As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, this X-mas has been full of firsts for me, including my first trip to the Christmas markets.
I was invited along to experience the markets and several of the activities and entertainment they put on throughout the day and evening. Of course, I said yes, I was eager to see what the hype was all about. I was allowed to take someone with me so I brought my cousin, Hollie, along and we made a day of it.
It was one of the busiest days I have had in a long time, it was fun-filled and action-packed, my phone reported to me at the end of the day that I had completed just under 18,000 steps (I don’t think I have ever done that many). The weather was pretty treacherous at the beginning of the day but calmed down towards the end of the evening; despite the awful weather we still had an awesome time and created such wonderful memories!
The first thing we did when we arrived at the markets was hit Santa Land (my inner child was bursting to come out). We hopped on to the Santa Train like a couple of big kids – bagging ourselves the first carriage on the train and everything – embarking on a short tour of the kid’s area. I can imagine for a kid it must be such an exciting experience, because I’m 22 and my cousin is 24, and boy did we enjoy ourselves.
Afterwards, we made our way to the Christmas Tree Maze which was more exciting than any Easter Egg hunt I ever did. It was a huge space, made up of Christmas trees, decorated with aesthetic fairy lights. In amongst the trees were hidden stamps, we were given cards to stamp each time we stumbled upon one, and each stamp consisted of a letter. You had to collect all of the letters in order to make up a word, and shift the letters accordingly until you deciphered it, it was absolutely brilliant. I had such fun, running away from my cousin and losing her in the maze, having her chase after me like we were in a game of pac-man. It was a great laugh and we managed to complete the activity (which proved to be harder than we thought) and won ourselves some chocolate coins.
Next up for us was The Forth 1 Big Wheel. It was a pretty windy day, so we were both apprehensive to do it, our excitement and eagerness got the better of us so we decided to go for it and enjoy Edinburgh’s finest view. Suffice to say it was incredibly windy up there, we had to hold on for reassurance as we swayed from side to side, we went round the wheel three times and the view at the top was remarkable. If only it had been a nicer day.
After touring the markets, admiring the quirky gifts and worldly foods, we put our skates on and hit the ice. The ice skating was at a different part from the markets, roughly a 5-minute-walk, and had the cosiest ambience. There was a lush wooden bar with a hut-like feel which was decorated ever so beautifully (we visited the bar after skating and enjoyed a well deserved mulled cider). The ice skating was based around a monument and was the perfect area to situate an ice-rink. Everyone loved it, even the people who were failing miserably and falling on their knees, the atmosphere was so festive. There was music playing, everyone was chatting to one another, couples were holding hands as they skated like pros and kids were putting the adults to shame. It was a wonderful experience, I hadn’t skated in years, so it was definitely a challenge but I had such fun.
The bar within the ice skating rink was so enticing and cosy with a homely feel. We must have stayed for a good half an hour after our skating session just enjoying the feel of the place. The ambience was magical.
At 6pm(ish) we made our way to Silent Light which is essentially a silent disco, but Christmas themed, yes really! It is based in the middle of one of the busy streets in Edinburgh, and a lighted section is closed off for the disco, participants are given headphones and we gather together in the section of the street. We all danced and sang along to the festive music blaring in our ears, whilst onlookers stand at the side-lines watching, nobody can hear what we are listening to so it looks like we are all just dancing around to nothing. It was brilliant. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The lights were astounding too!
After grabbing a delicious bite to eat at the Mac Shack (macaroni cheese and halloumi fries!) and spending another hour or two at the bar drinking mulled cider we made our way to the 9pm showing of La Clique Noel which features a live jazz band, sword swallowing, comedians, magic, burlesque and impressive entertainment for a whole 2 hours. We had front row seats and ended up a bit wet at the end (no spoilers, you’ll have to go and see for yourself). I’d never been to anything like it, it had a circus-theatre-feel, but with more humour, elegance and thrill to it. All of the acts had me on the edge of my seat.
I feel like I had so many events to go through with you guys that I have not done enough justice to what an awesome time I had, it really was a busy day, and I didn’t even manage to get through everything. I want to thank Underbelly for having me, they are the event organisers, we had a few miscommunications with vouchers for the food and drink stalls but it was rectified quickly and there were no issues.
It was some of the most fun I have had in ages, I’ll treasure the memories that I created, I really want to go to more Christmas Markets now as my first experience was out of this world!
Have you ever been to the Christmas Markets? Which ones and what was your highlight of the day?
*This experience was gifted to me in exchange for a review on my blog, all content, thoughts and opinions are my own*.