Tiana and I woke up at what I like to call “butt-ass” early on the 23rd to catch a bus from Berlin to Nürnberg. The only thing was that we had to take a series of Underground/S-Bahn connections all the way to the other side of Berlin to catch the bus. We barely made it, but we did, and off we were to Nürnberg, arriving sometime in the early afternoon. We walked to our hostel called the Lette’m Sleep Hostel. It is built into the part of a castle, which was really nice, except, it was at the top of a steep hill so we were pretty tuckered out by the time we checked in.
In no time though we went back into the middle of the main old city (Altstadt) to check out the Christmas Market there called the Nürnberger Christkindlesmarkt (Christ child market). Our friend Christoph said that the Nürnberg Christmas market was one of the best, and it definitely didn’t disappoint.
The whole area is surrounded by the old, big, gorgeous architecture of Churches and other old buildings. The main part of the market itself was right in front of the Frauenkirche which is now the Catholic Parish Church of Our Lady. I think this was definitely our favourite market. Yes, there were plenty of repeat booths selling a lot of the same stuff, but we did see many unique booths with hand-made wares that were nothing short of spectacular. For example:
It really took us quite a while to go up and down all of the aisles as there were so many of them, and we double-backed a few times when we were deciding whether or not to get various items. Again, we had plenty of Glühwein to help warm us up. At one point it got so busy that there were almost too many people for my taste, but then it thinned out again the later it got. I guess it is to be expected at such a gorgeous Christmas market on the 23rd of December. We found a real Nürnberger restaurant off the beaten path for dinner, and we ended the night seeing a band playing in front of the Catholic church.
The next morning after a great night of sleep we awoke to a complimentary breakfast from the hostel. It was really good, and I’d say better than the breakfast we had when we stayed at a good hostel in Edinburgh once, i.e. there wasn’t a haggis option (no offense to those that love it, us Americans weren’t raised on it).
Before we left, we had the whole morning of Christmas Eve to ourselves before we left for Baden-Baden so we decided to check out the two big churches. At first, we went to the big Lutheran Church but even though it was supposed to have already been open it seemed like they couldn’t quite get up on time that morning. But, we did run into some Texans who were also trying to get in and they took a couple of pics of us (not pictured) but I did get a cool picture of the main door which looks a bit like other depictions of Christ’s harrowing of hell.
However, the Frauenkirche (Catholic Church of our Lady) was open and there was somebody playing some lovely organ music, so we took a wander, snapped a few pictures, and sat for a bit listening to the music.
The Christmas market was still open so we took one last 5-minute look (it was too early for Glühwein) and checked out an adjacent book shop before mailing off a bunch of postcards. Then we returned to our hostel and ordered a taxi to the Hauptbahnhof (central train station). The rest of our Germany travels were on the nice ICE trains (for the most part). Unfortunately due to the weather (I guess? they’re trains though I don’t get it) our train was delayed by about two hours and so we ended up taking three trains instead of one to get to Baden-Baden. As our friend Mike would say, it was a ‘nightmare’ of travel. We finally did arrive in Baden-Baden to stay with our couchsurfing hosts Christine and Michael who live in Wintersdorf. They’re fantastic people, but the tales (and pictures) of our time there over Christmas will have to wait for another blog post. Tschüß!