Stephen Travels

And he's ready to take you with him.


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Pure Comfort Food in Freiburg, Germany

The drizzly weather that continued all morning into the early afternoon kept everyone dining at the restaurants around the cobblestone Münsterplatz in Freiburg from eating al fresco. I was in town on the third day of a weeklong pilgrimage through German Christmas markets in seven different cities, and this small city had emerged as one of my favorites. I spent the morning ambling around the City Garden and exploring Freiburg Münster, the beautiful Gothic cathedral completed in 1330 that withstood the bombings of World War II. Before I ventured to the markets, lunch was in order. The conveniently located Ganter Brauereiausschank, just across from the cathedral, beckoned me with its Baden atmosphere and hearty menu, perfect for a wet day in early December. Read more >

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Have Yourself a Merry German Christmas: Day 3

Freiberg, GermanyOf all the cities I was visiting, I knew the least (well, virtually nothing) about Freiburg, but I included it on my itinerary because I read that it had one of the best Christmas markets in Germany. So, with no points of reference and no notions of what the city would be like, I boarded the train to Freiburg. As it would turn out, the markets didn’t seem to exceed any of the others I had seen so far (they were just as delightful), but, oh, how I loved this city. 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 >