2. Esslinger Mittelalter – und Weihnachtsmarkt (Middle age and Christmas Market Esslingen):
This one is a very special Christmas Market. It is sprawled through the old city of Esslingen and one part consists of a middle age market with torches that light up the streets, dishes and snacks from that time, antique clothing pieces and activities like archery.
Dates: 22.11. – 22.12.2016
Opening Day (November 22nd): 5pm – 8.30pm
Daily: 11am – 8.30pm
Closing Day (December 22nd): 11am – 6pm
Dresden is actually a city I have never been to, but would like to visit. The perfect combination for a city trip would thus be in December I guess.
In general, you can never do anything wrong with visiting Germany during December, because it is one of the most beautiful months to meet this country.
Nürnberg might as well be called the hometown of Christmas markets and Ginger bread. As a huge ginger bread fanatic, this Christmas Market is on my to-be-visited list, and should be on yours as well if you wanna come to Germany during Christmas-market season.
Dates: 25.11. – 24.12.2016
Monday – Sunday: 10 am – 9pm
Christmas Eve 24.12.:10 am – 2 pm
I have been to Frankfurt so many times, but I was never lucky enough to be there during the Christmas Market. Although Frankfurt is a very metropolitan city with skycrapers, it didn’t lose its historical side either.
Monday-Saturday: 10 am – 9pm
Sunday 11 am – 9pm
Today, the sunday shouldn’t be a bad one, that was for sure. My sister and me have planned to make S’ mores today. For all of you who don’t know what it is: Marshmallows and chocolate between two cookies. But my sister has found a video on YouTube from a german vlogger who shows how to bake s’ mores with your rest dough for cookies. Here is the video:
We didn’t have a rest dough, so we made one:
1 package vanilla aroma
1 tsp baking powder
150 g butter
We kneaded everything for about 10 minutes. Then, the dough was ready. Now we rolled it out and made square which we cut into smaller squares. While my sister cut the marshmallows and the dark bitter chocolate into pieces, I prepared egg yolk with which we would coat the ready s’mores.
Then we carefully rolled the dough 3 times up until everything was used. We had to be carefull that the dough should not be too thin. And the covering square should be a bit bigger than the square used as ground. Since you won’t be able to cut exact same sizes, it will be no problem to find one that is a bit bigger.
From that dough, we only got 7 s’mores out. The last two ones (the two smaller ones on the left of the picture) looked a bit ugly, but they actually didn’t crackle while baking. None of them did. To be true, they were even too big. We could have cut the squares a bit smaller, then we would have more.
After baking the s’mores for 15 minutes on 180 degrees, we pulled them out and were happy to see that no chocolate slipped out. A few of the s’mores got holes, but that was no problem.
The only improvements for next time are:
less sugar because of sugar shock while eating
more dough (double up the ingredients)
Smaller squares while cutting
And we can roll the dough a bit thinner next time
Maybe let the s’mores 5 minutes longer in the oven, because the dough was so smooth, that it broke while eating.
It felt fine to eat something you have baked your own. Since I was not a good cooker and baker at all one exactly one year before, Ican say that I have learnt much. I can cook and bake a few dishes on my own, now, looking allowed ;) I started this 30-Days-Challenge almost exactly one year before, for my written communication class at university. Although the teacher’s syllabus and grading was quite confusing, I really liked the topics she selected for that seminar. Before winter break, we should start our own 30-days-challenge and write about it. This was only to pass the course. It shouldn’t be graded. I started one of cooking and baking, with a help from my mom. I know I am quite lame if I am only at day 20 now, but I really had no time to cook or bake a new dish that I learned. I cooked sometimes in the meantime, but I just didn’t post about every Spaghetti I made. I wanted to post about new dishes I have learned. By this, the challenge takes longer, but I like it that this challenge took long. By that, I still have the chance to learn something new. At the weekend before New Years Eve I want to prepare a delicious turkish dish with my mum. It is called lentil balls (Mercimek köfte). It’s like meatbals, only for vegetarians you could say, with lentils, which you then serve as finger food in lettuce leafs. Sounds yummy? It is! But you have to wait a few days and weeks more to read about that.
Another fun part of the day was our visit to the Christmas Market near the town I live. It is especially famous for its middle age market. They sell furs, cloaks, wooden tools, wine and met, oriental spices, and food cooked in a middle aged manner. There were stands at which you could shoot with a bow and arrow, and even stages on which jugglers performed. There were fire torches everywhere. No street lighting on that peculiar street.
My friend Giuli and another friend from our A’levels time, Tanja, went there together. Actually, I have planned to go there with more people, because a lot of people told me they wanted to go there. I didn’t want to go there alone, so I thought I could send a mail around to all those people who told me they wanted to go. I planned for this weekend, because I don’t have time next week, and I thought it would be stressful for the others as well, since it would be the weekend before Christmas. So after reading everyone’s answers, we decided upon sunday, the 15th. Of course, some were a bit slow off the mark, and confused the weeks. We were 5 out of 8 who said they had time. But then, from friday on, one after another cancelled, because they have just noticed all the stuff they had to do for university, or didn’t have any money left. Okay, I can understand that, but if you know all this beforehand, then why do you say that you have time on Sunday? And if you confirm, then why don’t you finish your stuff before that day? I also had a lot of things to do this weekend for university, but I finished everything on friday and saturday, because the sunday was already planned. After feeling disappointed, angry, and sad about the fact that I didn’t seem to be as important to some people to keep settled plans, I came to the conclusion that I wouldn’t organize any events or something like that anymore. Nope! I will just be an asshole from now on, who will unshamefully let herself get invited.
However, we were at least 3 people, so there wouldn’t be any problems of losing each other. At first, we went to a stand to get ourselves something to eat. I chose the farm potatoes, and Giuli and Tanja went for sausages.
After thatnwe strolled around a little bit and saw the jugglers on the stage.
The quality is quite bad, I know.
After that, Giuli and Tanja wanted to get themselves something to drink. Giuli took spiced wine, and Tanja bought children’s punch. I didn’t buy something to drink, because the spiced wine made me so sleepy the last time.
Before returning home, we strolled around a bit more. Tanja offered us to drive home, so we joined.
The evening was rather short and calm. It was nice to see Tanja again, since she always laughs about my unintended jokes (e.g.: A choir was waiting for the conductor to begin the piece. But the conductor was swaying with her stick in the air, that I thought they were already singing, but we couldn’t hear it. I wondered about that and Tanja laughingly said that they haven’t begun yet :’D). Also, I found out that Tanja will probabl do her exchange year in London, at Middlesex University, a University I also consider. That would really be funny :’D
The evening could have been nicer of course, if the others would also been able to come, but let’s just leave it like it is. And here, I wiyh you all a nice sunday evening a good start into the next week.
Since I have registered myself as a mentor for an Erasmus or exchange student at the beginning of the semester, I met Merve from Istanbul. This is organized every year/semester by the international department of my university. They also organize trips or events like a swabian dinner. Last time we registered for a trip to Heidelberg, but didn’t get in. This time, we managed to participate to the trip to Basel. I was so much looking forward for it, since it was a city and a country I have never been to.
On Saturday morning I had to take an early train to Tübingen. It was 6 am, and there were many sleepy, young people returning home from partying.
I arrived at the train station in Tübingen at about 6.42. Merve wasn’t on the bus yet, so I waited a while there and read something. There were many different people there. Young people, arriving from a party, old beggars, travellers, even a group of children who were probably returning from camping. The bakery was already open and the queue was getting longer and longer. Merve arrived at about 7.05 am and got herself something to eat and a coffee. We slowly walked to the bus station to waitfor the bus. Therewere already many Erasmus students waiting, chatting around. The girl who was part of the organization team was also already there. The bus howeve was 10 minutes late. When it finally arrived we were quite happy to be able to get a seat in the warmth. In the back of the bus, we had a seat and chatted a while until we waited for the bus to leave. At about 8 am it finally moved. Many people were already sleeping again. I somehow wasn’t tired yet, so I drank my cold coffee and ate my sandwich, as well as Merve, while we were chatting. After an hour, we noticed that we were crossing a high landscape with lots of trees that was full of white, untouched snow. We later found out that it was the Schwarwald (Black Forest). I have already been on a car trip to Turkey and Milan, but it was always in summer/spring, so the Black Forest always looked normal. But this time it was in winter, and the first time I have seen it snowy. I actually don’t like snowy landscapes, but the Black Forest looked incredibly beautiful, somehow peaceful, only a few birds hopping across the grounds and flying above the trees.
We tried to sleep then while the bus was riding through the Black Forest. It sometimes was a bit hard since the sun shone upon the white snow which reflected the light into my face and I got blended several times.
When I finally was fast asleep, the organizer girl came and woke us all up :’D she wanted us to check off our names on the list. The people behind us took a long time until they have finally finished. We found our names in less than 3 minutes and she was happy that we were so fast. She told us that we were driving through Freiburg now and that we would arrive in Basel soon. It really was closer than I thought. After everyone was finished checking off their name on the list, she made an announcement that we would take a short break before entering Switzerland, so that we could buy something to eat since they have another currency in Switzerland and give Swiss Franc as change back when we pay with Euros. I have almost forgot that they had a different currency there, so got worried a bit. But I got myself a fish sandwich from ‘Nordsee’. After leaving the toilette, Merve bought something to eat for herself as well. When the bus set off, we only drove for about half an hour until we arrived in Basel, the bus stopped in front of the art museum, and we had to wait for our tour guides to arrive. There was one tour offered in german, and one in english. We took the english one since Merve can’t speak german as well. But I think even I would have had difficulties understanding swiss german.
Our guide was a small, thin woman with short hair and a sympathetic face. Her english was great. She had a clear pronounciation and spoke a bit in a british accent.
The tour should take about 2 hours. We started at the art museum. It was a bit smaller but looked nice. We found out that Basel was famous for its many different art museums. A rich woman, a pharmacist, has donated money for a second building of that art museum. It was now in progress.
After that we crossed the road and stood at the beginning of the ‘Freie Straße’, the shopping street in Basel. We could already see the roofs of the city hall from there. That would be our final stop where the tour would end. We continued to the theatre and the fountain in front of that which looked beautiful.
We continued then through the Christmas market to the Barfüßenplatz (bare foot square).
Here, we shortly entered the historical museum.
We didn’t stay too long inside, but the guide informed us about a tour inside of the museum called ‘Real Knights, fake Fortresses’.
Back outside again, there was a nice little fountain at the Barfüßenplatz which had dragon shaped sculptures throwing water. The guide explained then the city symbol to us. And this is when it got interesting now. She told us about the love for fairytale and magical creatures that the citizens of Basel have had for many many years. That’s also why the city emblem of Basel is a magical ceature that also appears in many stories like ‘Harry Potter’. A bishop (I think it was a bishop she mentioned), once saw this creature. But since its breeding is very hard and seldom takes place not everyone could see it. It is a saurian kind of creature, with yellow, deathly eyes, turning everyone whoo look in those eyes into stone. As she asked us to guess what kind of creature it was I was quick to say: “A Basilisk!” Of course it was right and I was so proud of myself :D This is also how the city got its name: Basilisk –> Basel. I was so amazed by this story. I have never been to a city which had such an interesting symbol story. It is probably the most magical city I have been to. So, I have already began to develop a certain interest for Basel.
Now we headed to the cathedral that came after the Barfüßenplatz.
This cathedral was on top of a hill where the rich people used to live earlier. It is made of red sand stone, that’s why it has this red color. There are sculptures on top of the cathedral, one from St. Martin.
We also entered the cathedral. It is also special because the grave of Erasmus von Rotterdam lies there.
We didn’t stay all too long in the church. We then went to the backside of the cathedral from where we could have a good look over Basel.
We continued our tour and walked through tiny alley back on Freie Straße again. On the was there, we took some photos of the decorations.
We were now in the middle of Freie Straße, in front of a bar called Fumare, Non Fumare. The guide told us that it was possible to just sit in there without buying something to drink. That was something very peculiar for me since I am always asked by waiters if I have any wishes still. I haven’t known any bar like this before.
We then stood at the beginning of a wider alley, consistingnof cute little shops like a tea shop, florist, chocolatier, and cheese shop.
Now the final part of the tour has begun. We headed to the City hall building and I was utterly amazed by this wonderful building!
Definitely my favorite building in Basel.
Now that the tour has ended, the guide gave us all a map of Basel, thanked us, and said goodbye. She recommended us some shops to buy chocolate for example, and a few museums. On the market place there, we tried a piece of cheese. It had quite a strong taste. Then we decided to look for some chocolate as a souvenir. We were shocked as we saw the prices. Small Praline boxes beginning with 11 CHF and reaching until 20 CHF!!! I thought I was going crazy. The praline bar looked gorgeous, and the Santa Clause Sculptures! In that moment, I wished I was rich and lived in Switzerland.
Then I decided to buy a pack of different parts of chocolate bars for 11.40 CHF. I had to pay about 9.60€. I didn’t understand this, since I thought Euro was a bit more than Swiss Francs. But the woman calculated it on the cash box. So I guess it had to be right.
Now we walked around the streets and headed towards the Christmas market to look through the stands quietly.
Back at the Christmas market, we saw the cutest stands. I personally liked them better than those in Germany. It also didn’t smell like sour crout, but rather like Raclette. I liked that smell.
We saw a big tent which was cull of hats (Chapeaux). Since Merve and me are both cap wearers, we wanted to have a look inside.
Of course, the prices were too damn high, so we didn’t buy anything. But the hats were beauticul.
As we left the tent, we saw a hot chocolate stand. We also wanted to drink some hot chocolate, but the vendor wanted 11€ for that. So we left.
Now we headed to the city again to look inside some shops and compare the prices. In C&A the prices were almost the same as here in Germany. After trying on some hats and caps here, too, we went outside to search for some postcards. We went to the direction of the city hall and looked inside oc the city hall. There was a woman singing in a beautiful voice. It sounded like in a musical.
Inside, the city hall looked as beautiful as from the outside.
Now we went to some back streets and alleys to look for postcards. I saw a beautiful building with lights hanging down from it.
After strolling through the alleys we found ourselves in front of the university.
We found our way back to the city again, and searched for place to go to the toilet. We thought about the cafe the guide mentioned. After leaving the toilets, we thought we could also sit down and warm ourselves a bit. Merve also decided to get herself a hot chocolate. It is a bar in which you have to get your own drinks, the same as at Starbucks. They also had free wi-fi so we couldn’t wait to write back our friends.
Now, after owning some francs, we thought about eating Raclettes at the Christmas market. It cost about 8.50 CHF. We havent eaten it earlier, beause we had Euros and it sounded more expensive to our ears. We also weren’t hungry yet. But now, we were slowly getting hungry, so we allowed ourselves to try something new.
I have never tried Raclette since they don’t sell it at german Christmas markets, but I really liked it although it was small and expensive. On new years eve, the germans tend to do Raclette, also called Cheese Fondue.
As we finished eating, it was already dawning. We took some photos of the beautiful decorations, and then slowly walked in the direction of the art museum where our bus would wait.
On our way there, we noticed that the streets were closed, because of the city marathon taking place that day. Then, all of a sudden, we saw hundreds of children running.
We thought we would be the first ones to arrive there,but many spanish erasmus students were already there, waiting.
This time our bus didn’t take too long and we happily entered the warmth at 5.30 pm. Merve and me were quite relieved to sit down and to be soon out of Switzerland so that we could have internet on our phones again :’D we are such addicts! Of course we were also sad to leave Basel, but we have already seen everything important, and we definitely wouldn’t miss the expensive prices there.
We arrived at Tübingen at about 8.45pm. My train would arrive at 9.23pm and leave at 9.37pm. I arrived at 10.10pm and my father picked me up. They were at our uncle’s, because my aunt was celebrating her birthday. I ate some salad and samosa, and then we got cake, Tiramisu.
It was a great, interesting, magical day with a nice ending. I hope to see more cities as magical as Basel soon.
Today, me and my mother baked ‘Vanillekipferl’, a kind of german vanilla biscuits, very popular during the Christmas time. We baked it from a prepared package. We only had to add butter and eggs.
My mother has prepared the dough and I have rolled it up. We then cut the big roll into equal parts and rolled those into thin, pencil-like rolls again. These, we cut into many pieces, each about 4-5 cm. Then we bent the ends into moon-like shapes and arranged them on the baking tray.
After letting them for about 15-20 minutes in the oven, they were finished.
We baked a second tray too, since there was so many of them.
When the powder sugar was strewn over, they were ready to eat, and how amazing they taste *o*
Although we don’t celebrate christmas, I am looking forward for the baking goods, sweets, decorations, and the christmas markets here in Germany. Ready to get faaaattttt!!!!!! ^o^