This morning we boarded our bus to Heidelberg, famed for its castle complex on the hill. We continued onward and reached our final destination in the afternoon – Strasbourg. We had and orientation tour of this historic city and then free time to shop the city’s Christmas market.
December 9 – 11, 2009
Au Cerf d’Or
6, place de l’hôpital
67000 Strasbourg, France
Tel: +33 (0)126.96.36.199.05
After breakfast from the buffet at our cozy castle, we boarded the motor coach for Ulm’s extensive Christmas Market. Each city or town’s market seems to have a character of its very own. I think that’s what makes visiting Germany at this time of year so very special. We are seeing a variety of Christmas goodies — everything from mass produced items from China and India to the truly handcrafted. The local Christmas markets are also fund raising opportunities for local organizations. So, think church bazaars! Ladies (& even some gentlemen) from your local church labor for months making special Christmas-Time goodies and baking holiday treats. We saw lots of that here, too. Very endearing! And, it’s such a positive to be spending one’s tourist Euros to help local organizations. Think county and state fairs, too! There are LOTS of food & beverage vendors. People seem to love to eat and drink regardless of their origin. I have not been successful in inducing Melvin to try the local Gutwein (mulled hot wine) but I do love the ceramic mugs that it comes in! Now, that’s something to collect! Each city and village seems to have its own signature mug, sold to support the local Christkindlemarkt. I’ll bet if you search eBay, you can find some!
Tonight, we are staying in Rothenburg, aka shopper’s paradise! It’s the home of Kathe Wolfhart. You might know her ornaments from the internet. Before arriving at this rebuilt city (it looks just like a fairy tale!), we traveled north with stops at he exquisite Käthe Kruse Doll Museum, as well as the famous Steiff Museum (teddy bears and other stuffed toys). I promise images later. These stops might not have featured ornaments, but they were absolutely incredible!
Where we are staying (outside of the city’s walls):
Today we spent an entire day exploring Stuttgart’s Christmas Market. What more could I want! I must confess that I forgot the card reader to connect my camera to the laptop. Drats! I have a new phone with internet capabilities. As soon as I figure it out, I’ll send some email photos for posting! Remember that many of our holiday traditions had their base in Germany. As we encounter them, I’ll talk about some of them. And, of course, I’ll talk about the kinds of purchases one can make at the Christmas Markets. While I don’t think that I’ll be purchasing many holiday items, I know that I’ll be buying candy and other sweet treats as gifts for those who take such good care of me throughout the year. One of those special people is our neighbor Roger. He’s the one who will be mailing out the Christmas Celebrate365 issues while I am researching holiday traditions here in Germany. That’s one very special neighbor, if you ask me!
For those who wished, there was an excursion to the car-lovers’ paradise at the entertaining and informative Mercedes Benz Museum in Stuttgart. I guess that there are things besides glitter!
And remember, No orders shipped between December 3 – December 13.