Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Markets 2008 - Valkenburg, Netherlands

Most Christmas markets are held in the town square or underneath the walls of a picturesque castle or church, and so is this one, only in this case under the castle ruins literally means ‘under’ the castle – in the tunneled out caves and grottoes of a Roman quarry. Warm light spills from the openings, revealing murals that decorate the walls adding to the magic of this unusual business address.

Actors will lead you through the tunnels towards ‘Santa’s velvet grotto’ – literally a grotto in this case – and give you an idea what it would have been like when people actually lived in these caves, allowing you to take your time over the traditional style Dutch gifts and treats on your way.
We loved this unique Christmas market. It was definitely unlike anything we have ever seen before. Seriously, a Christmas market in a cave?? It was very appealing to us since the day before we were soaked in Bruges! It is perfect when the weather conditions outside are not so nice!

The little town of Valkenburg was so quaint and really cute. They had it decked out for the holidays!
Fluweelengrot means velvet cave. This was at the entrance of the cave as you waited to get in. They only allowed a certain number of people in at a time, so you waited here.

And now we are entering...
Yep, this is a cave!
Beautiful murals were everywhere!
Then the shopping began! There were gifts from all over Europe. These little angels were from Poland!
Beautiful nativity.
Ahhh, this is the Pam and Tippa I know....shopping bags in hand (not pictured is the HUGE basket Pam had to buy to hold all of her purchases!)!
This really was a fantastic Christmas market! Germany still wins as having the best Christmas markets in Europe; however, this has to be the most unique!


  1. Oh Tippa I love this! My husband's family is Dutch. I would love every facet of this. Very unique. I have so few things from my travels in Europe but I treasure the momentos I did manage to collect. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Love it. So sad that I cannot enjoy things like this right now :(

  3. Anonymous2:50 AM

    I love Christmas markets!!! That looks like so much fun!

  4. That was so cool... I feel so un-cultured having never heard of ANY of this before. In another life I'm totally going to Europe :)

  5. Okay Tippa, this is totally off topic. I see your name on many of the blogs I frequent and I have to ask you: Why does your name sound famous? Does it sound famous to everybody, or is it just me? Maybe it's the Tipper Gore sound similarity? Please help me if you can.

    I don't know why I have never been to your blog. Glad I finally clicked your link!

  6. Christy Spear4:47 PM

    I'm a bit late in finding your blog (your European Adventures are winding to a close), but I'm glad I happed upon it! I'm in something of the same situation as you: moved to Europe in August (Germany) and am planning trips like mad! I've a trip planned to Brussels next month (weekend) and would love advice/steering!

    Wishing I had a cute pooch to take with me!

  7. Hi Christy. Please email me at tippaglover@gmail.com and I will give you some information about Brussels, etc.