Tuesday, January 7, 2014

German Christmas Market: Würzburg, Germany

Actual date of this event: 13 December

When our friends, Jill and Ryan, approached us about going to the German Christmas Markets with them, Luke and I really didn't know what was so special about the markets. Luke and I have only once, in our [almost] five years of marriage, decorated for Christmas, and that was only because my family came to stay with us for the holiday. Those decorations are currently in a storage unit in Slidell [Louisiana], so there was no decorating for us again this year. The thought of buying Christmas decorations at markets was non-existent as we have no place to store said decorations. BUT the thought of eating a links and links of sausage, drinking liters and liters of glühwein and hanging out with some awesome people were enough for us to jump on board!
The majority of Germany's towns host a Christmas market - some towns host more than one. The markets begin anywhere from around Thanksgiving and last until around Christmas... sometimes until Kings Day. The markets are all outdoors, so the fun part about it is strolling through the rows and rows of stalls, shopping or browsing Christmas goodies all while bundled in your winter's best. If it snows, it is a major plus! A must for every visitor is to eat sausage and drink glühwein (hot mulled wine). Every market has their own special mug for their hot drinks, which can be returned for a small deposit. We of course chose to keep all of our mugs for souvenirs.
{still trying to find a place to store these bad boys}
Jill and I were in charge of planning our three days of German Christmas Market fun. We had three definite plans from the beginning: 1.) fly into Frankfurt airport, 2.) rent a car rather than use the train, and 3.) attend Rothenburg ob der Tauber's market. We also a few aspects we wanted to avoid: 1.) big and crowded markets, and 2.) Nuremberg, both of which they experienced the previous year when they went to the markets. After doing some research and asking a few people what they thought, we came up with a plan: stop in Würzburg on Friday while on the way to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, where we would spend Friday night, all day Saturday, and Saturday night, and then on Sunday, visit Wiesbaden on the way back to Frankfurt before going home.
{it may look far, but it is about 120 miles between the airport and Rothenburg}
After carefully staying out of the way of cars going 200kph/124mph on Germany's speed limitless motorways (we may or may not have hit 175kpm/108mph at one point ourselves), we reached Würzburg. We didn't stay for long, but it was enough for a glimpse of our first real German Christmas market. And long enough to eat sausage and drink glühwein of course. Since it was the daytime on Friday, the market was pretty empty and quiet, but we still had a bit of a drive so we weren't ready for any real partying yet.

{popular item to purchase: Wooden German Incense Smoker}
{popular item to purchase: Christmas Pyramid}

Stay tuned for our experiences in Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Wiesbaden!

I don't speak German, but this is the best I can do for the pronunciation of these towns:
Wurzburg --> VURTZ-berg
Rothenburg ob der Tauber --> ROH-ten-berg ob duh TAHW-buh
Wiesbaden --> VEEZ-bad-en

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