Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Nürnberg Christmas markets

Kelly finally arrived home from college for Christmas.  Decided to hit up a couple of Christmas markets.  Rothenburg ob der Tauber was one of our favorite towns to visit last time we were stationed here.  Nürnberg is “the” Christmas market in Germany, yet somehow we missed it the last time over here.

Knowing that this was the last weekend for these markets, we figured they would be incredibly crowded, so we wanted to get an early start.  We left home around 8:30 and arrived in Rothenburg at 11am just as the market opened.  I am so glad we arrived early because as the day went on more and more people showed up in town.

Arriving in Rothenburg.

Arriving in Rothenburg.

St. Wolfgangs Kirche Rothenburg

St. Wolfgangs Kirche Rothenburg

My three favorite people walking through Rothenburg - heading to the Christmas market

My three favorite people walking through Rothenburg – heading to the Christmas market

Rothenburg Christmas market

Rothenburg Christmas market

That is one big brat!

That is one big brat!

I think he's biting off more than he can chew

I think he’s biting off more than he can chew

Käthe Wohlfahrt bus

Käthe Wohlfahrt bus

Käthe Wohlfahrt is pretty synonymous with Christmas decoration here in Germany.  This bus is in front of their flagship store in Rothenburg.  The store seems pretty never ending when you are inside, and I think if you’ve ever thought of a Christmas ornament they sell it.

Rothenburg Christmas market

Rothenburg Christmas market

Rotheburg Christmas market

Rotheburg Christmas market

Rothenburg Christmas Market - Sam is so happy to be at a Christmas market

Rothenburg Christmas Market – Sam is so happy to be at a Christmas market

Kelly and Sam with a large Steiff bear in Rothenburg

Kelly and Sam with a large Steiff bear in Rothenburg

Sam with two huskies in Rothenburg

Sam with two huskies in Rothenburg

That is one large reindeer

That is one large stuffed reindeer

No trip to Rothenburg would be complete without a trip to the Kriminalmuseum.

Hmm at least one of these two does not belong in the stocks.

Hmm at least one of these two does not belong in the stocks.

Masks in the Kriminalmuseum

Masks in the Kriminalmuseum

mask in the Kriminalmuseum

mask in the Kriminalmuseum

All of Rothenburg is so beautiful that it’s fun to just walk along the streets for a while.

Franziskanerkirche nativity scene

Franziskanerkirche nativity scene

With 2 of my favorite people

With 2 of my favorite people

Mike, Kelly & Sam - Rothenburg

Mike, Kelly & Sam – Rothenburg

Kelly and Sam in Rothenburg

Kelly and Sam in Rothenburg

Rothenburg

Rothenburg

The Plönlein in Rothenburg

The Plönlein in Rothenburg

The Plönlein in Rothenburg

The Plönlein in Rothenburg

View from Burggasse in Rothenburg

View from Burggasse in Rothenburg

The best part of the day for Sam was walking along the wall.  He did a great job of defending the city as Penguin Master Chief with support from Nobel Penguin 6 (me), Nobel Penguin 3 (Kelly) and Penguin Spartan (Mike).  I’m not sure where the names came from.  I think it’s a combination of his penguin project from school and what little he knows of Halo from some friends at school who have older brothers.

the Klingentor - start of our wall walk.

the Klingentor – start of our wall walk.

Sam ready to defend the wall.

Sam ready to defend the wall.

Sam's favorite part of the day - walking the wall.

Sam’s favorite part of the day – walking the wall.

Part of the wall in Rothenburg

Part of the wall in Rothenburg

Spitalbastei Rothenburg

Spitalbastei Rothenburg

Spitalbastei Rothenburg

Spitalbastei Rothenburg

Spitalbastei gate Rothenburg

Spitalbastei gate Rothenburg

Wood bridge near Spitalbastei Rothenburg

Wood bridge near Spitalbastei Rothenburg

Kelly climbing through part of the wall

Kelly climbing through part of the wall

Sam taking the lead

Sam taking the lead

Sam's penguin face

Sam’s penguin face

One nice one for mom

One nice one for mom

Rothenburg wall

Rothenburg wall

After we finished walking the wall it was just starting to get a little dark so the lights were on.

Rothenburg Christmas market

Rothenburg Christmas market

It was time to leave the madhouse that Rothenburg had become and head to Nürnberg.

Decided to check into the hotel first.  We stayed at a hotel that was about a 15 min walk from the walkplatz.  It’s called the Art Hotel City Nürnberg.  It was completely dark by the time we reached the city and the hotel was a little hard to find as it sits back off the street a bit with a courtyard in front of it.  The website said there was free parking nearby, but all the parking was taken by the time we arrived.  Luckily the hotel also has an underground garage that you can park in for only 7,50€ per night, so we chose that option instead of driving around trying to find street parking.  After being underwhelmed from the street by the hotel, I was very pleasantly surprised by how nice it was when I walked inside.  The staff was friendly and helpful and the whole place was very clean.  We had a rather quirky room that they call the penthouse apartment.  It was truly like an apartment with a kitchen and separate bedroom, plus two twin beds in the living area.  There was a balcony deck with a table and chairs that would really nice in good weather.  It also had a very large bathroom with a tub.  The walk into the walkplatz was easy, so the location was fine.  The hotel was also very quite.  We chose not to do the breakfast, but it is available at the hotel for 9,50€ per person.

After dropping our stuff and getting settled we headed toward the Christmas market.  Seeing a bit of Nürnberg along the way.

St. Elisabethkirche Nürnberg

St. Elisabethkirche Nürnberg

We found some animals.

Camel in Nürnberg

Camel in Nürnberg

Anyone who has heard Mike’s Somalia camel stories knows his feelings about them.  Had to have the “Mike hates camels” shot.

Mike's "I hate camels" face

Mike’s “I hate camels” face

We also found a really interesting fountain.

Ehekarussell - Nürnberg

Ehekarussell – Nürnberg

Ehekalrussell - Nürnberg

Ehekalrussell – Nürnberg

St. Lorenz (St. Lawrence’s Church)  Nürnberg

St. Lorenz (St. Lawrence’s Church) Nürnberg

Angel marking the start if the market in Nürnberg

Angel marking the start of the market in Nürnberg

Christkindlmarkt with Frauenkirche

Christkindlmarkt with Frauenkirche

Schöner Brunnen Nürnberg

Schöner Brunnen Nürnberg

Nürnberg Frauenkirche

Nürnberg Frauenkirche

The market was crazy busy, but I’m really glad we went down and saw it with the lights and nice weather.  The plan had been to go back on Sunday morning when it might be less crowded, but we woke to horrible weather (rain and wind) and all decided we would just rather skip it.  Because Nürnberg is so known for its Christmas market, I didn’t really think about what a great city it would be to just visit.  It is a very beautiful city and definitely somewhere I would like to explore more.

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