Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Market #1 2011--Bernkastel

The German Christmas Market season is in full swing and our first market of the year was last weekend at Bernkastel, one of our favorite places in Germany. Bernkastel is a beautiful village in the heart of the Mosel wine region. Their Christmas Market is a beautiful venue with the vendor booths nestled in among stunning medieval half-timbered buildings. We met a few friends there for winter festing, wine probes and good times.

We're at the Bernkastel Christmas Market.

Bernkastel main square. As always, beautiful, and even more so in the winter.

A St. Nicholas band in the Bernkastel main square. Interesting choice of Christmas music; George Michael/Wham.

A cute Nutcracker Castle at the Bernkastel Christmas Market. Jeff said I fit right in with the other nutcrackers.

Our group rally point for the evening activities was at a nice little bierstube on the Bernkastel square, Bitchen. Obviously, at Bitchen they serve Bitburger.

Jeff and I waiting for the group to gather at Bitchen.

From Bernkastel we walked across the Mosel bridge to Kues for a wine probe at Brückenkeller, Bridge Cellar.

Yikes, that’s a lot of wine to probe. Actually, it was just seven wines, all white, that we sampled, starting from a dry wine to a sweet Ice Wine.

Our group. An interesting cross section of Air Force fighter pilots; A-10, F-15, F-15E but no Viper dudes.  Cajuns, Harpos, Cassiuses, Killers, Spliffs, Saints and us.

After our wine probe we walked back to Bernkastel to kill some time before our restaurant reservations so we stopped into Kölsch Eck, the Kölsch Corner, a nice little bar that serves Kölsch, the light lager from Cologne. Since we were there as a group we bought a few of these meter boards.

At the Kölsch Eck Jeff discovered a unique addition to the urinal goal that he’d seen earlier in the year in Mainz. This goal actually had a little ball that hung from a string on the goal post. With additional precision this gives a guy even more opportunity to occupy himself while relieving himself.  Goal, goal, goal, goal, goal etc., etc., etc.

After the evening meal we took time to enjoy more of the Bernkastel Christmas Market. A brass quartet playing Christmass carols in one of the little side streets in Bernkastel. Pretty vendors with very nice Christmas decorations, plenty of goodies to eat and warm beverages.

They even decorated one of their pretty half-timbered buildings to be a a pretty Hanzel and Gretel ginger bread house, complete with the witch.

Bernkastel is a special place no matter what the season.

Beautiful Bernkastel square at night.  The large building on the left uses its windows to decorate itself as an actual Advent calendar.

Jeff is always happy when he gets to use the word Schlüssel (key).  It's like the only word he remembers from high school German. So, here's an interesting emergency Schlüssel at our hotel. Since the reception desk wasn’t manned 24 hours a day you had to have a key to get into and out of the hotel after 6PM. I guess in the event of a fire if you’re running down the stairs to the exit and realize you left your key in the room then this break-the-glass key would come in handy.

OK, that's it for the first Christmas Market of 2011. Can't wait for the second.


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  2. I love that Bernkastel was your first Christmas market. It is one of our favorite places in Europe. So beautiful. Such wonderful memories there!

    The Santa Band is awesome! We didn't see them. Playing George Michael makes it even better!

    I love that picture of you with the nutcracker castle. You do fit in. I remember seeing that in a small alley.

    BITCHEN!!! So jealous! I have a picture of Will under that Bitchen sign.

    That wine cellar is awesome. We missed out on a lot of the wine tasting, plus everything closed down with all the snow haha.

    I love the goal urinal haha. Once again...always talking about the potty situations!

    I love the Hanzel and Gretel ginger bread house. I don't remember that, but that is so awesome!

    You guys didn't get to see the revealing of an advent day. It was pretty interesting...of course all in German. We had no idea what they were saying haha.

    Schlussel...that's funny!

    Great blog. Makes me miss Bernkastel so much!