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December 19, 2004

(written February)


Dear Families and Friends,

Christmas in Germany is all about Christmas Markets, Weinachtsmarkts. Every city, town, village and dorf has theirs. Here are the few we managed to make it to in 2004


John and Marianne


Our home town markt is big, spread throughout downtown but centered on Romer Platz, (the "Roman's place", site of an original army base of the empire's invaders. Kind of like Marianne's base.) City hall was decorated with a huge, lighted tree and the square and passageways were filled with kiosks, children's rides, and people - plenty of people. We've been here often enough now that we recognize the pattern and places of the regulars and it's nice to be adopting our own patterns. It's all a part of being "at home" in Deutschland.


Wiesbaden is a very pleasant town west of Frankfurt. The Weinachtmarkt is a smaller version of its neighbor's. In fact, most of these markets have the same range of kiosks, selling sausage sandwiches, warm clothes, spiced wine and sweets. Bigger towns have more, smaller towns may have just a few and Wiesbaden is about mid-way with a few of everything. Their market is set around the local cathedral and a drop-by visit offered a quiet moment among all the commercial Christmas kiosks.


Speaking of empire army bases, we continued our search for a new job for Marianne. Her base closes this year and we will move to somewhere in Bavaria (I hope). The small town of Ansbach was a possibility and, after seeing the school, we visited their smallish Markt: nice, but not memorable. Kind of like Ansbach.


Nuremberg is famous for toys, so it's no surprise that their Weinachtmarkt is devoted to children and is among the biggest in Germany. There were the normal assortment of kiosks and crowds, but my favorite was the Peruvian-Indian musician troupe, dressed as movie-version North American Indians. We've seen this bunch before so, somehow, for us, it's all a part of German tradition.


Our last Weinachtsmarkt was the smallest of all. Garmisch, our Alpine Christmas-host village, had a half dozen kiosks. Sometimes there would be musicians, playing for an audience of joyful juniors and sunning seniors. This too captured our traditional German Christmas market.

(For more Garmisch, see our Christmas diaries.)

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