Why Munich is the ideal Advent destination

Ambling through the Christkindlmarkt, Munich’s biggest Christmas market, feeling distinctly tipsy after my third (or maybe my fourth?) mug of Glühwein, I experienced a strange sensation, something I hadn’t felt in ages. For the first time in a long while, I realised I was feeling rather festive. Back in Britain, I’m the archetypal Christmas grouch – but leave me in a German Christmas market for a few hours and I become a big kid again. This is the first year since Covid that Munich has been able to mount a proper Christmas market season. That might not sound like such a big deal to Brits, but it’s headline news in Bavaria.

The West missed its chance to help Ukraine

Yet another east European tragedy is unfolding before our eyes. We have watched this movie for more than 80 years. In 1938, Czechoslovakia was abandoned to its fate by Neville Chamberlain at ‘Munich’. In 1945, at the Yalta conference, it was Poland’s turn — and the eastern half of our continent lost to Soviet domination. Then the Soviet invasions of Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968, followed in 1981 by a ‘state of war’ in Poland. ‘Goodbye to all that’ we naively thought after the end of the Cold War, but in 2008, Vladimir Putin’s Russia seized chunks of Georgia. Then came 2014: the Russian dictator annexed Crimea from