Over the years I have spent Christmas in many different parts of the world. To get everyone into the spirit this holiday season I have decided to write a series of short posts on my Best Christmas Holiday experiences. I hope you find one that inspires you to travel and see the world this holiday season!
A Tale of Generosity
It was very late on Christmas Eve and we were lost in a remote part of southern Germany. I had thought it would be a great idea to take the scenic route on our way from Rothenburg ob der Tauber to Vienna, Austria. We would stop in Fussen and see the famous castle, we would drive through villages and beautiful scenery, it would be so much better than taking the highway. At least that was the plan and in the beginning the beauty of the landscape and the quaintness of the remote villages were everything we expected. Then road signs became a bit confusing and the roads we took seemed to be getting more and more remote. Sometimes we would drive for over an hour before seeing another town. (For those of you wondering, our car did not have a GPS and smart phones did not exist back then). Eventually it became dark and started to snow.
Now, in addition to being lost we had another problem – we all desperately needed to answer nature’s call. As it was Christmas Eve the few gas stations and shops we came to were all closed. An eternity passed and finally we saw someone bundled up against the cold in their driveway shoveling snow. I pulled over and approached, hoping they would be able to tell me where I might find someplace open. To my surprise, they invited us into their home to use their bathroom. It was nearly midnight and this woman was offering refuge to three complete strangers. I was relieved and incredibly touched. She offered us hot coffee, provided us with proper directions, and in a few short minutes we were on our way again.
As I drove on, I noticed the beauty of the glistening snow as it fell softly all around us. I thought about the true meaning of Christmas and felt blessed to be exactly where I was – deep in the heart of Bavaria.
on the Romantic Road – Bavarian Christmas Markets
Before our Christmas Eve encounter we explored the Christmas Markets along part of the Romantic Road – a 350 kilometer route through Bavarian Germany. We stopped in Nuremberg to watch the horses makes their way through the local market.
We enjoyed an endless array of local pastries, sausages, and steaming hot punch at each stop.
We spent the night in one of the most quaint hotels I have ever seen in Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
My experience of Germany during Christmas was unexpected and wonderful. The Christmas Markets along the Romantic Road were thoroughly enjoyable and each town and village we encountered was delightfully rustic and quaint. But more than anything, the people of Bavaria are what make this region so special. I will forever be thankful to have experienced the generosity of the people of southern Germany.
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