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WINTER
Nicolas Lair

von Nicolas Lair

December 13, 2023

WINTER

Present hunting at the Seefeld Christmas market

Christmas Eve is almost here and I don't have any Christmas presents yet! Luckily I know that there are lots of lovely things at the Christmas market in Seefeld that I can put under the Christmas tree for my nearest and dearest. Of course, I need something sweet for my sweetheart and Grandma Anni, also something cosy and definitely something unique. Ideally, the gifts should also come from the region. I'm going on a search!

South Tyrolean specialities cast a spell over me

Markus Gurschler from South Tyrol inside of his stand at the Seefeld Christmas market.

As soon as I arrive at the Christmas market, the smell of melted cheese draws me to the hut of Markus Gurschler from South Tyrol. Although I've only come to do some Christmas shopping, I can't resist trying one of his marvellous Vinschgerl (a special type of bread) with raclette cheese and bacon. As I eat the speciality from Markus' home region of Vinschgau, he tells me about his products and how they are made. In his pleasant dialect, he explains the close collaboration with the village butcher, village baker and dairyman. The part of my heart that beats for sustainability skips a beat. Markus is something of a veteran of the Seefeld Christmas market - he and his products have been a fixture here for 20 years. As raclette is also part of the Christmas programme at our home, I buy a wheel of cheese for Christmas Eve and make my way to the next stall.

Fine chestnuts and even finer schnapps

At Hannes Haslwanter's stand, not only the chestnuts are noble.

This time it's my sense of hearing that leads me to my next destination. A familiar sound draws me to stand of Hannes Haslwanter. As I arrive, my suspicions are confirmed. Hannes is standing at his chestnut drum, heating up the hot delicacies. While the chestnuts roast away, I see if I can find a suitable gift at Hannes' stand. With the locally produced schnapps and jams, I find it really difficult to choose, but I'm lucky - Hannes has a gift set with the best of both worlds for me. As I ask about how his products are made, he tells me that he and his wife produce almost all of the products on the stand themselves. During the pandemic, they took heart and opened their stall in Seefeld within a week. They are now represented at markets all over Tyrol. With this wonderful story and the delicious chestnuts in my belly, I say goodbye and make my way to the next hut.

Not only the Christmas tree likes decorations

You can find one or two pieces of jewellery at Maria Anderlan's stand.

Because (almost) no woman can resist beautiful jewellery and I (obviously) know the taste of the lady of my heart, I didn't have to think long about what to put in my bag at Maria Anderlan's stand. As Maria is also able to persuade me to buy one of her adorable angel figurines for Grandma Anni, I still have time to chat. Maria immediately tells me an anecdote from her 16 years here at the Christmas market in Seefeld. Just a few days ago, a couple from Braunschweig extended their holiday in Seefeld more or less voluntarily because so much snow had fallen in the Seefeld region. However, this meant that the couple still had the opportunity to visit the Seefeld Christmas market. There they came across Maria and her hut, where they had bought home-knitted slippers for their offspring the year before. They immediately remembered their purchase from Maria and took a new pair of slippers for their offspring, who had outgrown the old pair.

It's getting slippery

Anyone looking for sheep products is guaranteed to find what they are looking for at Klaus Fuchs' stand.

With the sweet slipper story in the back of my mind, I make my way to Klaus Fuchs' stand. I dimly remember a fervent wish of the two women for whom I first embarked on this adventure: "Filzdoggln". Probably a foreign word for some of you now: Filzdoggln are cosy, handmade slippers made from sheepskin. Luckily for me, I don't have to search for long at Klaus Fuchs' stand, as I already have two pairs of Doggln in my hand as soon as i arrive. Klaus explains the production steps of this old artisanal process and then convinces me to buy a fluffy hat made from merino sheep. Klaus - who seems to be able to read my mind - tells me what it's like to see the Seefeld Christmas market from the inside, i.e. from a vendor's perspective. He tells me about the valuable "time" he spends here. He draws a comparison with a department store and expresses his delight at the time he has here at the Christmas market to have a proper chat with his customers.

If the bees are doing well, we're all doing well!

Honey fans can't miss Ferdi's beekeeping stand at the Seefeld Christmas market.

As soon as I arrive at my last stop for the day, I take the advice of professional beekeeper Ferdinand "Ferdi" Schot and take one of his homemade honey pine schnapps. My shopping day is coming to a somewhat cheerful end today! As I'm a big fan of pine, I absolutely had to know what this combination tastes like and I can say that it's a real speciality. I'm sure it will go down well in a cosy get-together at home, so I take a bottle with me. Ferdi tells me about his range of products, which includes his homemade honey wine, which is probably the oldest alcoholic drink in the world. However, it is a different drink that delights most of his visitors at the Seefeld Christmas market. The hot punch, which is made fresh every night and gets its unique flavour from Ferdi's honey, is one of the delicacies that you simply have to try at the Seefeld Christmas market.

The adventure continues...

The stallholders make a major contribution to the special flair of the Seefeld Christmas market.

If you haven't done your Christmas shopping yet or simply fancy some great culinary specialities, I can warmly recommend the Christmas market in Seefeld. I would have loved to have had a look at all the other stalls with their leather, wood and fabric items and eaten a "Kiachl" or "Krapfen". But as I promised to be home in time for dinner, I have to continue my adventure at the Seefeld Christmas market on another day. Fortunately for me, the hustle and bustle of the market in Seefeld continues after 24 December. This year, the stalls and their wintry charm continue until 7 January.

Kids, Angels, Leutasch and Scharnitz

If you (like me) can never get enough of the winter market feeling, I also recommend the Christmas markets in Leutasch and Scharnitz. I have already visited both this year and I can say that they both have a particularly cosy charm of their own. In Leutasch, the Leutasch Museum Advent and Christmas market takes place on three Sundays in Advent. There is plenty to experience there, from historical readings to museum tours. There is also a small Advent market in Scharnitz at the beginning of December with seasonal delicacies, handmade treats and authentic Tyrolean conviviality. I can highly recommend both!
Before I finally go home with my shopping, I quickly pick up the children from the children's bakery, hand in the wish lists for the Christ Child at the Angel Post Office with them and think about how I can hide the presents from my ladies.

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