Our second excursion, December 2016: Germany to visit the Christmas markets with Young Neighbors. What I knew as Chriskindlmarkts now seem to be mostly Weihnachtsmarkts – from Christ Child markets to Christmas markets…

Our trip began, appropriately, with gingerbread latte from the Starbucks at Alicante airport. In Texas, gingerbread latte is a sign that the holiday season has arrived.

We began in Frankfurt, where we quickly missed the moderate weather, cheap transportation, and multiple restaurants on every block back home in Alicante.

Wednesday, our first night in Frankfurt, we had a fabulous Italian dinner at L’Osteria. As we finished eating, we were approached by two the German guys sitting at the table next to us. They asked where we were from, and they wanted the whole story. One of them did all of the talking (apologizing the whole time for his MORE than adequate English) until we got on the topic of food, specifically, steaks. He was quite passionate about his T-bones and ribeyes! Todd stopped at the bar on our way out of the restaurant to send them tequila shots. No tequila, so they got Jack Daniels, neat. The bartender was a little confused that we weren’t sending Coke with the shots!

The next day: a morning stroll along the Rhine to the Weihnachtsmarkt. Our first gluhwein. After eating the traditional meat on a stick, we crossed over to the Kleinmarkthalle, much more colorful than our own Mercado!

Thursday evening, we returned to the Weihnachtsmarkt to enjoy it at night. But it was so crowded we could hardly move. It was Bourbon Street at Mardi Gras, with meat on a stick and gluhwein and apfel wein.

Friday morning, we took the train to Stuttgart. When we asked the hotel desk staff for a nearby authentic German restaurant, then sent us down the street to Hans im Gluck. “Authentic German” ended up being a chain restaurant featuring salads and burgers – with NO mustard to be had! WHAT?!

We met up with Max & Kirstain and took the train to Stuttgart’s Weihnachtsmarkt, where we bought scented soaps, gluhwein, meds, apfel wein, assorted ornaments, gluhwein… All the things you’re supposed to do at a traditional German Christmas market, plus a visit to the Apotheke for meds for my tos (cough).  We had a lovely, truly authentic German dinner at the market.

For fun, we rode back to Frankfurt with Max and Kirstain, stopping at the Mercedes-Benz museum on the way out of Stuttgart. We stopped by their home in Eltville, outside of Wiesbaden.

Back in Frankfurt, we treated them to dinner at L’Osteria. It was so good, it was worth going again.

Note: Mercure Frankfurt hotel by the train station is in the red light district.

 

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