Sunday, 4 December 2011

99 Germany, The Black Forest

Saturday 3rd December

After a pleasant evening, we woke with great excitment looking forward to the Weihnachts Markt.  It was still being worked on and the stalls being opened up when we went for a walk around it.  Neustadt was not as eager as I was.
This is one ot the things I like about Germany. A proper sign to the train Station. It is typical of the care and pride these people have in their villages and towns.
It was also very small, so after a trip to the bank for the old gift vouchers, we decided to go slightly larger and went to Freiburg instead.  Very good move on our part.
These Christmas Markets are nearly always in the center of the town square.
It was still well before midday when we got there and we were greeted by lots of Germans drinking Gluwein and singing christmas carols, it turned into a Christmas Oktober fest, absolutely great fun.
This was brilliant. There were several kids around the square, playing instruments to Christmas music and the locals (half drunk) were singing along to it. I wish we could produce this atmosphere in the UK.
A litttle bit of shopping and a little bit of gluwein later we were well on our way to feeling very christmasy.  It's not such a bad idea really, get everybody tipsy and then they spend more money.

We were actually struggling for somewhere to stay, all of Freiburg and the surrounding area seemed to be booked solid.  We ended up travelling to Bleibach, a tiny little village, but up on the hill was a very large and expensive hotel, but they could take us and Leon.  We had a very quiet night and enjoyed the comfort.

Nice hotel. They charge by the person and when we went to breakfast, only Karens name was on the seat label beside one place setting. They soon sorted it when I told them. On leaving, Karen paid the bill whilst I started Gromit and as we drove away I asked how much it was and it became apparent that they had forgotten to add me a guest. Nice, and funny considering we had two evening meals on the bill too.

Sunday 4th December
 On the road again, today the weather is very wet and grey.  We are moving onto Hechtsburg where Ray has pre booked us a room for two nights in a smalle hotel.  We checked it out then drove on into Freundstadt to sample their Weihnachts Markt, but the weather put a big damper on it, not only was it raining hard, but the wind had an icy chill to it, however nothing his favourite curry wurst and another gluwein couldn't sort out.  It's such a shame, I have all these spending vouchers and I can't get rid of them at the moment.  Oh well tomorrow is another day.  We took a long slow drive back through the forest, but again the weather made viewing, what we know is beautiful scenery, very difficult.
This was the main road through one of the villages we drove through.

How nice are these villages ?

Same village as above, looking the other way. In the UK there would be 2 gaudy yellow lines down each side.

One of the few breaks in the cloud.

Another main road through a village.

This, believe it or not, is an advent callender. Unfortunately, no new piece of chocolate each day.
We are settled into the hotel now and are going off to do some more exploring tomorrow. 

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