Friday, December 7, 2012

Breisach and Colmar

Our first stop on the Rhine Christmas markets cruise was Breisach and Colmar.  We didn't get to see much of Breisach because we went on a bus tour into the Black Forest that morning.  Conveniently enough for the local folks, we stopped at a cuckoo clock shop run by a father-son team of craftsmen.  We were treated to a piece of Black Forest cake and got to take a look at their wares.







After perusing the selection, I chose this one and had it shipped to our home in Texas.



After lunch back on board the ship - this is how it always seems to work on river cruises, that they hustle you back there for the mid day meal - we took an optional afternoon excursion to Colmar, France, courtesy of our travel agent.

Basel's Christmas market was nice, but Colmar was really outstanding.  It seems the whole town knocked itself out to decorate for the holiday crowds. It was chocolate box cute and probably my favorite stop on the whole cruise.








I especially loved how they incorporated so much fresh greenery into the decorations.




We befriended a nice lady on the cruise ship from New Zealand and she snapped the pic below of me and my mother.



We enjoyed peering into the stalls and shop windows, checking out all of the goodies.  I thought the chocolate truffle hedgehogs were particularly cute.





We saw lots of greenery, Santas and sleighs used for decoration.  But one of my favorite decorated shops was the one with the nativity.  In a world that has become overly PC to avoid stepping on anyone's toes that doesn't celebrate Christmas, it was nice to see a beautiful little reminder of the reason for the season.




Just as it does here in England, the European sun set a bit after 4:00 pm and so we had a chance to see some of the Christmas lights before the tour bus picked us up to return to the ship.




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