"One day it occurred to me that it had been many years since the world had been afforded the spectacle of a man adventurous enough to undertake a journey through Germany on foot. After much thought, I decided that I was a person fitted to furnish to mankind this spectacle. So I determined to do it. This was in March, 1878." Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad


Esslingen Christmas Market

When Grandma was in town the week before Christmas we visited several nearby Christmas markets. The market at Esslingen was my favorite. The town of Esslingen was established in 777 (no, I didn't forget a number--777 AD!) and is the perfect backdrop for a Christmas Market.

the entrance to the traditional christmas market

christmas pyramid in the market square

we couldn't resist giving penelope a ride on the carousel

she loved it! (sticking out her tongue and slobbering is penelope-talk for "awesome!")

all of the stalls were decked out with evergreen limbs. this one is selling the traditional wooden decorations from a region in east germany.

our favorite part of the esslingen market was the midieval market.

everyone was dressed in costumes and the atmosphere was very jovial and entertaining. one highlight was this hand-cranked ferris wheel.

this little boy wasn't so keen on the idea, however.

penelope loved listening to the music and singing by these strange looking dudes.

we were happy to find a warm, inviting cafe where we could sit down and have a hot cup of tea. penelope instructed grandma on how to properly eat a rice cake.

and how to share.

this is my favorite facial expression. when you've got to go, you've got to go!

making flammekuchen (german version of pizza?)

where we spent a good chunk of the evening--huddled next to the open fire drinking gluewein.

the rathaus (town hall) lit up at night

the main square where the midieval market is located.

stall selling "schneeballen" (snowballs)--fried sweet dough that is dipped in chocolate or powdered sugar and usually contains some type of sweet filling. i attempted to devour one on the train on our way home. i think i gave the man collecting tickets a good laugh when i looked up to show him my ticket and had bits of chocolate all over my face.

one last picture before calling it a night.

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