Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Baden-Baden, Strausburg, Gengenbach, near Villingen

The morning began with taking photos of the little village in which we stayed overnight.  Our hostess at the guesthouse could not speak a word of English but she wanted to be sure we were pleased with her accommodations.
Overnight Guesthaus

View of Vineyards from Guesthaus
Vineyards along the road in our town

Once on the road we were headed to Strasbourg, France.  Strasbourg says it is the Christmas Capital of the World!! We do not know who set the standards, but we will say it was very large and it was very nice.   Strasbourg is just over the Rhine River into France, so their Christmas market does have French items for sale, plus much of what we have seen elsewhere.  Very little English is spoken in Strasbourg!! And we know NO French! We do know a little bit of German – enough that we can survive, plus some words you can simply figure out, while in French! NO WAY!
Plowing the green crop in.

Strasburg Christmas Market

Strasburg Cathedral - Closed Today

Christmas Market Entrance
Pizza Baguettee for lunch
Stand selling Figureens

We returned to Germany and began driving southeast to the Black Forrest region. We stopped in Offenburg & Gengenbach to see their markets.  Gengenbach was the nicer of the two.  One of the main buildings on the central plaza which is lovely in itself has the Advent Calendar on its windows, so each day of advent at 5:30 pm a shutter is opened.  It is a popular time to be at the Christmas market.
More vineyards on the route
Entering the Gengenbach Market

Those irresistible crapes
Ice Skating

Advent Calendar on the Building

City Gate Tower

Take your pick - Just in time for Christmas

We continued driving southeast on back roads. The higher we got the more snow was on the ground, plus in some locations they just received snow today as the roads were not clear.  It was beautiful, but it was after 4:00 and getting too dark for good photos as you are driving.  We passed through some lovely small villages.  We arrived in the tourist town of Triberg!  Triberg is a beautiful village anytime of the year but especially in the snow! However we did not find any opened hotels, as many of them are beginning to close for the winter, so we continued on to the village of St George.  We found an open guesthouse at the top of the town in St George.  We will be the last guest for the season at this guesthouse, as they are closing tomorrow, so we were fortunate to have located it.  We will take photos in the morning from the view of our windows as we are so high above the valley.  We will also walk around town taking photo before we leave.

The Streets of St George

Our Guesthaus
The weather – It is cold – about 12 degrees, and up in the mountains they have had about 12 inches of snow.  Tonight we walked to a Chinese restaurant – It was good we had boots with traction, as we walked down the hill to the center of town.  There are piles of snow everywhere and ridges of snow beside the roads.  Tomorrow we plan to drive the few km back to see Triberg in the daylight, before we move ahead.  
Tomorrow is Thursday and we have to back in Frankfurt by Sunday pm – our 3 weeks is almost over!  As we have traveled in Europe in the past we have avoided the larger cities, as we love the little towns, so why deal with the hassle of larger cities.  However this time, if we want to see the Christmas market, we have to go into the ‘Centrum’.   We have done well driving right into the town centers (only a few missed turns), parking in the ‘park houses’ (parking garages), and being near the Christmas markets. However being out on the back roads is more our style.         

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