Monday, December 11, 2006

12 days...

For what is likely to be our last weekend trip, we headed to Nuernberg to visit with Andreas and Doreen and go to Germany's "Biggest" Christkindelmarkt. Like all of our past trips, this one was not without it's weird and fun moments.

- There is not a single hotel or hostel available in the whole city, so we have to settle for a pension. This is where you get to rent out someone's apartment for a night. Sounds ok, especially for only 35 Euros. We arrive at the office to pay and pick up our keys and meet the two weirdest guys in the country, for sure. One holds Eric hostage in the office for 25 minutes with his woeful tale of being deserted by his American son-in-law ten years prior, from which he has clearly never recovered. He looks near tears. The other tries desperately to talk to me, while I try desperately not to look at his crusty, purple sweater and peeling, bloody lips. I pretend I can't understand German, so he starts speaking in damn good English. Blast!

- It rains the whole day while we wander through the market. Luckily I have a giant red umbrella, but rather than keep us dry, I end up maiming people since there is such a huge crowd. It wouldn't be so bad if the all older women here didn't insist on transporting their tiny dogs in baby carriages. Apparently they are afraid a Yorkie on a leash would get trampled. They push these dogs around like they own the place, rolling over your feet with the carriages, while wrapping the dogs in sherpa and feeding them gingerbread.

- Early on we have mugs of Gluehwein and Feuerzagenbowle, both hot and spiced, but the latter also involves soaking sugar cones in rum and lighting them on fire. It's damn tasty, and fully responsible for why I have now run out of stories of that night. I know somewhere in there we ate dinner, tried beer that tastes like ham, had a drink at a Mexican place and something else. I just don't really remember the rest.

- The next day is gorgeous and sunny, so I drag Eric through the market to do some actual shopping. I get excited to find pickle ornaments, having heard of the "German Christmas Pickle"legend before. The story is that you hide a pickle on your Christmas tree and the first person to find it gets a year of good luck and prosperity. Plus, the ornaments ar so cute and shiny! I buy four of them as gifts. Turns out the "tradition" is a load of quatsch (German for bullshit)! We ask Doreen and Andreas later and they have never heard of it. We look it up online and find this article. Another conspiracy, man.

- We have lunch, say goodbye to A and D, and almost miss our train. Another crazy, pricey weekend, but at least my Christmas shopping is almost done! Two weeks to come home, not that I'm counting.

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