BERLIN - Christmas Market - 2009


There are many Christmas Markets in Berlin and all are very special,
however, this year we decided to go to the Christmas Market on Opernpalais.
It is in the area of Unter den Linden. Everywhere you look, you see amazing historical buildings.
Humboldt University, The Opera House is the next building over and across the street you
have a lovely view of the Berliner Dom, one of the most beautiful churches in Berlin and of course the Berlin TV tower.

It is really nice to stroll along the markets. There are many handcrafted items including knitted socks, mittens and jewelry of all sorts. Naturally, they offer many nice snacks and hot drinks as well. We stopped to have a Bratwurst and then headed to the stand where they sell the Gluehwein, which in English is a mulled wine. It is served hot and tastes fabulous, it also helps to keep you warm!

There is also a live band and during the weekends it is a really fun place to be. The dates are from 23. November - 27. December 2009.

Another place I would recommend is in the Gendamenmarkt area...3 beautiful churches in one area.

Mo - Th 12:00 – 21:30
Fr - Sa 11:00 – 22:30
Sun 11:00 - 21:30

Dec 24th - closed

Jan 2 - Christmas holiday 11.30 - 21:00
Dec 27th - 11:30 - 21:00

Enjoy the photos!
Kayra Martinez

Story and photos by Kayra Martinez (FRASW)


PARIS - Museum Nissim de Camondo


My favorite small museum in Paris is the Museum Nissim de Camondo located in Monceau Park, just a few blocks away from the Arc du Triomphe.

The Camondo, as it's best known by locals, is housed in the Belle Epoque home of Mr. Moise de Camondo, a Jewish millionaire banker that migrated from Istanbul in the late 1800's. This family was so wealthy, they were referred to as the Rothschilds of the East.

The story of the Camondo family is tragic and grand. They migrated to Paris around 1860 and very quickly, joined the ranks of the wealthy elite of Paris. They gave memorable parties in their spectacular Paris mansions and collected much of the Impressionist art of the time. Much of the art exhibited today in the Musee de Orsay, was donated by the Camondos.

During World War I, 22 year old Nissim de Camond, Moise's only son, joined the French Air Force to serve as a pilot. Tragically, he was killed during a mission before the war ended. His father never recovered from this loss and as a result, became a recluse in his beautiful mansion set on the edge of Monceau Park. With out ever leaving his home, he collected period furniture determined to bequeath his collection in the name of his son Nissim, to France.

Sr. Camondo died in 1935 leaving a daugther, Beatrice, a son in law and two grand children behind. Sadly, all four of them were sent to concentration camps during the German occupation of Paris in the 1940's and they did not survive the war. Their death, wiped out the last members of this powerful family from existence.

To visit the museum, take the yellow Metro line to Etoile (Arc du Triomphe) and change to the purple line (or line #2) to Monceau. When you get out of the Metro, you will see Park Monceau. It is a beautiful, small park in an area seldom visited by tourists. Enter the park and cross it . On the other side, on 63 Rue Monceau you will find the entrance to the museum. It is a gorgeous mansion furnished with spectacular masterpieces, as if the family still lived there.

The museum entrance fee is 6 Euros and they offer free headsets in English, if interested. They also have free guided tours every Sunday at 11 am from October to May and they show a movie about the family that runs continuously, but it's in French.

Le Musee Nissim de Camondo
63 rue de Monceau
Metro - Monceau
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays

PARIS - Christmas Market on the Champs Elysees - Visiting France


There's a Christmas Market going on right now on the Champs Elysees, right in the heart of Paris. It started on November 10 and will go on until January 3, 2010 and it opens daily from 10 am to 7pm. So get your woolies on and head for a gorgeous walk down the grand damme of French avenues, the Champs Elysees and enjoy the festive Christmas decorations while you walk from the Arch du Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde.

Bring your camera and some cash so you can take colorful pictures and enjoy the delicious crepes and the warm wine sold along the way. There is much to browse for in the market, there are stalls that sell Russian dolls, Pashminas, crafts from Indonesia, Asian jewelry and French favorites like cheese, pastries and sweets.

For more information click on the enclosed link.

Merry Christmas and enjoy your walk!

Paris Christmas Market on the Champs Elysees - Visiting France -

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