Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Nuremburg Market

When in Germany at Christmas time, it would be a shame not to see more than just Marburg's Christmas market. So, this year we made it to Nuremberg for the Christkindlemarkt. 

One Friday, after I got out of a meeting and Malcolm finished in the lab, we headed to the train station to go to Nuremberg for the night. 




We stayed at a perfect Airbnb place... this must be the first time we haven't taken a single wrong turn finding our accommodation. It helps that it was only a few hundred meters from the station - and I'm super thankful for that since we arrived so late! 



The next day was started with a Bretzel and coffee, and then it was on to the market. 


It was a dreary and cold day with drizzle, but the warm lights made up for it. 


I also finally got my name on a Starbucks Lebkuchen Latte. 


The stalls were all really pretty with beautiful crafts, cookies, and ornaments...


We made sure to try the specialities, and I am forever in love with Nurnberger Lebkuchen. Nothing compares. 


The bad weather meant we needed to contend with umbrellas in the narrow lanes between the stands, but at least it also meant that it wasn't too busy and we could enjoy browsing the market slowly. 



Once we had seen the main market, we warmed up in a department store to defrost, and then went out again to the children's market. With a carousel and train set and lights and toys, it was so much fun!


And as it got darker, it just got prettier. 


We also eventually made it up the hill to the castle, where we saw a sparkly Nuremberg at our feet. There was also the christmas tree to ogle at... a Christmas tree in public with lights that go all the way to the bottom is a rare sight ;)



When we got back down, we wandered through the international market and saw what Christmas looks like in various other countries. 



With our train coming soon, we wandered back to the train station to catch our ICE to Frankfurt and then home. It was a whirlwind of a 24 hour get away, and so much fun :) 
I'm looking forward to Christmas next year to see some more Christmas markets! 


December!

December has been jam-packed with fun, work, and celebrations. Sometimes it was rather stressful, with Christmas celebrations around every corner, but the week of Christmas slowed down and it's been really good just being at home. 

So, some highlights of this month! 
(prepare for a photo-overload)

//late sunrises and early sunsets made for beautiful views//


//St. Nicholas' Day had chocolate popping up at every moment// 

  //we went to Nuremberg to see the market//

//And at Kinderclub we also celebrated Christmas//
Although I missed the actual celebration because I was at the English playgroup, at least I could help set up and be at the team-party afterwards :) 

//There was also Christmas in the International group// 

//The Cafe-Team headed to the Marburg Christmas market for some Gluhwein// 

//There was also celebrations at work, the last English lessons at the Language centre and VHS before Christmas, a Christmas party at CenTral, and Christmas in Sunday School. Whew!// 

//Malcolm and I finally made it together to the Marburg Christmas market, where we enjoyed the pretty lights and smells of Christmas// 


//Then, finally, Christmas came// 
We went to church, with a spectacular view as we came out afterwards. 

And then celebrated with friends at their house. 


The next day, Christmas day, we celebrated again by ourselves. A roast dinner and mince pies, made from scratch, were pretty tasty. 




That evening, since it wasn't all that cold, we went for a walk to see the Christmas lights in Richtsberg.  

On Boxing day, we had the most amazing sunny weather, which we really wanted to enjoy so we went for a walk along the Lahn and into the fields. 
I think this was my favourite day this month.

//Since then, it's mostly been hanging out at home, eating cookies, playing games, seeing friends, and some home-decor upgrades//  

 

Now we're enjoying our last couple days of December, until we celebrate the arrival of 2016!

Friday, 11 December 2015

November

November is past, and the autumn leaves fell from the trees and were replaced with snow. Looking through my photos, they really do mostly centre on the weather... 

In early November we went for a walk to enjoy the last of Autumn, and weren't disappointed. 




Even our balcony was beautiful and golden...


I also had fun with my English-playgroup. We made cookie-monsters and balloons, and it wasn't difficult to get a photo of the kids where their faces aren't visible ;)



St. Martin's Day was also celebrated, and I got the chance to watch the mini-play about St Martin, sing some songs, and join the pre-school's lantern parade. Hoorah! AND then eat a sweet pretzel. It was a fun walk, despite needing to re-light the lantern every time it was dropped!






And then, we delighted in the SNOW which floated down for a whole Sunday, covering everything and making it look pretty.





The snow didn't last long, but the Marburg Municipality made up for it by decorating for Christmas. 


And Malcolm and I then  followed suit by decorating our apartment...



And then to make things reeeally Christmassy, I started Advent with Christmas-cookie baking late into the night...
I love this time of year, and I'm so grateful that Malcolm tolerates me going a little crazy with cookies. 
It was funny, baking cookies in yet another apartment. So far, each apartment has has had it's challenges. In 2013, we didn't have any containers to store them in. In 2014, we had no baking trays and wrapped the racks in foil and had some rather wavy cookies. This year, counter space or space to put hot cookies were the challenge... thank goodness for granite window sills! 
We'll see what the challenge is next year ;)






Now we're quite well into December, with lots of Christmas parties and celebrations, but that'll get blogged in a December-update :)