"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


Noël à la Strasbourg

When my family was here we took a daytrip to Strasbourg, France. This was my second trip there (see November post "An Afternoon in France"), but this time the town was all lit up for the holidays and the Christmas Market was in full swing. Unfortunately it was windy, cold and rainy, which put a bit of a damper on things.

this is our 'cold' picture on the river in the "La Petite France" district of the city

not sure if it was a good idea to put Uncle T in charge of Penelope when crossing over the canal

what a great mother I am--focused on smiling for the picture instead of the fact that Penelope can no longer see...

the grandparents out for a stroll. grandpa blends in well with his beret.

Strasbourg's Christmas Market is one of the few that is open after Christmas Eve. There has been a Christmas Market in front of the city's Notre Dame cathedral for many centuries, but these days it spills out onto every town square in the main part of the city. I must admit I was pretty much over the whole Christmas Market thing by this time, but there were a few things that caught my eye.

entrance to one of the markets (there is quite a bit of German in Strasbourg, even though it's now part of France)

there were at least a hundred stalls all crammed together in this square--a little too gaudy for my tastes, but makes a good picture.

plenty to satisfy everyone's sweet tooth

Aunt A and Uncle T waiting in line at a Gluehwein stand--or Vin Chaud as the French call it

One unique thing about Strasbourg during the holidays is the effort they put into lighting up their town. Just about every street had some sort of festive light decoration on display. Here are some of my favorites...

festive Baroque building with trompe d'oeil painting on the facade and Christmas trees in the (real) windows

trumpeting angels going down one street and red curtains and wreaths going down another

Penelope entranced by the lights

and then there was the tree. the biggest christmas tree i've ever seen. i'm talking ginormous. with 50 gazillion lights. (for real!)

here's to give you some perspective

street that runs into the Notre Dame Cathedral--you can barely see it in the background

the cathedral rising above the skyline

The Strasbourg Cathedral is still my favorite aspect of the city. When we went in this time there was a huge, almost life-size, nativity scene on display.

looking towards the high altar

When all is said and done, the cathedral itself puts all of the Christmas decorations to shame.

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