Durlach Mediaeval Christmas market

Last night, some friends and I went to Durlach to check out the Christmas market. Durlach is the largest district of Karlsruhe and its residents like to say that they are the “real” Karlsruhe because Durlach was there first! (Karlsruhe is a relatively new city, having only been founded in 1715). Like some of the other more remote districts of Karlsruhe, Durlach has its own Christmas market – a Mediaeval one! And what, you ask, makes a Mediaeval Christmas market different to an ordinary one? Well, along with the usual Glühwein, alcohol-free hot punch and hot chocolate with added spirits, Durlach Christmas market sells hot mead – which I actually find a lot nicer than the cold variety – and provides lots of wood fires for people to huddle around. (Apologies in advance for the quality of photos in this post – my camera doesn’t do too well with darkness!)

Fire

It’s also held in a square in front of a former castle, the Karlsburg, which now houses a museum and a school, among other things.

Karlsburg Durlach

There are stands selling all the usual Christmas market foods – Bratwurst, steaks, crepes and more – but something you don’t find at just any Christmas market is a pig on a spit! I didn’t try any of it this year, but I have in previous years and can assure you it’s delicious!

Pig on a spit

There are also stalls selling interesting things, like these bottle containing various types of alcohol:

Interesting bottles

We ate, drank and chatted while huddling around one of the various fires – my hair still smells of smoke! It’s a nice smokey smell though, nothing like the scent of cigarettes! Later, we headed to the stage to check out some of the entertainment.

Mediaeval entertainment

It’s not every day you see people in Mediaeval costumes dancing!

Mediaeval dancers

Later, there was a fire show, which was very cool to watch!

If you’re in the area, I would certainly recommend paying a visit to this Christmas market. It’s smaller than the main one in Karlsruhe proper, but it tends to be less crowded and I find it makes a nice contrast to all the other Christmas markets that are basically the same concept. Be warned though… if you go anywhere near the fire, you will end up smoked!

If you would like to see the fire show, they’re back on Wednesday 11 December and Friday 13 December 2013 at 7:30 p.m.

**I’m counting this as my December trip for Need Another Holiday‘s #Take12Trips challenge.**

Family weekend

My mam and brother were here over the weekend, which is why I didn’t have a chance to post. Finally my mam has actually seen the place I’ve been living for the past 2 years! It was a good weekend, but tiring. There isn’t really much for tourists to do in Karlsruhe, but we rode on the little train in the Schlosspark, had a bit of a walk in Durlach (suburb of Karlsruhe) and went to ZKM, an art and media museum in town. We also ate some of the local food. It was lovely to see the family (or at least part of it) again. Now my sister just needs to visit and the whole family will have seen ‘my’ town.

Today was the first day of my new internship. It went pretty well. The bosses and one other employee are lovely. The owner of the company even bought my lunch for me! It was a lot of information to take in at once though – In the morning I just did some proofreading and researched some terms, but after lunch I had to learn all about the database, how to enter a company into it, find a translator etc, etc. Then I had a quick lesson on how to use the translation memory software. I was pleased when I was told to go home at 3pm! I won’t normally be leaving that early but there wasn’t anything left for me to do and, like I said, a lot had been squeezed into my brain in a fairly short space of time. I’m sure things will get better once I’ve done everything a few times and figured out what’s going on!

The bosses have a little jack russell puppy who comes to work with them. She’s called Flecki, because of a little fleck on her head, and is only 10 weeks old. Soo tiny and cute!

I think I’m going to like working there, once I’ve got over the strangeness and have more of an idea what I’m meant to be doing! Still sad that I had to leave the old place though.