitcase nearly as big as she was, and a Red Riding Hood. She had a kind of unnerving scuttling walk, too, and, to me, became eternally DON'T LOOK NOW Woman. She never stopped yakking, either.
H honestly enjoys having long, life-story swapping sessions with boring strangers, but I always want to get the hell away, no doubt missing the odd interesting person, but the socialising bit gives me bad nerves.
The churches this trip were not terribly spectacular, but I always enjoy having a look around and making my 'three wishes' (I was told as a child that you can do this when you go into a church for the first time-) ...