Romantischer Weihnachtsmarkt 2013

We bid Regensburg adieu on our last night in town for a while from the Romantischer Weihnachtsmarkt over on the grounds of the local royalty.

It’s nice to be able to see the hawkers of wares actually making them — that’s what we like best about this Christmas market.

I couldn’t resist capturing a couple shots of iffy depictions of Native Americans and these musicians from a travel agency in the center of town.

We’re going dark for a little while (right when the Solstice is upon us) — have a good slide into 2014.

Regensburg Christmas Market Opening Hours 2011

Public Service Announcement: Regensburg Christmas Market Opening Hours 2011 are shorter than in previous years — don’t let this ruin your holiday evening plans!

  • The big market on Neupfarrplatz, closes at just 20:00 Sunday through Wednesday or 21:00 Thursday through Saturday until December 23.
  • The Lucreziamarkt, with its artisan goods and small musical stage split between Kohlenmarkt and Haidplatz, closes at just 20:00 every night until December 23.
  • At least the Romantischer Weihnachtsmarkt on the local palace grounds is open later: until 22:00 Sunday through Wednesday and 23:00 Thursday through Saturday. Of course, you have to pay a fee to get in there, but it’s worth it in our opinion: they do a great job of setting the mood with old-fashioned food, drink, and music offerings. Our tip: visit the markets without admission fees first and stop by the palace for a romantischer visit after 20:00 (21:00 on Friday and Saturday), in which case the price of admission is drastically reduced.
  • The Katharinenspital market — not open every day! — mostly afternoons and evenings through December 23 — is still pretty new (this is only its second year). It’s normally a popular Biergarten on the North bank of the Danube, but there’s a small petting zoo there now along with the usual crafts and eats. Wednesday and Thursday: 16:00-22:00, Friday 14:00-22:00, Saturday 11:00-22:00, Sunday 11:00-20:00

If you can navigate the events calendar on, you might already know this. But we have a feeling lots of folks visiting this year will be caught by surprise having a nice long, warm, indoor restaurant meal and still expecting plenty of merriment outside with a little Glühwein dessert. We were dismayed to find it had all shut down by the time we were ready to roll!

Five Wintry Scenes

It’s been really pretty around here lately.

I snapped this on the way to work one morning a couple of weeks ago from the bridge from our island, over the Jahninsel, and across to the Unterer Wöhrd.

Barny - PC181333We found this guy waiting for us out in the cold at the Adventsmarkt im Katarinenspital. His name is Barny and he’s a Romanian Dwarf Donkey. As we were leaving to warm up back in our apartment, he let out a wail that made everyone stop in their tracks. That was the most sorrowful thing I’ve ever heard at a Christmas market.

Santa on Stilts - PC181348This guy might have been drunk — he was interrupting his own shtick to bark out commands at passersby snapping his picture (but not me).

Ornament - PC191368Sort of a self-portrait, snapped on the edge of the Lucreziamarkt on Haidplatz. I would have missed the shot but for our guests for the weekend, who pointed it out.

Altes Rathaus Christbaum - PC181349Merry Christmas everyone!

Five Munich Christmas Markets and an upcoming trip to Turkey

Englischer Garten near Chinesicher Turm

Englischer Garten near Chinesicher Turm

Yesterday we headed down to the Munich Airport in Freising to scope out some deals for Christmas travel. We were thinking about some place exotic, and at least kind of warm (though a fantastic deal on a trip to Iceland would not have been out of the question), wanting to add another country to our list. Cyprus, Egypt, Turkey, Morocco and even Thailand were in the mix. In the end, we opted for a 10-night stay in the Turkish Riviera region at an all-inclusive resort. Since we’re going toward the end of December, we’re not expecting weather particularly well-suited for pool lounging; rather we’re hoping for more opportunities to check out the area. The travel agent assured us that hotel-arranged and public transport would meet our needs for getting out and around. Feedback in advance about the area will be much appreciated!

After that, we met up with the Zurikas and caught a bus to the Chinesischer Turm in the Englischer Garten in Munich. We hit the Christmas Market there and snagged some adorable mugs as memorabilia. We didn’t have to renege on the deposit at all — they’ll happily sell you clean, unused mugs for the same price as the deposit on the one you just drained.

After that, we spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying four, yes four! additional Christmas markets:

  • The artsy one in Schwabing
  • The one at Sendlinger Tor, where I purchased some really nifty “glittens” — fingertipless gloves with a removable mitten-like hood over the otherwise exposed fingertips (these will be perfect for winter photography and bike-lock fumbling)
  • Pink Christmas
  • The renfesty one (near Odeonsplatz), which was suprisingly crowded, considering the lack of soup-in-a-bread-bowl until we got ourselves some Feuerzangenbowle (see the goblets with rum-soaked sugar cubes on the side? Yeah, they light that stuff on FIRE!)

Aw, bummer, we’d just missed him!

Another Weekend in Weimar and Erfurt

When we learned of the Mauerfall Spezial for 20€ tickets to anywhere in Germany, we jumped on it. We weren’t sure where we wanted to go, so when TQE graciously suggested we stay with him, we thought “Why not? He’s the one who told us about the special price, after all!”

So on Friday after getting my 40 hours in for the week I bolted out of work and Sarah and I headed “up North” (man, that term just feels wrong when it’s not applied to Michigan) to visit TQE and check out Erfurt. I’d been there once before, but Sarah didn’t get to explore it with me as she was departing for a shopping in London with pal Monet at the time. Erfurt is a neat-looking place with an intact medieval town center and a swell modern tram system. I’m glad to have seen it again and pleased as punch to squeeze in a visit with TQE.

We managed to take nine trains over the course of this weekend, and every single one of them was on time. I know how much it chafes when DB leaves you in the lurch, but this weekend, they met our expectations easily. Except, maybe in the translation department. Anyone know what the heck is going on here? It’s a small placard on a compartment in an ICE we took from Saalfeld to Nürnberg this afternoon:

Is that a (mis)translation from “Hahn” to “cooks”? Or just a misspelling (perhaps one ‘o’ too many and one ‘c’ too few)?

In other news, if you’re going to ask someone to send you barbecue sauce from back home in the states (because it’s just that good in your home area), make sure you have them package it as well as my mother-in-law did. This jar/bottle (not sure, haven’t opened it yet) of Rosedale sauce would have been a disaster if not for her clever use of an air-tight plastic bag. The other bottles and jars managed to not get seasick in transit, and had better seals to begin with. Only Rosedale’s crummy (non-existant?) seal was suspect and Susie’s instinct was straight as an arrow on this one (but not on the Bull’s Eye, thankyouverymuch).

got home OK

United almost screwed us up again with about an hour delay on the one-hour flight from Detroit to Chicago, but with a little airport aerobics, we caught the 767 from Chicago directly to Munich — and even our luggage made the trip too (hadn’t figured on that). We even snagged a couple seats on the AirportLiner shuttle bus to Regensburg (without having reserved in advance), got home, and I started working while Sarah started sleeping (she didn’t catch a wink on the plane, whereas I got at least 4 hours).

But now I’m hungry. And I measure that hunger in half-meter lengths of sausage and baguettes with horseradish AND mustard.

Time to hit the Weihnachtsmarkt. Yum.