Thanksgiving in Germany

Trip Start Nov 02, 2010
Trip End Jan 15, 2011

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Flag of Germany  , Baden-Württemberg,
Thursday, November 25, 2010

Still catching up on my travel logs!

It's shocking how many people ask us if they celebrate Thanksgiving in Germany....No, they do not celebrate anything relating to our pilgrims, Indians, or turkeys.  Landstuhl, however, because of the number of Americans here, offers traditional Thanksgiving type buffets on Thursday.  We decided that we would forgo the most likely regrettable choice of eating jello molds and cranberry sauce made by people who do not actually eat them for good German food.

When Mike got off work we drove to Heidelberg, about 2 hours from home.  This is one of the main college towns in Germany.  Heidelberg University is the oldest in the country, founded in 1386.  It is also home to one of the most famous castles in Europe.  Every town, big or small, has a castle here.  In most cases, they are a dime a dozen.  Heidelberg's castle, though, has some interesting highlights that set it apart from the rest.  We took a tour that showed us through the huge compound and shared some of the local legends.  Parts of the castle have been restored and are used can get married here in the chapel and then have your reception in the ballroom.  A lot of the castle is still in ruin, though, from centuries of fighting.  Oddly, none of the destruction you see came from bombing during WWII.  Heidelberg castle's claim to fame was its wine cask.  It is called the Grosses Fass (Big Cask) and it is still the world's biggest.  I wish we had a person in the picture to give some proportion to it, but the fence you see along the top is actually a giant dance floor!  We also took a picture of the statue of Perkeo, the court jester dwarf.  It was his duty to guard the wine cask and he is still talked about to this day for the amount of wine he could put away.

As usual, we capped off our day with a stroll through the Christmas Market and a wonderful dinner.  We did eat some Puten (turkey), but it was definitely German cuisine and delicious! 
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