December in Deutschland

Mar 4th, 2016, 07:55 PM
  #41  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,209
Annhig, my last packet of lebkuchen is hidden (from the boys) in my wardrobe... I LOVE lebkuchen.

My mother particularly enjoyed your Annaberg photos, Mel, especially the ones with the Christmas window decorations, it's so hot here in December she never feels like it's Christmas (we do put out our Erzegebirge rauchermann etc, but we haven't resorted to the Aussie tradition of fake icicles hanging off our eaves in 39C .
Adelaidean is offline  
Mar 5th, 2016, 12:16 AM
  #42  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,578
> several underground passages that appeared to be pedestrian walkways beneath the streets

I am not sure about *several*, but I know you certainly came across the one at the Golden Horseman monument (where we met). It was severely damaged by the two big floods in the last years, so it was decided to close it. Construction works will start soon, you'll not notice there was an underground passage once works are finished.

Do you remember where else you saw one?
Ingo is offline  
Mar 5th, 2016, 06:14 AM
  #43  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,895
Adelaidean - it never felt like Christmas to us in Perth either - which is why we fled to Germany and Switzerland the last two Christmases we were there. 40c at Christmas just seems wrong, especially to those of us from cold climates. Christmas didn't feel like Christmas when we lived in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or Indonesia either, but for different reasons.

Ingo - perhaps I misspoke by saying several, but we both remember seeing more than one, possibly on that same street near the Golden Horseman, so perhaps part of the same network. Or perhaps we just walked by it so many times that we thought there was more than one. I can certainly understand how it might flood.
Melnq8 is offline  
Mar 5th, 2016, 06:38 AM
  #44  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,578
Melnq8 - the one near the Golden Horseman is a system of tunnels with about four exits, if I recall correctly, so that can easily be considered more than one.

There was one at Pirnaischer Platz - another, even bigger system - until about 10 years ago. There were even a few shops down in the underground passage, but after one burned out one night and the people didn't feel comfortable walking through the passageway late at night, it was finally closed and since the reconstruction of the whole area some years ago even the locals cannot identify the places where the former entrances/exits were.
Ingo is offline  
Mar 6th, 2016, 06:27 AM
  #45  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,895
Thanks Ingo, appreciate the information. Curiosity satisfied!
Melnq8 is offline  
Mar 6th, 2016, 12:25 PM
  #46  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,895
December 6, 2015

I was thoroughly over the breakfast at City-Oase, so we’d notified Enrico the previous night to not expect us. Instead we walked to New Town, hoping for caffeine at the Dresdner Kaffee und Kakao Rosterei, but not all that surprised to find the entire Markethalle closed on this Sunday morning.

Just when we thought we were out of luck, we stumbled upon a bustling bistro around the corner from the Markethalle, saving us from hunger, and more importantly, caffeine withdrawal. Fifteen Euro and change got us two proper coffees and a bread-heavy breakfast; we were happy, and wondering why we’d not done this earlier.

Bill was hankering for one last Dresden hot chocolate, so we walked under cloudless blue skies to Old Town, fingers crossed that Camondas Kakao Stube would be open for business, and happy to find that it was.

We returned to the guesthouse via the path alongside the Elbe River, passing quite a few people out enjoying the beautiful day, and then rumbled our luggage to the Neustadt one last time, buying Sachsen tickets to our next destination, Annaberg-Buscholtz, 29 Euro, two train changes and a journey of about 2.5 hours.

From the train windows we gazed at a completely snow-free landscape; it was green, and felt a whole lot more like spring than winter. At Floha we switched to the Erzgebirgsbahn, and worked our way towards the Ore Mountains; a pretty ride through the river valley, flanked by brooks and rocky cliffs.

We arrived in Annaberg around 2:30 and immediately discovered that Google maps had failed to mention we’d have to climb a few mountains to get to town (‘Unterer’, as in Annaberg-Bucholtz Unterer Bahnhof – meaning lower - should have been a tip off). It turns out that Annaberg is situated on the side of a hill at 2,700 feet, and has some surprisingly steep streets.

We must have been quite a sight, two middle-aged tourists huffing, puffing and laughing our way up a myriad of winding steep hills, dragging behind us wheeled luggage that made a ferocious racket against the cobblestone streets. We skirted the busy market square, trying to be unobtrusive, but failing miserably thanks to the uproar coming from the wheels of my bright red duffel.

Near the market square we found the correct street, more of a narrow alleyway really, and yet another steep hill that led to our hotel, only to discover that our room, Suite 5, was on the top floor, via several flights of stairs. If ever there were a reason to pack light, this was it, but we hadn’t, as we’d brought all of our winter hiking gear with us, not knowing we wouldn’t see a flake of snow until we returned to Colorado.

Where we slept:

http://www.hotel-alt-annaberg.de/

Although I’d booked months in advance, we felt lucky to find a room at all in Annaberg on this second Sunday of Advent; we were after all, in the Land of Christmas, the Ore Mountains.

We were given an odd-shaped suite with low ceilings (that we cracked our heads on more than once), a small living area, a kitchenette and a table for four, although there were only two single beds in the bedroom. The Germans seemed hell-bent on keeping us from sleeping together. There were candle arches in the windows, their ethereal glow entrancing.

The room was clean, comfortable and warm, but the set-up felt awkward; the doors opened out instead of in and we had to close the bathroom door to walk from the living room to the bedroom. In other words, it was an old building full of character

We didn’t know it at the time, but breakfast was served in the reception area...in the dark. Not once during our four night stay did the proprietor turn on the lights. Perhaps he was going for atmosphere, perhaps he was saving electricity, but it felt a wee bit odd. We’d opted for the Big Breakfast at 7 Euro each, which included coffee, tea, juice, boiled eggs and more bread, meat and cheese than either of us could possibly eat; it was a big improvement from the offerings at City Oase in Dresden.

Surprisingly, the hotel hadn’t required a deposit or a credit card number; we paid in cash upon departure, 344 Euro, inclusive of breakfast and the one Euro per person/per day city tax.

Settled, we stepped out to explore Annaberg, popping into Melodie Café and Bar for a bite to eat. Most patrons were eating stollen and drinking coffee, which, in retrospect, we should have done, but instead we opted for wine and a savory snack, in this case a weird pizza baguette with ketchup instead of pizza sauce, hmmmm. Although we managed to communicate our order to our waitress easily enough, she seemed hesitant to come back to our table, and sent an English speaker instead.

Refreshed, we set out to explore the Annaberger Weihnachtsmarkt, located in the market square, practically at our feet. Business was brisk, but not overwhelming, much more our style than the Striezelmarkt in Dresden. We admired the intricate wood carving displays embedded in the walls that enclosed the Christmas Market, wandered amongst the many kiosks selling Erzgebirge wood crafts, lace, toys, regional foods and hot beverages and soaked up the sights, sounds and smells of a much more sedate Christmas Market. We shared a dish of sauerkraut with bread and bratwurst on the side, ducking under cover with like-minded locals, hiding from the fierce cold wind.

We walked back to our hotel in the dark, enchanted by the sheer number of lit *candle arches; they were literally in every single window we passed. We’ve seen candle arches on our previous Christmas trips to Germany, but not like this, not so many of them in a single place. It was mesmerizing, a sight to behold, and dare I say it, very romantic.

*I’ve since learned that these arches are called Schwibbogen, and they often depict traditional symbols of the region, including miners, wood carvers, and lace makers, in addition to historical and religious scenes.

Up Next: Annaberg - Toys, Trinkschokolade, mining tunnels and a Kartoffelkellar
Melnq8 is offline  
Mar 6th, 2016, 01:16 PM
  #47  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,380
We’d opted for the Big Breakfast at 7 Euro each, which included coffee, tea, juice, boiled eggs and more bread, meat and cheese than either of us could possibly eat; it was a big improvement from the offerings at City Oase in Dresden.>>

perhaps the lights were extra, Mel!

the candles sound very pretty.
annhig is offline  
Mar 6th, 2016, 01:31 PM
  #48  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,895
Perhaps indeed annhig!
Melnq8 is offline  
Mar 6th, 2016, 04:56 PM
  #49  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,371
I'm really enjoying your dialogue and photos Mel, as I do with all your reports.
Germany is one of those places on my "go to if I had unlimited funds" list. In other words not a big priority. That's despite 4 years of studying the language at high school maaaany years ago. Maybe now it will move to the "work towards going" list.

Thank you.

Side track - @Annhig is it fair to say I can stop checking the Caribbean forum for an update on your Cuba trip ?
sartoric is offline  
Mar 6th, 2016, 11:52 PM
  #50  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,578
Love your report, Mel, really. It was indeed a very mild December, cannot remember this has ever happened before. Too bad ... a bit of snow is essential for Advent to get in the mood

Yikes, wasn't there a bus up to the Markt square in Annaberg? Maybe not frequently running on Sundays.

Breakfast in the dark? Ugh. But all these Schwibbögen in the windows, and the angel and miner figures ... truly a sight, no?

Keep it coming!
Ingo is offline  
Mar 7th, 2016, 12:51 AM
  #51  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,304
"It was indeed a very mild December, cannot remember this has ever happened before."

2011 was a bust too, unfortunately

I'm more partial to Baden-Baden's stollen than to the original Dresden version, but my husband and I both LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, those cake-like donuts they sell at the market near the Frauenkirche. We liked the vanilla coated ones even better than the chocolate.

Ingo, what are those donuts called? Can you get them in Dresden outside Advent (if so, where???).
WeisserTee is offline  
Mar 7th, 2016, 01:45 AM
  #52  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,578
> 2011 was a bust too, unfortunately

Probably. But I cannot remember ;-)

Ah, you probably never tasted some of the best Dresdner Stollen, Weisser Tee. The one that the bakers guild makes right on Striezelmarkt (at the corner where the tram stop is), and this year I found the best ever, from an organic bakery.

Anyway ... I must admit - to my shame - that I do not know what you mean by that "cake-like donuts". Do you have a picture maybe?
Ingo is offline  
Mar 7th, 2016, 02:46 AM
  #53  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,304
No photos. We destroyed all the evidence ;-)

They were sold from one of those more traditional Christmas market booths that were between the Frauenkirche and the Steigenberg hotel. They were kept on a long stick. Most people bought 6 at a time.

I guess we'll have to go back this December to learn the name. Not that we have to search for a reason to visit Dresden again
WeisserTee is offline  
Mar 7th, 2016, 03:44 AM
  #54  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,669
Ingo, our Decembers have been like this for a few years. A few years ago, they even had to cancel the FIS ski race Kandahar and move it to St. Moritz -- at least this year there was enough snow (mostly man-made) to hold the race.

Last year was a great snow year, but otherwise, it's been pretty warm.

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Mar 7th, 2016, 05:20 AM
  #55  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,895
I missed the doughnuts?

Ingo - there might have been a bus up to the Markt square, but it didn't even occur to us to look for one. I've since read about the bus stop near the Netto store on your Virtual Tourist pages, but didn't know about it at the time and never did see a Netto store(???)

My research for this trip was less than stellar I'm afraid. Had we found the bus, could we have purchased a ticket from the bus driver?

Nice to see you here sartoric!
Melnq8 is offline  
Mar 7th, 2016, 05:38 AM
  #56  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,895
WeisserTee -

I've been scouring Google for your little doughnuts (and thinking maybe we need to go back next year to investigate!)

Could they have been Schmaltzkuchen? Lots of photos on Google.
Melnq8 is offline  
Mar 7th, 2016, 07:33 AM
  #57  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,304
Nope, they were definitely donut shaped and from the donut family, but far better than any donut we'd ever tasted.

Just as well they're not available here....if we could get them every day, we'd probably turn into this guy ;-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtEFEdrrXc4
WeisserTee is offline  
Mar 7th, 2016, 09:31 AM
  #58  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,578
LOL, thanks for the video, Weisser Tee - had a good laugh!

I could imagine it's from Bakery Gradel, they have a traditional Christmas market booth at Neumarkt square.
www.gradel.com

Baumkuchen maybe? https://www.gradel.com/Dresdner_Baumkuchen.446/

Or was it Baumstriezel? Because you say it was on a stick ... but it's not like a donut. Hm.
http://www.baumstriezel-dresden.de/sorten/

Swandav - in the previous years we had at least some days with snow in December. Not so this year. A few snow flakes in the Erzgebirge mountains on first Advent, but that was it. Generally speaking, it has become worse and worse, much warmer.

Mel - The Netto grocery is only 100 m from the train station in Annaberg. Your Sachsen Ticket would have covered the bus ride also, no need to buy another ticket ... I recall you didn't have much time to do your research before the trip. Too bad, but in the end it worked out somehow, it seems.
Ingo is offline  
Mar 7th, 2016, 01:54 PM
  #59  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,895
Ingo - is the Netto store in the opposite direction of the hill to town? We didn't see a thing either on arrival or departure.

I missed the Baumkuchen and the Baumstriezel too? I will definitely have to do more research next time
Melnq8 is offline  
Mar 8th, 2016, 02:50 AM
  #60  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,209
One of the yummiest bakery items we had was krapfen, but that was in Naila, near Hof, a tiny place, not sure if krapfen a local specialty, light yeast based donut with raspberry jam filling and coated in sugar...... We went back and bought the lot .
Adelaidean is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:02 AM.