Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas in Alsace

After literal days of travel-including cancellations, delays and flight connections, I finally touched down in Zurich, Switzerland around 2:00PM local time on Tuesday, December 23rd. On the way back to my parent's place, we stopped at the local butcher to pick up a ham for Christmas day and two baguettes from the bakery down the street. My dinner, was, naturally, bread and brie. And in fact, that may be what I have for the majority of my meals during my time here.

We spent a good portion of the evening in Basel, Switzerland sipping sweet, hot gl├╝hwein out of real mugs as we walked through the Weinachts market downtown. Basel was beautifully strung with lights of all kinds and huge Christmas trees were erected in every square and street corner including the Rathaus-Basel's red stone town hall as seen in the picture to the right. Within its courtyard, carolers surrounded the tree and sang traditional holiday songs in German. Basel is only twenty minutes away from our house here, so spending the day between Germany-ten minutes away-Switzerland and France is fairly typical for my family here. I look forward to going back to Basel during the day sometime this week and visiting all the great stores big shopping centers, modern European shops and quaint boutiques alike.

I stayed up until a typical bedtime as you're supposed to do and then slept for thirteen hours. So far so good-I'm sure the two cups of espresso this morning and afternoon helped a little. I'm ready to head out for an afternoon of traipsing about Alsacien villages along the Rhein River culminating in the town of Colmar for their Christmas market. Then its back to my family's house in Kembs Loechlee for an evening of decorating the tree, baking cookies and eating raclette-a delicious French meal with melted cheese and potatoes. Carbs and cheese-how could you possibly go wrong with that?

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