Trip Start Aug 23, 1996
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Germany  , Rhineland-Palatinate,
Sunday, December 14, 2008

December, the month of Christmas, and the only place to be is in Europe. I never get the way the Brits dress their houses up in lights like there is no tomorrow. Fuck the electricity bills, fuck it all, so to us, once a year, we head over to Germany for some sanity, and a generous helping of gluhwein of course
The Beginning
We flew Ryanair and as to be expected, Frankfurt-Hahn was in the middle of nowhere. Just your typical ex-airbase that had been converted. We went to Hertz, and grabbed our car. I had ordered a VW Fox, but the guy said he had only a Kia Karnival. Upon seeing it, we pissed ourselves. We had been upgraded again, and this time we had been given a people mover that could seat eight !!! So the two of us jumped into this bus and hit the snowy roads.
Imagine that, the only walled town with four gates left standing in Germany !!! We walked in, and in the centre was a church and some markets. It was quite quaint. Whilst walking, the Jewdar went off. Just down the road was a Synagogue. It was locked up, so we moved on. We checked out all four gates whilst following the walls, it was pretty nice. It didn't take long to see it all, so we moved on
Whilst Lucy was reading the book, she discovered that there were two castles in Bruhl, which was on the way to Köln.  Once there, we drove around in circles until we found a carpark that would fit our minibus !!! We went looking for the first castle, but found another market. As I was driving, there was no gluhwein still for me, so we went looking. A couple minutes later, we found it. It looked like a smaller version of the one in Chiemsee, but when we went to the ticket office, we found out that both castles were closed during December and January !!!
We first came here in 2003 and we were both looking forward to this place. We walked around and fuck me it was crowded. We found the champignons man and they went down a treat. I was looking for the Kartofellen mit Knoblauch sauce man, but he didn't appear to be around, so I consoled myself with a couple of gluhweins !!! We went to the melted cheese on bread man before we hit the ice rink. Lucy didn't have her skates, so we both hired some and went on. No edges, it was hard. I skated like I had a fork up my ass !!! At the end, we had some more gluhweins before bed
The next morning, in our family truckster, we headed off to a town that we had ridden through in 96. We thought it was a shithole then, so we went back to be sure !!!
When we came through here before, it was full of Seppoes as they were stationed here. There was a Dom but not much more. The Dom looked good on the outside, a bit plain on the inside, but some nice stained glass windows. Not far away, was the Jewish quarter, so we had a look at the Synagogue. The Nazis had burnt down the one from 1034, and a new one had risen. There was also a bit of old wall and one town gate. On the otherside of town, was the oldest, or so the book says, Jewish cemetery in Europe. There were some very old headstones, I was surprised that this place had survived Nazism.  I walked around, taking it in. It was interesting, actually it was the best thing to see in what really was a dull place !!!
Now the book states that when you go to Heidelberg, everyone else will. All I remember from ten years ago was the camper struggling through the streets and the castle. And this time, there was traffic everywhere !!! We parked and hit the pedestrianised streets. We followed everybody up to the markets which were going off. Similar to everywhere else, but twice as crowded. We found one guy selling champignons, so we bought some. They loaded with knoblau, which made them twice as good !!! We didn't have time to go back to the castle, so we just walked around the various markets taking it in.
We had another drive to get back to the airport, but as we had a spare half hour, we decided to visit one more place
On the banks of the Mosel stands this village. We arrived a little to late for the Weinachts Markt but it was nice walking around having the laneways to ourselves. The majority of the buildings were half-timbered ones, it was pretty nice. As we walked around, we spoke about coming back in the daytime, but we could see it would be a place that would be teeming with tourists, so we enjoyed the shortness of the serenity that we had.
And then it was time to go
And Finally
I will be the first to admit that I've never be Christmasy, but Weinachts Markts in Germany could turn me if I lived there, but until then, I will remain bah humbug !!!

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