Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Tile Houses of Saarland

There is a local odditiy I have noticed over the years here in Saarland. There are a disturbing number of houses that are tiled on the OUTSIDE. Some houses are tiled with large tiles but a number are tiled with the little tiles used in 1950's bathrooms. Very odd - who came up with this? Were there a bunch of leftover tiles and someone said - "Hey, let's cover the house with them!"

This house is in Naßweiler. It has little yellow tiles on top and larger brown tiles on the bottom of the house - a delightful color combination!

This yellow and black combinaion is from a house in Werbeln. The top is a light yellow stucco but below are square black tiles with the ocassional "accent" tile in pink or blue.

I even have this close-up of the accent tiles - perfect for your bathroom.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

St. Nikolaus Weihnachtsmarkt

Another day, another Weihnachtsmarkt! Today I went to the neighboring village of St. Nikolaus for their first ever Weihnachtsmarkt. There were all sorts of fun activities: cookie baking for the kids, live animals, handmade crafts and food products. Of course St. Nick himself was there to greet visitors at the start of the market. Then he had to get back to work stamping letters from around the world - at his Nikolaus Postamt. Write him a letter - he'll send a reply!

Kai and my father-in-law (right) with Peter Müller (left), Minister President of Saarland. He was the VIP at the markt today! He even spoke English with Kai.

Kai with a real live donkey. There was a nativity scene with live animals! Very fun for a four year old.

Cookie baking - what a good idea! Kai had a great time rolling out the dough and using the cookie cutters.

Last but not least this is the booth with the Warndtprodukte - products from the Warndt region of Saarland. My father-in-law started this push towards locally raised products that include: lamb, sausages, mushrooms and jams. Yummy!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Let it Snow...

We had the perfect snowfall yesterday - just enought to coat the trees but not the streets! The light dusting of snow makes everything look quiet and still. As the Germans would say "es Weihnachtet sehr" - it is Chirstmasing! The top picture is the view from my window looking out towards the village church.

I am in my husband's hometown of Karlsbrunn. This small village of 1100 is located in the German state of Saarland, just 1 mile from the French border! It is know for its Wild Animal Park - full of reindeer, wild boar, and goats. It is also the ancestral village of President Dwight D. Eisenhower's family.

There is a Jagdschloß - a hunting lodge. The Jagdscloß now has a wonderful cafe open on weekends - Scloß Cafe Karlsbrunn. I highly reccommend the apple marzipan cake! In the Spring and Summer the "Garten ohne Grenzen" behind the Scloß is a lovely sight. In winter the garden is not so interesting!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

St. Wendel Weihnachtsmarkt

Today Kai and I had a great time at the St. Wendel Weihnachtsmarkt. We entered the market and stepped into the middle ages. Our lunch was this tasty Elsässischer Flammkuchen with Jägertee for me - an alternative to Glühwein with more alcohol!

Our lunchtime entertainment was Peter Siche a talented minstrel singer from Berlin.

This Weihnachtsmarkt has it all - live performances, live animals, great food and drink and the gnome village.

Monday, December 8, 2008

O Tannenbaum!

Here it is - the Tannenbaum we braved this foggy day to purchase! We decided that the apartment we are staying in needed a little tree. So we headed to the French border (literally steps away from France in the town of Naßweiler) to purchase this little guy. Decorated with ornaments my husband and I made 17 years ago!

Kai did a great job - don't you think? So here is the text to
O, Tannenbaum in case the title has you humming it!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas in Germany

Greetings from Deutschland! My son Kai and I are in Germany for the holidays. My husband is at home shipping holiday orders - thanks Eric! Today we went to the Saarlouis Weihnachtsmarkt with his cousin Kathrin. The highlight was the giant Münchener Brezel you see him eating in the last picture.