AFTER a few mornings looking at the snow falling on our balcony, Fiona really wanted to be on the other side of the glass. I couldn’t resist her little hands patting on the glass and her big eyes wondering what was out there….
…..so I finally decided to take her outside so she could experience her first taste of snow. Literally, actually, because she got a little too excited and right after this picture was snapped…
…she lunged herself forward, tipped the basket over and got a facefull of snow. She was quite shocked and afterwards was content to sit in the basket and play with a snowball I made for her. I guess I should have seen it coming- knowing her adventurous spirit, I shouldn’t have expected her to just stay in the basket. I need to get her a decent winter coat and mittens before we go out in the snow again. Sadly, several rainfalls melted the snow, so we are hoping for more snow so that we can make a snowman on the balcony.
Fiona’s other adventures outside this season were from the comfort of her stroller. The weekend of my birthday, Rijen casually mentioned that he had heard that in the nearby university town of Tübingen, some sort of chocolate festival was being held. (ChocoART to be specific about the name). What? My birthday + German Christmas Market + Schokolade! = The best birthday outing ever!
We drove to Tuebingen and squeezed our way through the throngs of people crowded around the stands where various chocolatiers were displaying their hand dipped delicacies. I couldn’t decide which booth to go to, but finally just chose one where I picked out the best tasting chocolate I have ever had. I saved it for later, so the first thing we actually ate were dark chocolate dipped clementine wedges. Lecker! We also enjoyed Flammkuchen, which is similar to pizza without the tomato sauce. My favorite part was that they served it to us on a wooden board, which I regretfully returned to the stand later. A big part of me wanted to keep it, although I’m not sure what for?? We finished the night with hot crepes- I had nutella with almond shavings and Rijen had white chocolate.
Our next Weihnachtsmarkt adventure was in Esslingen, a completely amazing Christmas market, in that its unique feature was the Mittlealtermarkt, where, for the first time in my life, I came the closest to feeling like I had stepped back in time. I wish I had taken more pictures, but I was so enthralled at the time, I kind of forgot about the camera and only took a few.
Dear readers, for those of you who might have have spotted members of the BYU Quill and the Sword Club (i.e. the ones who dressed in chain mail and ye olde brocades and such) staging fencing matches on campus and generally having more fun than the rest of us, you can imagine the kind of interesting folk walking around at this festival. It also made me realize that there must be a vast community of those who enjoy that kind of hobby (probably lifestyle is a better word here) in Europe. I kind of want to join them, but I don’t think Rijen would come with me, so I should probably stay in this century.
I can’t really do it justice here, so I hope to go back next year and I will try and do a better job at describing it. I didn’t buy anything due to the fact that I still haven’t gotten over the EURO exchange rate and there was just so many interesting things I couldn’t decide…and I’m not sure I would even have a use for humongous cast iron candle holders, leather elfin shoes or my own hand ground eyeglasses.
The Weihnachtsmarkt closest to home of course was downtown Stuttgart, only a 20 minute walk away. We spent Christmas Eve there, where Fiona became the hit of the evening in the giant indoor fresh food market. I’m not even sure how it happened, but when I was in line to get some Italian salami (infused with pepper and garlic) I noticed that several grandma like ladies were ogling Fiona and chattering companiaby with Rijen, who wasn’t able to get a word in edgewise to clue them in that he had no idea what they were saying. (How cute Fiona was and where were her mittens?) For our dinner that evening, we decided against “Fish on a Stick”in favor of hot juicy Thuringer Bratwurst.
I compiled all of the pictures and short video I took of our Weihnachtsmarkt outings into the video below. If that doesn’t entice you to want to visit Germany for Christmastime, I don’t know what will. Merry Christmas!