A Hidden Gem for Americans: the Christmas Markets in Nürnberg, Germany
The start of the Christmas markets was finally here. One of the many events I’ve been waiting for since I got accepted to Mannheim University back in February of 2012. It was an early start for this short of a trip especially since it seemed like I just got back from Ireland. Nonetheless, I was on the bus with my friend, Katie, at just past 7 in the morning.
This being the first time this bus has ever ran, yes first time, we were greeted by not one employee (bus driver) but four employees; it was quite amusing. We were given first class treatment with free food as well as a free postcard.
The one benefit about traveling with new people is the background information you learn from them with the spare time you always have when traveling. It’s something that I wouldn’t trade a thing for because it truly makes me appreciate the things I have in life. I can gain so much knowledge about myself and improve the outlook of my life just by one trip even if it is this short. Being in another culture is something I truly am going to miss about my journeys abroad when I return home next August.
Enough of my rant about appreciation, back to Christmas Markets! (I guess it is that time of the year to be thankful.)
We arrived to Nurnberg at approximately 10:30 in the morning. It was a short journey for such a long distance. Like always, I went immediately to the “I” at the train station to gather my map and plan out my day. I carried my 58L backpack with me on this trip. I attempted to find the lockers but couldn’t find any so I decided I needed to work out (I regret this now looking back on it).
The Christmas Market was the main reason we came here but we still decided to explore the city. We passed over the Pegnitz River into the old town where we were greeted by the St. Lorenz Church as well as Starbucks. Katie was from the United States as well so we had to get our fix in before our long awaited journey ahead.
After getting our grips of the city, we were off to see the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle), which was quite a walk! (Keep in mind my 15kg bag…) Not only was it far but it was steep as well!
Which brings me to another thought for all you future students who go abroad. Be prepared to gain weight. No matter where you go, how hard you try, or how much you workout… you will gain weight! Proven fact. A little bit different for those who take vacations abroad that tend to lose weight!
Back to Nurnberg.. After the walk up to the Castle, we saw a magnificent view of the old town. One thing that was different about this view then other cities I’ve seen was that there was snow! Yes, I’m becoming a little obsessed about snow. But luckily for me that wasn’t the only thing I was excited about…
Have you ever ridden a carriage? Well, we did! I was so excited to do this! I was also surprised about the little amount of people that were interested in this. It only cost 3.50 euros for a 20-minute carriage ride. Who wouldn’t do that?! Katie enjoyed it as much as I did. I highly recommend this if you visit the Nurnberg Christmas Market!
After that amazing adventure, we were off to finally do what we came here to do—see the Christmas Market! I truly can’t express to my readers how amazing this Christmas market was. Words aren’t able to tell you about the experiences, the smells, and the Christmas decorations that I saw. Be sure to check out my pictures in the photo gallery since I can’t express here what it was like. Keep in mind we went around the market four times. Yes, it was that incredible. I came to a conclusion that this truly was a hidden gem that most Americans don’t know exist.
It wasn’t about drinking the Gluewein or seeing the Christmas decorations that were filled in over 200 wooden stalls; it was about the ambiance that this Christmas market had that truly made it heartwarming. I’m glad to be in Bavaria at this time of the year; I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
One last thing: There are two types of people in this world: Those that are out their doing it and those busy saying they can. Which one are you?