Whenever I mention being in Zürich in December, universally I hear, “You must see the Swarovski Christmas tree!”. Housed in Zürich's Hauptbahnhof, the city's main train station, the Swarovski Christmas tree dominates the Zurich Christmas market, the largest covered Christmas market in Europe. It’s still cold inside, but without directly having to face the elements of mother nature, it is still Christmas market all the way, without a biting December winter wind. As for European Christmas markets, Zurich’s is by far not the largest, but the Swarovski Christmas tree more than fills the gap, with the fairy-tale tree highlighting the market atmosphere. Like all European Christmas markets, it is a festive way to spend an afternoon or evening. The painted and decorated stalls and booths overflow with handmade wooden and glass figurines, toys, ornaments, and more. The eat and drink stalls abound with Swiss food, drink and delicacies - sausages and cheeses of every Swiss type and variation, raclette, fried dough with multiple choices of sauces to pour over it, or the traditional sprinkling of powdered sugar, crêpes, beer, coffee or cappuccino. Of course, the glühwein is plentiful, and is always a very busy, and crowded, stall.
I strolled through the market, looking through the three-deep crowd of people at every booth and stall, eyeing different wares, pondering packing anything in my suitcase for the flight home. It is so easy to be swept up in the moment, and want everything! In the old world, traditional setting of the Swiss/European Christmas market, I visited the booth of a Rastafarian selling his array of goods that were not so traditional. I settled on a couple of wooden Christmas ornaments, light and easy to carry.
At the end of the market was the pièce de résistance - the Swarovski Christmas tree. Like a beacon of radiating light, the Christmas tree stands out on all fronts. The size, the width, the sheer brightness and brilliance. Swarovski crystal ornaments saturated the tree everywhere, hanging from each and every branch, dripping like liquid mercury. The tree shined white, silver, pale blue, pink - emitting the colors of thousands of Swarovski crystal ornaments, beaming in spotlights focused on the tree from above. I couldn’t help but feel like a little girl again, with bright, white light washing over me, and when wishes has no bounds, wishing for a tree like this one.
Even without snow, it is a perfect Christmas market with the shining Swarovski Christmas tree the epicenter of it all.