Sunday, December 11, 2005

Are there any Italians left in Italy

Day number two in Freiburg was just as wonderful as evening one. I woke up to blue skies and the sound of the church bells. After a gray week in Berlin, I was happy that Freiburg lived up to its reputation as Germany’s sunniest city. After a German-style breakfast at the hotel, I headed for the gummi bear store and the Cathedral market. Town was already busy: families doing their Saturday shopping, musicians singing and playing on the street corners and Italian tourists…LOTS of Italian tourists!! Freiburg is a great town, but other than proximity to Italy, I can’t explain why there are SO many Italians here this weekend. Between Italian and the regional dialect of Freiburg, I heard little “high” German this weekend☺

Okay back to the market… it was just as I remembered it, but with a winter and Christmas flare. Spring flowers had been replaced by Christmas greens and berries and juice stands added gluwein to their menu. The farmers sold wonderfully fresh looking produce, including piles of Feldsalat (field greens that look like individual heads of lettuce) that I love more and more each time I visit Germany. Handmade candles, brushes and pottery, along with numerous wurst stands rounded off the offering.

After the market, I shopped and reminisced, and shopped and reminisced! Extended store hours have made their way to Freiburg, so there was less pressure than in 2001 to finish all your shopping by mid-afternoon on Saturday or be in big trouble until Monday.

The Christmas market was nice, though EXTREMELY crowded! Minus the hordes of Italians, you got the sense that the market was a very local event. Unlike some of the Berlin markets, there was a good balance of craft and food stands. I’m headed back to the market on Sunday because nothing else will be open☺

In the evening, I walked around the winding streets behind the cathedral. During the spring, wisteria vines form a canopy above the streets. The wisteria has been replaced this time of year by equally picturesque christmas lights.

There is just nothing like Freiburg. I wonder how I could justify research German public diplomacy here for the rest of the year?! I was looking at real estate ads and saw something I could feel at home in: a 1200 meter castle near Baden-Baden (for the “bargain” price of 5 million euros;-))


At 3:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oooh, I love that street too! Did you end up hiking up that mountain that overlooks the city? I can't wait for the day that you, me Jennie and Erica are in Frieburg together! I imagine that it will be for Jennie's wedding. Don't you think that Schlappen would make an excellent location for a rehersal dinner? :)

At 4:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait a second - I never saw this comment. Why is Anuradha planning my wedding? I'm not sure if Schlappen would be a great place for a rehearsal dinner. I somehow imagine too many incidents with the sauce, the skeleton and Erin in the men's bathroom. Jennie


Post a Comment

<< Home