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Christmas Visitors

December 17-19, 2010

Written December 20-27

Friends and Families ,

This is the first of the Christmas diaries where we will talk about Alice and Chuck's great adventure. They are friends from the Washington D.C. area who took us up on our offer of a stay at the Trotter B&B.

Because I had work in Offenbach, Marianne joined me in Offenbach and we enjoyed one snowy walk to dinner Thursday evening. It made for a fun walk, but the prospect of driving the next morning to the airport and then back home was a bit unsettling. Mostly, we just hoped the flight would be reasonably on time.


December 17, airport to Rothenburg

Despite the news warnings of "travel chaos throughout Europe", Alice and Chuck got on United 916, Washington to Frankfurt, and we picked them up after a very short flight delay. So far so good. I had been afraid of icy early morning roads, so we had taken the subway out to the airport, allowing an easy taxi ride back to my Offenbach hotel for breakfast.

Fed and looking only a little glassy-eyed, our guests were put immediatley into touring mode and we set off for Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a quaint, reconstructed Bavarian village on almost all tours. The drive down went OK, the Audi Allroad proving its worth in the snow it was designed for.

Rothenburg itself was fun, as usual. The snow and Christmas decorations made it even more scenic than usual. And Alice and Chuck got their first taste of glühwein. Through it all, they held up like troupers, but didn't seem to mind when the Allroad tour bus left for the Trotter B&B and a nap.

December 18, Bamberg

The next day, we started with a bakery breakfast in Pommersfelden and a nice, slow start of the day's tour: Bamberg. As usually happens, we enjoyed showing guests our nearest "big city". The snow didn't slow us down and it made the old buildings even nicer.

December 19, Nuremberg

Sunday started with another round of snow. Our patio lounge chair looked as soft as ever and, outside the front door, snow had piled up. Again. I am getting tired of this stuff, but we had another tour: Nuremberg.



Our first stop was the Albrecht Dürer Museum. We watched a short video of the artist's life and then wandered in his Nuremberg home.


The highlight was the workshop. There were original Dürer woodcuts and example prints, but the best part was a real artist doing "intaglio" (prints from copper etchings). She made an owl especially for Alice and Chuck.


After the museum, we did the mandatory swing through the Nuremberg Christmas Market, reportedly the largest in Germany. I have to admit that it is not my favorite since it seems to be the same thing repeated a half-dozen times. We zoomed past about a third and that was enough.

From there it was a quick stop for Christmas stollen (a sweet bread) and home in time to rest before our travels the next day.

Coming up: Lisbon!!! (Assuming the current outbreak of travel chaos in Europe doesn't get in the way. Stay tuned.


John and Marianne


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