Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Christkindl Markt

After two 1000 mile weekends in the car and a five day trip to Germany I think I have finally recovered. That is a lot of miles in a short amount of time.

Our flight to Germany was fast. We must have had some good tail winds because we made the flight in 6 1/2 hours. The flight back took over 8. Like I said we must have had some good tail winds going over. We landed about 6 AM and sailed through customs. Our only glitch came with our luggage. Dave's showed up buy mine was nowhere to be seen. While talking with an attendant who assured us my luggage was somewhere in the airport I happened to glance at the neighboring luggage carousel. I found my suitcase merrily circling with the luggage from a Singapore flight.

Our friend Hardy picked us up and took us back to his house for a typical German breakfast. Bread, cheese, meat and fruit. It was most welcome and very good. He then invited us to attend church with he and his wife. Our goal was to stay up all day, even though we had slept only two hours on the plane, so that seemed like a plan. Luckily part of the service was in English but after the first hour even the English wasn't helping us stay awake. That last half hour was hard. His church is located in an old army base. He gave us a tour which included a bunker. I can say I have never been in a bunker before. It was very quiet. And dark.

Hardy and his wife Dorka decided to take us to a traditional Christmas Market (Christkindl Markt) in the afternoon. Christmas markets have been a tradition in Germany for centuries. Almost every town has one and some larger cities have many Christmas Markets scattered throughout their cities. The markets open in late November and run through Christmas Eve. They feature food and more food. Also many Christmas crafts can be found for sale.

We headed to the nearby town of Wetzlar. What I learned during my time in Germany is that the towns are very pedestrian friendly. In fact, some areas of the downtowns are for people only. I liked that.

wetzlar, germany, 12.09

As Christmas Markets go this one was very small. In fact our hosts were disappointed for us. It consisted mostly of food stalls and very few crafts. But look at that food. You know Dave liked this stall.

christmas market, wetzlar, germany, 12.09

It looks even better in color.

wetzlar, germany, 12.09

We even found chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

wetzlar, germany, 12.09

Even though we had already had lunch Dave did indulge in some Gluhwein (hot, mulled wine). We also enjoyed some cheese samples from a cheese maker from Switzerland.

dave, wetzlar, germany, 12.09

I liked the snow on the booths.

christmas market, wetzlar, germany, 12.09

Here's a peek of the buildings that were outside of the Market.

wetzlar, germany, 12.09

There was one wood carver at the Christmas Market.

christmas market, wetzlar, germany, 12.09

After touring the Market we walked around town for a bit.

wetzlar, germany, 12.09

The one thing that astounded us was the age of the buildings. 1599! We weren't even a country yet.

wetzlar, germany, 12.09

wetzar, germany, 12.09

Here we are with our friend Hardy.

dave, carrie, hardy, germany, 12.09

German stores aren't open on Sundays but it was fun to look at the window displays.

wetzlar, germany, 12.09

This is the Dom, Collegiate Church of St Mary.

The sandstone cathedral of St. Mary was commenced in the 12th century as a Romanesque building. In the later Middle Ages the construction was continued under a masterplan in Gothic style. The church was never finished, as one steeple still is uncompleted. The cathedral suffered heavy damage in the Second World War by aerial bombing, but was restored in the 1950s.

the Dom, wetzlar, germany, 12.09

After dinner with our hosts we headed back to our hotel. We were tired. We managed to stay up until 9 PM and then called it a night. Strangely we both woke up at 1 AM and couldn't go back to sleep. So we spent a couple of hours in the middle of the night surfing the net and reading. Jet lag is hard. We eventually fell back asleep and woke up in the morning somewhat rested.

We enjoyed a traditional German breakfast downstairs and we were ready to start our day.

2 comments....porters always have something to say!:

Liz said...

Oh. My. Gosh. What a fantastic post. I feel like I just took a mini vacation. ;)

megawatt miler said...

its funny how stereotypical that town looked

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