Stephen Travels

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Have Yourself a Merry German Christmas: Day 5

Dusseldorf, GermanyAs I strolled through one of Düsseldorf’s city parks, beautified by a little river and a couple of lakes, I marked the absence of people. I had arrived on a Sunday morning, and every store was — and would stay — closed for the day. Few pedestrians or joggers utilized the path along the Rhine River. It seemed everyone in the city was staying at home on this overcast day. But all that changed when I reached the first of three increasingly interesting Christmas markets. Read more >


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Have Yourself a Merry German Christmas: Day 1

Frankfurt, GermanyEver since I was a child, the Christmas markets in Germany held a special appeal for me. For some inexplicable reason, they seemed to epitomize this most festive holiday, more so than those in any other country. I knew that, someday, I would have to see them. Several decades later, I made the dream a reality. After careful research about the cities with the best markets, I had to select a central location from which I could make easy day trips to other cities over the course of one week, traveling by train and sparing myself the hassle of changing hotels every night. I pinpointed Frankfurt as my home for seven days. But the city was more than just my base. It was my introduction to a centuries-old tradition that exceeded all my expectations and made me conclude that this is how you must spend some time in December. Read more >