Another of the most Christmassy of Christmases. Click HERE for photos from last year in Basque country, HERE for 2015 in Gers and HERE for 2014 in Paris.
Collage 12 c
Photos above are Winchester farmers' market and Christmas market and our house decorated for the holidays
Collage 12 ca
We had an Italian-themed meal for family, inspired by our summer in Abruzzo.
Collage 12 cb
After dinner, we took a stroll by the river and opened presents when we got back home.


Collage 12 a
Once again, we returned to Freiburg, Germany, for the perfect Christmas atmosphere. I studied music here several years ago and it is always nice to go back and re-visit familiar places. Click HERE to see our 2013 Christmas in Freiburg and HERE four our 2002 visit.
Collage 12 ab
In Amsterdam airport, I took part Santa's quiz and won a hat. That evening, we arrived in Freiburg and headed straight for Bella Italia for a pizza gorgonzola and a walk around town.
Collage 12 ac
Some views from Freiburg at night, our first of several Linzertortes, and desirable objects found in shop windows
Collage 12 ad
Another early morning market in Peyrehorade, where we bought an anatomically correct carrot, and Pont Vieux in Orthez.
Collage 12 ae
We visited the region's capital, Pau, and bought our black truffle.
Collage 12 af
I loved visiting Meier's Wurst stand and eating a selection of cheese and meats for dinner back in our apartment.
Collage 12 ag
Some of my favourite after-dark images from Freiburg
Collage 12 ah
There were lots of buskers, but these two were very good at their carols.
Collage 12 ai
Sellers of schnapps and vegetables at the market
Collage 12 aj
We bought Bächle boats for Nick's bingo card task, but there was no water, so our boats stayed dry.
Collage 12 ak
An evening walk led us to Art Nouveau bridges, the tree at Johanneskirche, cute stuffed animals, and the apartment where I used to live.
Collage 12 al
The music school where I studied for three years.
Collage 12 am
Getting a feel of Art Nouveau in the town and a crocodile I don't remember from last time
Collage 12 an
Hipsters have arrived in Freiburg. I would love to have that Christmas suit. Our taco seller is also shown.
Collage 12 ao
The puppet man makes his animals seem to come to life. I'd never been inside the red church before.
Collage 12 ap
Art Nouveau, bearded cuties, and a chance encounter with Robbie Williams, whose near-naked photos used to be an obsession of mine.
Collage 12 aq
Nick made microwave cornbread to go with our chilli. The Wiehre turned up lots of cool houses.
Collage 12 ar
I can't believe I lived here for three years and never noticed this doorway. The blue house was where my good friends lived and where I spent many happy times.
Collage 12 as
Collage 12 at
Collage 12 au


Collage 12 av
We love tracking down Invader's street art and flashing it with our apps. These are the ones we found in Basel. Click HERE to see some recent sightings in London and Paris and HERE for Ravenna.
Collage 12 aw
The first Invader we spotted, the Rhine, Art Nouveau wonders, and the Rathaus clock
Collage 12 ax
Basel's Rathaus on Christmas morning
Collage 12 ay
I needed a fireman for my bingo card. We also spotted a postcard with the Cartwright family and a wishing tree with wishes both sincere and silly.
Collage 12 ay2
Lots of Swiss cows, a huge pyramid, musical street art (mainly British), and an unexpected Invader.
Collage 12 b
The Tinguely fountain (he was born here), the cathedral, the hammering man statue, and some covetable fashion
Collage 12 ba
Tribute to Sunnyday sauna
Collage 12 bb
Back in Freiburg, our seven-Euro museum pass gave us access to five museums. I'd never noticed the memorials to Holocaust victims before, on the pavement outside their former homes.
Collage 12 bc
The string and chair art we'd seen on our last trip - still effective - and most of the other art was part of a 20th-century exhibition based on the colour wheel. It's always nice to find a new Saint Sebastian among all the Renaissance annunciations.
Collage 12 bd
At the Augustiner Museum
Collage 12 be
The stairwell of the Graphic Art Museum
Collage 12 bf
There was an exhibition of Rembrandt's etchings. They were tiny, but these were captured with my zoom lens. The two at the top are self portraits. He used to draw himself with different moods, costumes, and expressions.
Collage 12 bg
Airbnb served us well with this sunny apartment with a balcony. The local students sit on the blue bridge in summer, so we thought we'd join them. My whole time in Freiburg, I never went to this church. .
Collage 12 bh
The bridge, more wartime remembrances, and some cheerful art and fashion
Collage 12 bi
Popcorn on the balcony, tacos from Markthalle, and flammenkuchen
Collage 12 bj
We went to a concert at the Altes Rathaus. It turned out to be the same group we saw last time. We discovered a new room with chandeliers and wallpaper that were gifted from Padula (or elsewhere in the Veneto).
Collage 12 bk
Strasbourg was full of Art Nouveau buildings. Our last search was in Turin.
Collage 12 bl

Collage 12 bm
Strasbourg sells itself as the Christmas capital of France. The markets are there longer than in Germany.
Collage 12 bn
We bought a Hansel and Gretel ornament at the market. See the rest of our collection HERE. We also travelled back in time to 1998, the year we met!
Collage 12 bo
Beautiful snow scenes on Schauinsland
Collage 12 bp
Collage 12 bq
Collage 12 br
After visiting Schauinsland, we had lunch at Bella Italia and spotted new Art Nouveau architecture. I probably passed this a hundred times and never noticed it before.
Collage 12 bs
Nick loved the salad at Gasthaus zum Kranz. Our walk took us past the Ganter brewery and we made a trip to see Claes Oldenburg's water tap.
Collage 12 bt
As we did last year in the Basque region, we met up with old friend Thierry on New Year's Day.
Collage 12 bu
Collage 12 bv
We symbolically burned 2017 sparklers and took a walk near Sternwald and Waldsee.
Collage 12 bw
Art Nouveau, my new hat, the new university library, my favourite Christmas shop, and the cathedral
Collage 12 bx
Thierry invited us to a multi-course French lunch at his apartmnet, complete with a cheese course. We walked around the lake that is "full of sunbathers" in the summer. (Book flights now).
Collage 12 by
Bad weather cancelled our return flights, so we got a bonus extra day in Freiburg. We returned to Wolfshöhle, for a splendid surprise tasting menu.
Collage 12 bz
Our final day, we did a bit of shopping and wandering.

Free Guestbook from Bravenet Free Guestbook from Bravenet