December Travels: Markets in Germany

by farrah on December 27, 2014 · 0 comments

We had a pretty good month when it came to family traveling. For starters, the stomach flu was behind us (thank god). Once back from that stateside trip over Thanksgiving, everything kind of kicked into high gear and we had to get ready for the holidays with the kids, school, etc. No complaints- as we only planned one trip with the kids to the markets in Germany. Thankfully it was a success that did not involve sickness of any sort! We paid our dues in Michigan I guess.

Nuremberg Christmas MarketThe Nuremberg market

The markets

Learning from last year- we made a plan, set a route and knew what to expect when it came to the famous Christmas markets of Germany. Originally we planned on seeing only the Trier and Nuremberg markets, but at the last-minute we decided to throw in a pit stop to see Ansbach as well since it was sort of in between Trier and Nuremberg. I’m glad we did- as getting a chance to see a smaller market solidified that idea that those are more my type, jingling all the way.

Trier Christmas MarketTrier market

Trier: We reached Trier late afternoon on a Saturday. It was about a 3 hour hike, and the weather was good. We made it to the Hotel Römerbrücke in Trier where they had a family room for us (large bedroom, with double bed in the living room area/bathroom). The staff was extremely friendly, and the price extremely reasonable for the room- but don’t expect any frills. This was simply an overnight stay and it suited our purpose just fine. About a mile walk to the center (through a rather seedy part of town) it was close to our destination- and had a restaurant in the hotel which came in handy. A bit on the overpriced side- but overall worth it for a single night’s stop. The included breakfast was nice- it offset the cost of dinner.

The markets itself was in a pretty setting and decorated well. The crowd was big, but not overwhelming like NBG. There was music being performed high up in the church overlooking the square, and the guys liked the ferris wheel (of course!). The items for sale didn’t really impress me much- it was clear that things were imported and on the cheap side. Bummer.

Ansbach Christmas MarketAnsbach

Ansbach: This was a last-minute idea and I am so glad my husband suggested it! Sunday morning we woke in Trier we got an early start. By 11am we were in Ansbach and as expected- things were pretty quiet so early on a Sunday. We were able to park right outside the market and walk in to no lines, no crowds, and a sprinkling of stalls with locally handmade items. There was a ferris wheel and sausages- while at the first time I saw prosecco! I was thrilled as gluhwine is not my thing.

My only grievance is one that continues to plague me wherever we go: obnoxious Americans making a scene. While we’re out and about  nothing makes my skin crawl more than a large group of Americans drawing attention to themselves and overall perpetuating the stereotype of the awful American tourist. It just seems disrespectful and completely unnecessary. We walked by this group quietly (as we didn’t want them to hear us speaking English) and went on our way. It always saddens me a little bit when I see groups like this- their oblivion to the history and architecture around them, ignorant of the people and the customs where they’re standing, and behaving in a truly oblivious manner with their loud jokes, rude observations of the locals and overall disregard of others. The couples were young and without kids- so I’m trying to chalk up their behavior to youth and inexperience.

Nuremberg Christmas MarketNuremberg- our third trip to this city

Nuremberg: If you’re cool with crowds, this is your market. We could see the swarm of the mob from high atop the hostel’s hill. I was prepared for this though- as I knew full well that this is one of the most famous markets  and famously packed as well. Knowing this- we braced ourselves and joined in the mass going row by row seeing each stall. What I liked most was that the items for sale here seemd to be either made locally or at least in Germany. Yes, there did seem to be many repeats of the same stall, but at least it wasn’t a bunch of junk made cheaply somewhere else.

Nuremberg Christmas Market

The food here was my favorite part as my entire family could eat the famous Nuremberg sausages on a roll with sauerkraut and rich mustard any day. Pretzels, warm roasted almonds and the most delicious potato pancakes were our dinner. I really have to give props to the boys- they didn’t get to see much, as it was body-to-body packed as we shuffled through the rows. Their main line of sight were other people’s legs. I am grateful we don’t use the stroller anymore- because omg, even used as a battering ram it would have been a fiasco.

Nuremberg HostelThe coveted booth at the Nuremberg hostel!

There were a couple of friendly American families staying at the popular hostel, their kids seemed to be the same age as ours- so it was fun to watch them all run around and play hide-and-seek in the common area. Word has clearly gotten out that this is THE place to stay when you come to town with kids. Our boys love it so much, it made me a little sad to realize that this would probably be our last stop here.

What’s next

We don’t have any big family trips planned until spring. I have a girls’ trip planned to Morocco with some friends coming up though- I have to say I can’t wait. I’ve been wanting to go there for quite a while now, and the group I’m going with (Ace, Megan & my friend K in Ireland) is sure to offer up a good time. These are ladies I’ve known for a while and at some point I have traveled with each of them in one way or another. They’re all easy-going and a well-traveled bunch. Oh I cannot wait! Here’s hoping the weather in Fes holds out. I haven’t heard good things for February in Fes…..

All photos taken by me.



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