Weeks 15-16

xmas01.jpgThese two weeks were the weeks of Weihnachtsmarkts (Christmas market) for me. I visited Strasbourg, St. Wendel, and of course the Saarbrücken market as well. It seems like Christmas time is party time around here. A Weihnachtsmarkt is like a fair with ample Glühwein (mulled wine) and adorable ceramic mugs. In Strasbourg, the entire center of the city gets taken over by the market, and it’s really quite insane. It can get kind of repetitive though. The stalls tend to go like this…

  1. Glühwein
  2. Bretzeln (soft pretzels), Churros, or other fried dough treat
  3. Christmas ornaments
  4. trinkets
  5. cookies, candied nuts, or other sweets

…and then this pattern repeats again like 3 times. Occasionally you get Bratwurst stall or a shop with knitted sweaters/hats/gloves.

img_20161210_151103In St. Wendel, the market is more cozy and artistic than the one in Strasbourg, and it’s combined with a Renaissance Faire market. It also has these awesome old gas tanks that are decoratively cut for use in outdoor fires, with easily accessible logs nearby. I really appreciate that you could stand around them and get nice and toasty before heading back into the chilly night air of the market. This was definitely my favorite market by far.

The Saarbrücken market isn’t bad either though. It’s like a neverending food and drink fair. I think it’s been going since the start of December, and I expect it will go through the end of Christmas. I’m pretty sure it’s been going on longer than the other markets I’ve visited so far. They have typical Saarland Schwenker (meat grilled on a circular hanging grill), Dampfnudeln (giant bread rolls with sweet cherries and vanilla cream), waffles, crepes, and of course plenty of drink. My favorite is what they call “Knecht Ruprecht” here, which is hot Bailey’s with lots of whipped cream.

Other than Christmas markets I barely poked my head up… I barely slept while trying to complete all of my assignments on time. Somehow, I got it all done, and among other things, I managed to implement the CKY algorithm.

Vacation started yesterday, and thank goodness for that — I get to sleep and eat properly! Even better, my husband is coming to visit me from the US, and we are travelling to Paris, London, and Amsterdam. However, the work doesn’t end when you’re on vacation, of course. I’ve got piles to get done over the next couple weeks, so I’m going to try to work a couple hours each night. That’s how it goes.

Costs

Too much money spent at Christmas markets.

  • €225 – rent
  • €90 – health insurance
  • €30 – Strasbourg market (mostly food, some trinkets)
  • €30 – St. Wendel market (more food, more trinkets)
  • €18 – Saarbrücken market (food, drink, cute mugs)
  • €40 – groceries
  • €69 – a warm scarf … I hope it lasts a long time
  • €14 – some lunch/dinner out or snacks at school
  • €10 – fill up the Mensa card for more cafeteria food =\
  • €2 – laundry
  • €57 – tickets for some travel
  • Total: €270 (+€585 for rent and health insurance)
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