Dec '23 - How many Christmas markets is too many Christmas markets?

Hi @mel - been thinking about you and meaning to DM you on here as hadnt seen you around on Lines for a bit - I mustve looked you up just before you started this thread as Id missed it totally - Im not on forum much as I can lose hours.

On a quick search up on travel - yes traim is psosible but looks as if its at least one change between Paris and Munich, and youd need to switch stations in Paris between Eorustart and the onward train, Cost looks to be in region of £280 pp, taking a long time - for me that would be too much hassle with kids plus Xmas/ski luggage.

Flights are in region of £100-150pp with easyjet from Londong gatwick direct to munich but there will be luggage costs etc on top of that.

I wouldnt get too excited about a cross channel ferry - and its a long drive from there. Much easier if you want to be driving to look at putting the car on Eurotunnel.

London at Christmas is definitely pretty special - but so is DLP at Christmas. If you had time to add in a couple of nights youd find plenty to do - but prob not at the expense of time in Europe.

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Thoughts on skiing - I havent been through the Tyrol since school ski trips and summer family caravan holidays. Garmisch is not a common resort for UK folk to head to for skiing - I’ve had friends go there regularly from RAF bases in Germany. Its fairly low so snow might be risky, especially if the season has a poor start like last year- but its a fair bit further north than some more popular resorts.

We have skiied in the Dolomites quite a bit pre kids and when they were very small - esp Cortina. Italian skiing is another world - will be very busy through Xmas week - though a lot of the ladies prefer to parade in their fur coats or sunbathe than actually ski. I’d avoid the bigger resorts because of crowds/traffic - Italians do not believe in using a ski bus when they can drive their BMWs into the small icy carparks and get stuck on icy slopes. The Cortina carparks are a bit like those carpark puzzle apps whre you have to move one car, then another to find your way out - but on sheet ice at 45 degree angle in a rear wheel drive car.

And traffic can be awful - DS18’s godmother has family living a mile or so out of Cortina- her cousin taught the boys to ski - but after sitting in stationary traffic for an hour to drive between 2 villages, having escaped the scary carpark, we decided to start going to French resorts with good ski in/out access.

And dont get me started on Italian kids in ski lift queues…

I can give you a few suggestions of resorts if you are set on the Dolomites - and it is a stunning area - but not sure I’d want the hassle of driving over the Brenner and out of Austria with its pretty villages and decent organisation. There are some pretty ski resorts just above Innsbruck - think we skiied there when I was about 17 with a school trip.

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Hi! I had to give up on chat but I’m on here most days. I was thinking about emailing you directly so we could meet for some Neal’s Yard’s cheese or something.

This is a little bit of the opinion I was looking for and kind of expected… We are already debating even bringing skis, etc. But across multiple trains might be annoying.

Perhaps this is a route I have not explored yet. I had though Kayak pulls in Easyjet but maybe not.

Believe it or not this is my maiden name so I am going to at least try to get here for a drink and a look around! We are booked in San Vigilio for the Italian portion since this is where our student’s family have a house. I’m under the slight impression that this has more of a German/Austrian feel than specifically Italian, but let me know if you’ve been there!

I need you to start!! I assume it’s bad?? The mountain advertises lessons in English so hopefully they will be with British or other American kids!

Well they push and push and get between your legs & wheedle their way through to the front. Makes the occasional line jumper at wdw seem like an angel.

And heaven help you if you fall off a drag or miss a chair- no helpful lifties, just individual lift owners. The 2nd time we took the kids one lift owner decided not to open his lift that season, the upper of 2 lifts where the ski school operated. Lower lift served a single blue run down to the base, upper lift shld serve a restaurant at the top and a cluster of lifts down to the midpoint. No upper lift = no upper runs and no business for the restaurant owner. So weird.

(I do love Italy/ Italians really!)

I’d need to find out if we skied San vigilio- it sounds familiar - on our trips with the boys aged 3-6 we stayed in cortina’s 3 mountains. But on trips pre kids we’d go do days here and there driven by friend & her uncle. He was financial police/ ex ski instructor and racer, checking the mountain restaurants were paying their taxes - so he knew everywhere & everyone- and got a lot of free cake. But as he was in charge we didn’t always pay attention to where we went :joy:

They didn’t have any organised childcare, maybe private nannies. We took grandparents & only really skied short sessions. They did have these play areas at the base of each nursery slope. 1st year DS-now-16 was barely 3 & too wobbly to ski but he loved sledging & playing in the snow- he still remembers it & the fun of those early years made them both really keen to ski.


Can you get on skyscanner? That’s where I search for flights. Or EasyJet and BA sites directly

And let me know if you work out London dates & I’ll try to come up, might have to be an evening though. Borough market at Xmas is beautiful

My kids are old enough now to do a full-day ski lesson so I should be able to ski on my own! Plus DH doesn’t really ski. But they would LOVE those little sled motorcycles! And I also really like the sledding.

If we have the time and the snow I want to try this too!


I will try these. Germany has Condor airlines which seems the same as EasyJet. I am not sure what we are going to do. Icelandair with a stop in Reykjavik seems to be the cheapest all around but the times are less than ideal. But I don’t know if stopping in London will be dramatically cheaper. Such hard choices! Now I want to go to London again…

Reykjavik sounds better!

Did you get your flights booked @melcort10?

No! I’m being wishy washy and kind of sort of hoping prices might go down a little.

This is the top choice right now. We can do the daytime flight to Iceland and it lets me do a “1 night stopover” and then fly to Munich in the morning. I’m thinking the price of the hotel room might be worth it to avoid the jet lag. The $4,800 price tag for the flight seems roughly equivalent with everything else I’m seeing

That does seem a likely fare given it’s Christmas holidays :confused:- we paid around £1200 pp to fly direct to Orlando last august in school hols. It’s so much cheaper looking at April next year as it’s after schools go back.

If you have time in Iceland overnight the Blue Lagoon is pretty close to Reykjavik I think- I know that was 1st stop straight after landing when my kids did their school visits.

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Ugh the hard part is that these AREN’T direct! Direct flights were over $6,000 and we are leaving over a week before the typical holiday period would start in the US.

I think we are only stopping in Iceland long enough to sleep at the airport hotel. We got a smoking deal on renting a timeshare in Munich so at least I will save on hotel costs there!

@hodg we are booked! I caught a sale and got the exact flight we wanted for $3,999! We just had to go a day early which worked for me!

Fantastic! Still expensive but a lot better. That’s coming via Iceland? Looking forward to following along :skier::christmas_tree:

Yes! We arrive in Reykjavik at 9pm and fly out the next morning at 7am so just a quick night in the airport hotel will be our icelandic experience for now. But maybe we’ll catch some lights. I am just glad for 6 hours of actual sleep in a bed instead of a few winks on an airplane.

Both of our apartment rentals don’t want payment until we arrive. Is that usual? It feels odd to have no deposit down! And I think we will do New Year’s in Innsbruck!

Well you can say you’ve been to Iceland anyway!
Sounds amazing- tho I have to say not paying a deposit for an appartment is unusual in my experience.
It’s not uncommon for the balance to be 1-4 weeks ahead though- we don’t have to pay for one of our South Africa rentals until a couple of days before although I expect we’ll pay it before we fly. That’s a vrbo rental. I’ve done one place direct paying deposit & balance.
And a third with Airbnb where I had to pay in full at booking but it’s only 2 nights.

And New Year in the mountains will be fantastic- we were skiing over NY in France last year- tho I walked back over a mile after the fireworks not realising that I’d torn my ACL that day, just thought I’d twisted my knee.

How’s the packing coming on @mel? Your trip is coming up quickly!
Snow looks superb thru France for the start of the ski season so hope that’s true for Austria too

It’s next week!!! I honestly can’t believe how quickly “mid-December” just happened upon us. I almost forgot to request the time off.

Packing so far really only looks like this:

Snow gear

German requests and some travel essentials