Auto show in Essen, Nov. 28-Dec. 7

Sports car lovers might want to motor on over to the Essen Motor Show, opening Friday, Nov. 28,  and running through Dec. 7. Essen, Germany, a former industrial city now better known for its cultural offerings, is about an hour’s drive north of Cologne.

One of Europe’s leading fairs for sports vehicles, the show offers more than 500 exhibitors of autos and related products. It attracts up to 360,000 visitors during its 10-day run. The show includes classic cars and motorcycles as well as new models.

It's Christmas market time!

Sunday marks the first of the four Advent Sundays preceding Christmas. The coming of the Advent season also means that many of Germany’s Christmas markets will soon be up and running, bringing much needed cheer when daylight hours are short and the skies too often cloudy and gray.

While most Christmas markets in Germany’s larger cities remain open every day until about Dec. 23, smaller communities often host events that last no more than a day or weekend. The stalls at such markets are often manned by members of clubs or churches from the town, and profits go toward their activities or charitable causes. These can be great opportunities to pick up something handmade and local, as well as enjoy a warm Glühwein and to share a few words with the neighbors you’ve often seen but have yet to meet. Examples of such markets include those coming up this weekend in Landstuhl; Saturday’s events in Möhringen, near Stuttgart; and Bierstadt, Erbenheim, and Frauenstein, outside Wiesbaden.

Indie music in Utrecht, Nov. 20-23

Utrecht, Netherlands makes a good bet for lovers of indie music Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 20-23, as the festival known as Le Guess Who? sees both established bands and up-and-coming acts perform across 15 venues, from clubs to churches to art galleries.

Utrecht, a hip student city just a half hour train ride away from Amsterdam, welcomes over eighty groups and solo acts over the course of the festival’s four day run. Headliners in 2014 include Autechre, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Dr. John & the Nite Trippers, and St. Vincent, among others.

Time to hit the slopes!

Ski season is here, and throughout Austria, they’re pulling out all the stops to welcome winter sports fans back to the slopes. Parties, competitions, testing of the latest gear, and concerts make up just some of the fun being laid on by ski resorts throughout the country over the next several weekends. Here’s a run-down of some of the festivities on tap:


Nov. 14-16: Schladming

GLOW Light Art Festival, Nov. 14-15

Eindhoven shines more than just a little light through Saturday, as the light art festival known as GLOW brings installations, sculptures, projections and performances to the city’s streets. The theme of the 2014 edition of GLOW is “City in Motion,” exploring how one’s perspective is changed by movement.

The works of around fifty artists feature into the displays, which are linked by a trail. Strijp-S, a new urban space for creativity and culture housed in buildings once occupied by the Dutch company Philips, serves as the venue for GLOW NEXT. The installations here show off the latest in experimental light art and applications which display elements of social engagement.

Start the ski season with Austrian fun

Wow Glacier Love kick starts the new ski season in Zell am See and Kaprun Nov. 8-9 with live music and DJ sets, contests and testing of the latest gear. With a glacier and slopes at 3,000 meters elevation, the area’s a safe bet for finding enough snow cover for a turn on the board or skis even so early on in the season.

Friday revs up with music and parties that last until the late hours. From 9 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday, the newest gear from Alpina, Atomic, Fisher, Head, Salomon, Völkl and other manufacturers can be tried out. A valid form of ID serves as a deposit.

Lord Mayor's Show in London, Nov. 8

Although many of Europe’s best loved events have centuries of tradition behind them, few can trace their lineage further back than the Lord Mayor's Show, which has survived through a remarkable 799 years of London’s history.

The Lord Mayor of London, not to be confused with the mayor himself, is the governing officer of the city of London and serves as an ambassador of sorts for the United Kingdom’s financial and business services. Alderman Alan Yarrow has been elected the 687th Lord Mayor, a role he will take on the day prior to the show. 

Motorbikes in Milan, Nov. 6-9

The vast motorcycle exhibition known as EICMA celebrates an impressive milestone this year. As the show's first edition was organized back in 1914, the event can now look back on a hundred years of history. The 2014 edition of the event will also boast of a new name: Worldwide Motorcycle Exhibition.

The world's largest annual motorcycle and power sports trade show typically attracts over half a million visitors from around the world. Last year, 1408 exhibitors from 38 countries displayed motorbikes, parts, clothing, accessories and related products. Manufacturers often use EICMA to debut new or significantly revamped models: trade press indicates Ducati, Husqvarna and Yamaha may well unveil something here to wow the crowds.



About the Author

Karen Bradbury has lived and worked in Europe for more than fifteen years. She has called Moscow, Copenhagen, Rome and now a small wine-producing village along the Rhine in Germany home. When she's not working, whatever the season, she's probably traveling.

Email: bradburyk@estripes.osd.mil