The holidays are in full swing in Aachen, and I've got some catching up to do. Last weekend our friends Kimberly and Tim came for Thanksgiving--making them our first-ever visitors! We had finally made it to Ikea the week before, so we even had towels and bedding for them. (Oh, and have we mentioned that we now have living room furniture? Hooray!)
So when the Prices were here we moved the coffee table out of the way and put the air mattress in its place. It worked very nicely, I must say.
The main event was this meal, prepared almost single-handedly by Tyler.
(Kimberly and Tim weren't supposed to be in the picture. Sorry guys.) In case you're wondering, that feast consists of mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, Brussels sprouts with bacon and figs, rotisserie chicken (turkey is hard to find and expensive here), roasted sweet potatoes and apples, and homemade rolls. There was also a glorious apple cake with caramel sauce for dessert. (I have yet to see a pie pan here, and canned pumpkin does not exist.)
Besides eating, the weekend's other activities were touring the Dom (I went with the Prices while Tyler cooked) and playing lots and lots of games--exactly the things we'd been hoping to do with guests! The Prices introduced us to Ligretto, which is like Nertz, and even brought us our very own copy. I am usually good at speed games (really!) but Kimberly and Tyler destroyed me (and Tim). The Prices also graciously agreed to learn Agricola, and we played two games. Huzzah! I won. Twice. Huzzah! Huzzah!
By the time Thanksgiving came around, the Aachener Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market) was already in full swing. Tyler and I went the day after it opened, and have been back several times since. It's kind of hard to avoid, since it fills the squares around the Rathaus and Dom in the center of town. The main attractions seem to be Printen (Aachen's specialty--a kind of hard-to-chew gingerbread that Tyler likes and I do not) and Glühwein (mulled wine). I don't think there's a spot in the whole Weihnachtsmarkt that's more than ten yards away from a Glühwein stall. Our most exciting food find, though, was waffles.
The entrance to the market, in front of the Rathaus.
One of two Christmas carousels.
The giant Printen man on the back side of the Rathaus.
The Dom square, packed.
Hexenhof. Christmas witches? In addition to Glühwein and food, they sell "Rumgrog."
Tyler and I both have ludicrous amounts of work to do in the next couple of weeks, but then his brother Jaren is coming to town for Christmas and we will play. We can't wait!