Germany, the first weeks:
|A life-sized Gingerbread Haus at the Munich Christmas Market|
|Sunset in Edenkoben, a small village-town about 1.5 hours drive south of Frankfurt and 0.5 hours west the Rhein River.|
|Edenkoben is one of many villages through which the Wine Street runs. The "Weinstrasse" is an old route that winds NE and SW away from Edenkoben for roughly 30 Km in each direction. Can you see the moon at the top of the picture?||When I arrived in Munich, we drove directly to the Munich Christmas Market, the first of many fairs I would visit in Germany. The tree in this picture stands before an ancient cathedral in the city centre.|
Christmas Markets of the area...
|This is a typical street in the city of Landau and typifies the routes I make through all the towns around Edenkoben, such as Neustadt, Mainz, Roth, and Mannheim.||Various vendors of food, drink, and craft, line the maze-like avenues made at each market. Already I miss the sounds of carousing villagers and the tapestry of smells that wove through the makeshift streets!|
|Above, The Cheesemouse offers about 1,000,000 kinds of cheese while to the left we find the bread man removing a fresh pan of his wares from a wood-burning oven. The demand for this bread is so high that an ever-present line of people are guaranteed to receive fresh, steaming rolls that taste better still in the cold night air. To the right is a carrousel, another standard fixture of a Christmas Market.|
|The area around Edenkoben is as varied as any area of British Columbia, containing within it forests, plains, hills, rocky streams, lakes, and so on. Above, two pictures show a mountain path through which we hiked the Boar Country. A boar, for those unacquainted, is like a pig, except for its being covered in dark, matted fur instead of cute pink skin. Oh, and they have massive tusks that grow up out of its mouth. And they are incredible aggressive hunters that are highly protective of their territory. I didn't see any, but surely heard no less that 30 in the course of that 2 hour walk.
And to the right is a picture of the river that winds through Edenkoben. Named the Triefenbach, its history as a social landmark is rich. For decades of decades the people of the area have used it for work and play.
|And to the right and below are two pictures of Kinder Surprise Eggs in Germany. First we see row on row of the glorious eggs, each of them full of the promise of joy behind wrapping of foil and chocolate!
Then we see the carnage that results when one such as I cannot help but buy 24 at a time and unwrap them at once in search of those most-coveted Star Wars Happy Hippos! Here we see 2 Yodas vs. a Darth Vader hidden amongst the rabble:
|This below is a closeup shot of a typical array of doorbells found on 'houses' in Germany (refer to journal for further adventures).|
|To the left we see an automobile indigenous to Europe - the SMART. Though this runty car is a startling sight for North American eyes, they populate the roads here like rabbits, flitting about in rainbow colours like four-wheeled iMAC's.|