Frankfurt, Germany

Our final stop in Europe was Frankfurt, Germany, where we would be flying out in the morning.  We found another great German restaurant.

Then we headed to a certain bridge to participate in the New Year’s Eve celebrations.  We had no idea what to expect, and were shocked to find ourselves right in the middle of the fireworks.  It seems that everyone carries their own roman candles and other various items, and starts setting them off at the stroke of midnight.  It was like being in a war zone.

It was crazy!  Sarah sent this Snapchat:  “The entire city is exploding!”

In addition to explosions in the air, people were also setting up fireworks in the middle of the streets.

We were happy to get out of there alive.

We started heading back to the hotel and the views all around were eerie but beautiful.

Something else rather scary happened in Frankfurt.  I had to park the rental car this close to the wall.

And this close to the other car.  I did manage to get out, but only by standing up high as you can see.  It was quite the challenge but pretty funny.  I had no other choice.  This was a crazy few hours, indeed.

 

 

 

 

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Rothenburg, Germany

Sarah and I walked around the city of Rothenburg on the high walls that surround the city.  It’s truly special.  First you climb several stairs and then you’re on your way.

It’s a great way to see the city.

There are many towers to go through on your way.

There’s really nothing else quite like it.

Isn’t it amazing?

 

 

 

 

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Sarah and I were very recited to return to Rothenburg, which we had visited when we travelled with Ambassadors of Music.  This ancient walled city is beautiful, and even more so at Christmas time.

The shops were full of delightful displays.

The darkened streets were fun to wander; something new was around every corner.

 

We ate more than one meal in Rothenburg and the food was outstanding.

This is a great town to stay in for a while; I’ll share more photos on my next post.

Otterberg, Germany

Now it was time to visit Otterberg, Germany again.  I love this town where our ancestors lived in the early 1700’s.  This was Sarah’s first chance to see the area, and though their Christmas market was over it still was beautifully decorated inside the church.

I wonder if our ancestors gazed upon the same rose window?

Did they use these same decorative door handles?

Or touch this podium?

Hans Nicolaus Kuntz was the almoner of the village in 1703; did he stand in front of the congregation (like I do) and ask people to donate to the needs of children in poverty?

Surely they used this well to collect water before embarking on the long migration to Ireland in 1709, due to their own hardship when Austrian troops came through and overtook their home.

Surely they walked these same streets and were happy to see familiar buildings when they returned from Ireland in 1718.

How thrilled they must have been to see the church again, only to bid farewell to it for the last time when they immigrated to the New World in 1735.

Some beautiful carvings remain behind; perhaps these tell the stories of these brave, strong people.

 

Baden-Baden, Germany

The next stop on our tour of Christmas markets last year was Baden-Baden, Germany.  This was a really special market place.

Just beyond the market was a unique display of artwork that was gorgeous.

Once again, the food got our attention, but not only the food, the restaurant itself.  It was an enclosed porch of a beautiful hotel, but cold enough that they provided blankets at each chair.  So nice and cozy with warm cider!

Really yummy!

The breakfast buffet was fantastic too.

 

Colmar, France

Our second stop in search of Christmas markets last year was at Colmar, France.  This was in a beautiful part of the city called “La Petite Venise,” and you can see why with all the canals.

There were plenty of holiday decorations all around.

There was even a carnival with a fun roller coaster with “seats” in the shape of horses (and yes, they rocked back and forth as they went around the track).

Once again, the food was outstanding.

The markets had thousands of fun items to see.

There were many nativities all around too.

These faces carved into the entryway of the old cathedral were fascinating to me.

We will never forget beautiful Colmar!

 

Strasbourg, France

Here are more photos from Strasbourg last year during the after-Christmas markets.  Everything was decorated so beautifully.

Of course, the food is always good in France.

I called this “the sink that wasn’t a sink.”