Friday, December 18, 2009

Customs and weather in Germany

We are spending the Christmas season with our son and his wife in the small farm village of Affalterbach, Germany. That's not too far from Stuttgart.
It's very cold here with little snow in this part of Germany. In Austria, they have been skiing now for some time.
A country know for the famous Octoberfest that seems to start in August and continue almost to Christmas, this time of the year it's known for the many Christmas markets that pop up all over the country.
We have visited several already since arriving. They consists of many different booths, each decorated with a variety of seasonal decorations to set that booth apart from it's neighbors.
Here you can find all sorts of handmade gifts; ornaments, nutcrackers, chimes, wood toys, leather goods, knit hats, scarves, mittens, walking staffs, and candles along with many others.
Figuring you can't shop on an empty stomach there is food to satisfy every taste; from vegetarian to the meat and potatoes crowd.
Of course there is bratwurst but how about a rotewurst, sauerkraut and potatoes, french fries, crepes filled with different fruit and covered in chocolate, pizza slices, pretzels, hot chocolate, and no doubt the crowd favorite, gluwein (pronounced gluview), a hot spiced wine served in a mug.
Return the mug or cup to the vendor for a refund or keep it as a souvenior of that market.
But there isn't a market or a village you might choose to visit that doens't have at least one Lebkuchen-Schmidt store nearby.
Lebkuchen, German for gingerbread, is sold all over the country and exported around the world. Buy it in plastic packages or in beautifully colored tins, with scenes of the season, or Old Germany. Use the empty container for a cookie jar.
Surrounding many of these small villlages or running through them is the Neckar River. Fishing here is open to those with licenses granted following serious study and demonstration of an understanding of fish habitat, equipment and on and on.
Shooting a recurve at one market, I asked the proprietor if they used compound bows to hunt with in Germany. An emphatic "No," was the response.
Besides, even if you could use a compound, a license to hunt is similar to getting a fishing license and takes months of study and exams before one is granted permission to hunt.
We may find fault with the DNR but we still have a better system despite a few bumps. Acrtually they seem more like blips once you put them alongside rules and regulations in some of these other countries.

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