Last night in Hamburg we went to three different Christmas markets, including the biggest one in town, which is right in front of the beautiful town hall. Little wooden huts filled with food and trinkets and gifts and other lovely things.
And the ambiance is so fun. Yes, it was cold yesterday, but incredibly sunny and beautiful, and people just flocked out and about everywhere we went. Across the harbor, on our ferry ride, enjoying fish rolls by the water, stopping for hot chocolate on the beach... But most especially, they flocked to the Christmas markets - what better place to be on a Saturday night in Germany in December?
Naturally, we had to stop for a mug of mulled wine, which we'd been looking forward to all day long. And in addition to the yummy taste, one thing I love about mulled wine is the German name for it: Glühwein.
"What does it mean?" I asked my boyfriend. I mean, I obviously knew that "wein" means "wine," but what about "Glüh?"
He kind of struggled with it: "Well, it's like ... you know how when you stick a poker in the fire, and it doesn't melt, but obviously it still gets hot, and what do you call that?"
"Um... It glows?" I offered uncertainly.
"Well, yeah," he said, "I mean, that's not exactly what I was going for, but I don't have a better explanation. So let's call it 'wine that makes you glow'."
That was A-OK with me. And when we got home, I did in fact look it up and find that "Glühwein" really does translate to "glow-wine": "from the hot irons once used for mulling."
So not only have I learned a fun new German word, but I got to get just a tiny bit tipsy amongst the people, and let the Christmas spirit in! More Glühwein for everybody!