Thursday, December 24, 2009

Stüttgart Christmas Market

Christmas is definitely a time for family to be together, so last weekend we headed down to Stüttgart to visit Marisa’s uncle and aunt one more time before the holiday.  The weekend started off great, with a beautiful train ride down where we could watch the sunrise and the snow-covered landscape pass by our window.  In general it was a relaxing weekend where we were able to watch movies and college football, eat tacos, and stock up on some supplies from the local military base.  The highlight, by far, was the Stüttgart Christmas market on Sunday before we headed home.

Beautiful sunrise on our train ride

Marisa being artsy with the camera

Having gluehwein w/uncle John and his landlady at a local fundraiser for the town elementary school - children sang and a band played and it was way too cold to stay longer than 30 minutes - especially with no handschuhe! (they call "gloves" literally "hand shoes" in German)

                  We’ve been able to see a few different Christmas markets this year, but we both agreed that Stüttgart had the biggest and best of the season.  You would’ve had to have been there to appreciate how massive this market was – I would venture to say that Stüttgart is to Christmas markets, what Munich is to Oktoberfest.  The other thing that set it apart was the variety of the goods that were sold and the food that was served.  We all enjoyed regional food (which I always eat when I’m in Swabia) such as Maultaschen, a type of German ravioli, and Käsespatzle, a type of German mac’n cheese.  For Marisa’s uncle, John, it was his first experience with Christmas markets and he was like a kid in a candy store.  We all had a nice time and we left Stüttgart in great spirits.

Our first steps into the market - John is sporting his Stuttgart VFB soccer scarf.  It's too bad that they are a 1st division team that will finish in the bottom two spots of the league this year, so that means that they will be bumped down into 2nd division next season.  It's the equivalent of the Atlanta Braves having a bad year and getting sent down to the AAA league to work out their issues and maybe earn their way back up to playing in the majors.  I love that about pro sports here.  I think there should be such a system in American sports.

Anybody like model trains?  I would be more into them if I could ride them like this one.

The whole group with Gluehwein ( was really cold outside)

We were graced with some snow as we walked through the market, which made it all the more pleasant. This nutcracker had a nut that kept going into his mouth and magically popped out of his belly button again.  The nut was never actually cracked though - as far as I could tell.
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