Tour of Christmas Markets

Trip Start Sep 08, 2009
Trip End Sep 08, 2010

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Flag of Germany  , Baden-Württemberg,
Saturday, December 5, 2009

What can you do with an all day train pass?  Tour the Christmas Markets!  We've learned a thing or two in our short time here.  We went prepared and determined not to freeze, wearing long johns under our pants, thick socks, hats, and scarves.  The -14C (7F) didn't help!  But with a few well-placed ventures into heated shopping areas and trains, we did fine. 

Started in Ludwigsburg on the north end, site of the pumpkin festival.  They're known for the baroque style Marketplatz.  Our visit was all food.  We had our first of many meals at a meat-in-tube-form stand, very good.  A slight mispronunciation from us garnered currywurst instead of feuerwurst.  Note to self, eu sounds like oi, not ur.  It was good though and the man covered it in ketchup for us, albeit with a slightly "are you crazy" look.  Yes we are, but not for the fact that we prefer ketchup over mustard and defintiely over mayo on such things as fries and any rendition of a hot dog.  I finally bought some mangenbrot too.  We've been betting on what it is for awhile now, neither of us were even close.  It's pretty much gingerbread squares with a sugary, molassasey coating.  I liked it; Jon not so much, more for me!

At this point, our toes were beginning to freeze and in need of some warmth.  We took the train through Bad Canstatt to go malling, Jon's choice.  Malling is better here, from my stance, because they are smaller and all offer 80 cent ice cream cones.  Even in the cold, ice cream is good!  When we could feel our toes again, we headed out.

We weren't really sure where the market was in Esslingen, had just heard it was a must go.  When in doubt, follow the crowd.  This was probably Jon's favorite market, just because it was different.  A lot of people were dressed in medieval clothes.  Our favorite?  A teenager completely decked out as a medieval night except his Nikes with neon green shoelaces.  Awesome.  A royal court paraded through and gave a performance in German.  We liked the games.  You could throw real axes at hay bales, can't do that everywhere. 

That night, we passed back through Stuttgart.  It's my favorite.  The kiddie area has the coolest train sets, yes sets.  The larger one chugs the kids around while the inner area is full of several more.  There are at least 7 trains running through and around each other the whole time.  The tops of the stalls are all decorated too, complete with moving characters and scenes.  While we could have had more festival food, we opted for our all favorite doners.  Sadly, our usual free bathrooms had gone to festival pricing and set a plate out. We now carry 30cents everywhere.  When you've got to go, you've got to go.  We went back the next morning to find our Christmas ornament for the year.  We bought a beautiful glass ball  painted with a snow covered timbered house in front of an orange sunset.

Jon had to leave that afternoon for a conference, so I joined Jackie and Beni for a girls' night out at the Tübingen chocolate festival.  The Santas were patrolling the Neckar, waving and blowing their whistles.   From a distance, they looked like they were on fire or chain smoking, thankfully neither, just their steam powered boat.  We let Beni navigate.  She founds some great places, including the castle at the top of the hill, pretty good for a 7 year old.  We had hot chocolate which was litteraly quite that, don't even think a drop of milk was added to dilute that sucker.  It was definitely a sipper, but magnificent none the less.  For "real" food, I had stumpfnudlen with sauerkraut pan fried in bacon, oh ho ho, yes!  We left with a bag of chocolate bars to sample on the way home.

Christmas is a good time to visit, and we have plenty of room!
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Duke on


Never experienced temperature below the 'teens." Glad you're having much fun.

Jon grilling in snow.... I remember we're doing the same thing many, many times when we were living in Long Island. Luckily, we have a garage thar we use to do it.

Still have not recovered from the best ChristmasGift news we got!

Take care.

Kathy on

Seeing your pictures brings back all the memories of Stuttgart and Tubingen! What a beautiful place! We didn't get to see the smoking Santas, though... Have fun with your little internal heating system this winter!! Love you guys!

Carmen on

Awesome news! Congratulations to you guys. This year is a very god for both of you. Year 2010 will even be better, I hope. Glad to hear you're having fun time there. Merry Christmas and may the year ahead bring you more
blessings and beautiful happenings.

Take care! All the best to both.
Tita Carmen

Allan on

I love it i was there at 24/12/2010 , it was like Dream ..

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