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Trip Report Rothenburg o/d Tauber - Christmas Market 2009

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One of the Christmas Markets I visited this year was at Rothenburg o/d Tauber. It is one of the more structured markets, with a set weekly agenda, and we chose to go on a Wednesday for the Children's Parade of Lights. I was afraid it might be over-run by frenzied tourists but was pleasantly surprised to find a warm family atmosphere instead.

We arrived in time to have a leisure late lunch, traditional German fare, at Gasthof Butz on Kappelenplatz, 4. Food was very tasty and affordable. Service was excellent in a relaxed environment, beautifully decorated for the holidays. They also have about 12 rooms upstairs, and I made a mental note that I wouldn't mind staying at Gasthof Butz next time we were overnighting instead of Gasthof Edith/Spaetzle-Schwob. Besides friendly service, the premises were immaculate and it is centrally located just off the Marktplatz. It has 2 different exits, each letting onto a different street, which would be very convenient during a stay.

We then proceeded to visit some of the local merchants, since they have so much to offer (my friend found a lovely traditional wool jacket), before hitting the actual market streets themselves. There was a little bit of everything: local produce, spices, toys, rides for the kids, food and candy vendors, etc. They also had a nativity scene encased in glass which was nice, but a little hidden down a covered alley. As night descended we hurried back to the Rathaus just in time for the start of the children's Parade of Lights.

It was great fun to stand amidst proud parents & grandparents as the oldest children in red capes & proudly bearing lit lamps paraded into the square and took their position up on the Rathaus steps. The younger children then paraded in with their lamps glowing as well (I think by class, as they all seemed to be in groups by age) and watched the performance behind cordonned off areas in front. There was a brass band, singing, recitation of a poem, a (very fake, unfortunately) St. Nicholas, culminating with the famous Night Wathman mounting his steed and galloping off into the night to the delight of the children.

Following this, many families celebrated together with a snack and a cup of "glow wine" or non-alchoholic punsch from the market stalls, stopping to chat with friends and neighbors. We were ready for a hot cup of coffee and a slice of torte inside at the Baumeisterhaus before heading home. Delicious pastries, wonderful coffee service in a captivating setting.

Thought you might enjoy a few photos-most from this Christmas Market 2009 visit, but a few are from an earlier fall visit. First attempt at this linking-business, so hopefully the link works!

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