Wednesday 7th Dec.
Well, the rain did not hold off. In fact it rained in Biblical proportions...all day. We drove around for a couple of hours and did a bit of shopping but the rain was so bad we dare not even take a camera out except for this a dusk.
|This was near the top of a pass. Lower down it was raging.|
We pulled the plug on the day and chilled out with a few beers in the hotel.
Thursday 8th Dec.
The rain has finally stopped and we have checked out of the hotel and set sail for Strasbourg. Now most people know that this is where bleeding heart liberals go to to air their complaints as a last resort to the European Court of Human Rights. For the most part, the wimps win, but I digress.
What a lot of people do not know is where it is.
I thought it was in Switzerland, Karen thought it was in Germany and a later conversation with Margo (Karens Mum) revealed that she thought it was in Austria.
Anyway, its in France on the border of Germanys Black forest.
We found our pre booked hotel and the jumped on a bus and a tram into town.
We were advised to go there by our previous hotelier. He gave us good advice. It was wonderful. Another city that time forgot and the cathederal was incredible - as they all are in this part of the world.
|The old part of town|
|They take their Christams decorations serious. Makes Harlow look a bit naff.|
|Part of an open air museum behind the cathederal.|
|The detail on the outside of the cathederal was awesome.|
|The inside was pretty amazing too.|
|Tapestries adorned all the walls.|
|One of the nativity models.|
|An anatomical clock inside the cathederal.|
|They call Christmas "De Noel" in France.|
|One of the market stalls|
|The cathederal in the sunset.|
This was funny. We bought some stuff and did not want to carry it so we asked them to keep it for us. The market was so big that we needed a landmark to find our way back to the same stall. I said to Karen "We need a land mark", She said "That will do", pointing to the gingerbread man and took this photo:
I then said "What about that then", she turned around and was stood beside this: I laughed. She did'nt.
|More docoration in another part of the market.|
|On the way back we went through this covered mall. These decorations, we later found out, are real crystal.|
We had some bad news when we got back to the hotel and logged on to the computer. A Crown court Judge has ordered that I attend court in London on either the 21st or the 9th Jan. I am not happy, I knew there was a trial going on that I had some input into, but the police officer in charge of it neglected to mention the fact that I needed to attend. I am not happy.
Friday 9th Dec.
Another day, another coutry. This time back into Germany. Baden-Baden this time. Unfortunately the rain was again biblical all day so no photos were taken at all and we ventured out only late in the evening to share the rain with some other German stalwarts in the nearby drenched Wheinachts Markt. After a few Gluweins it was off to bed.
|The sum total of our photography today. A man playing the Pan Pipes on the stage.|
Saturday 10th Dec.
We struck camp and drove the 250km to Luxembourg. This is another one of those small Principalties, although this one is quite big compared to Lichtenstein. There is one good thing though. No Tax. Diesel is about £1.05 per litre and there is no VAT...Nice. The usual visit to the Christmas Market was almost abandoned due to lack of somewhere to park. We sorted it in the end. Another lovely European town (country !).
|Dunno what this is, first thing we saw.|
|Idiot looking for an elusive parking space.|
|We eventually found a parking space here. Nice.|
|The Chritmas Market or Wheinacht Markt or De Noel......who knows. This is Luxembourg.|
Sunday 11th Dec.
Heading North we drove through part of Belgium and then back into our favourite country....Germany again. This time the town of Aachen. I had been here as a kid on a school trip but as I was only about 13 I do not remember much about it. Once we had sorted the hotel out we chilled for a bit then drove out for a Vietnamese meal. It was actually a pleasant change from my usual staple diet of currywurst that I thrive on in this part of the word.
Monday 12th Dec.
The town of Aachen has probably one of the best cathederals we have been in. It is however hard to compare, they are all breathtaking buildings. I said to Karen, "I am sure glad we did not bomb this lot". The centre of town is a square which is currently the Christmas Market and on either side if the Cathederal and the Rathaus (Town Hall). The pictures speak for themselves.
|Inside view of the previous photo. The caskets are gold.|
|These photos insult the beauty of this building.|
|And this is the Town Hall opposite the cathederal. I still prefer Harlow Town Hall......not.|
|The cathederal in its entirity|
|This is a market bar. "HEXENHOF" means "Witches Court"|
|A nice little pub attached to the Cathederal. Now we know where the term "Church Key" (bottle opener) comes from.|