I found myself in Baden-Baden for Christmas this year and with absolutely no prior research, I was expecting it to be a winter wonderland. Once again, I was WRONG (turns out my internal weather predictor is also broken!) as the weather proved to be rather pleasant in a no need for a jacket kind of way. Without a shadow of a doubt, it looked like I’d be having yet another Green Christmas this year. Truth be told, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this but when you’re in the mood for a little snow, this little detail is nothing if not heartbreaking.
Nevertheless, with jacket in hand, I went off to explore all that Baden-Baden had to offer. Despite the fact that our tour specifically stopped in this little German town over Christmas, it was essentially shut down for the holidays. Nothing was open. The thermal spas that the town is known for were closed. The shops (some mighty fine vintage finds I might add) were also closed. Even the Christmas Markets all about town were closed. If I’ve ever been in a setting ideal for the beginning of a horror movie than this was it. Aside from the 40 of us on tour, the streets were empty. It was as though we were at the beginning of a slasher film and everyone was in awe of this picturesque small town and not seeing the evil that was bubbling just underneath the surface. If I’ve learned anything from horror movies, it’s to stay with the group and I did just that. Despite the fact that I wanted to see the castle, I stayed with the largest portion of my tour group and explored whatever they wanted as day turned to night.
On the surface, all seemed alright and I started to think that maybe I should expect nothing more than a quiet dinner with group before calling it a night in this sleepy little town were internet wasn’t a necessity in life! This is where I went wrong for the second time that day. After the sun had set, the people in this town all started to emerge. Perfect and beautiful in that just stepped out of Gossip Girl kind of way, they all appeared one after another and started to congregate in the nightclub we were in. They were young (pale too I might add but don’t worry, I reminded myself that vampires are a myth and not proven fact) and out like it was your average Tuesday night. There were no signs of it being Christmas eve, there were no ugly jumpers, or families out together. They were the young and beautiful who looked like they had spent the last 5 hours grooming for the evening. As they quietly swayed to the techno beat, I looked around in awe and not sure what to make of it.
As I escaped the nightclub with a fellow traveller, we couldn’t stop talking about how weird it all was. Its Christmas and yet the queue to get into the place we were abandoning was around the block. I’m glad that I gave it a go and celebrated Christmas Eve as they do but I’m 100% certain that I’ll never ever do Christmas in Baden-Baden again even though I have full intentions heading back to this town someday. Hopefully it will be when the crowds are out and the stores are open and I can just sit back and relax instead of worrying about what lies beneath.