Stories of this Canadian girl's adventures exploring Europe...join me!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

mainz

Yesterday, I explored the city of Mainz.  In the middle of the Altstadt (old city) is an incredible, double-spired Dom (cathedral) overlooking the Rhein river.  According to great guy, Mainz is about one tenth the size of Munich, but I was excited to finally be in a bigger city.  I happily wandered through the pedestrian areas, peeking in and out of shops, taking in the sights and wanting to get to know this place.

In the evening, great guy met me in a coffee shop, which has the awesome name of Pomp.  After a latte we hit the streets, heading in the direction of the Altstadt and the Weihnachtsmarkt (christmas market), popping into a second hand shop and buying me a cellphone (finally!) along the way.  Walking through the narrow, cobblestoned streets, treading on a light dusting of snow, the atmosphere was enchanting.  The houses within the old city are all intricately painted with folk-like designs.  The whole place looked like one of those Tudor villages you set up on your mantelpiece at Christmas, with fluffs of cotton standing in for snow, and tiny lights within each, creating a warm, fuzzy glow.

We enjoyed a steaming mug of gl├╝wein in the Christmas market, under an incredible canopy of lights which covered the entire square.  The air was full of the sweetness from Gebrannte Mandeln (honey-roasted almonds) - a delicious aroma which smells like Christmas to me.  The most difficult part of the evening was trying not to get scalding liquid poured over us as we were jostled amongst the fellow revelers.  We capped the night off with some tapas and a cocktail in a quaint, Spanish-inspired pub close to the Bahnhof (train station).  And, after a half-hour train ride, which we spent talking and laughing the entire time, we were home again.  A great evening.

P.S.  Two swan pairs are spending the winter here with us, on the river.  As I write, it looks like 2 of them are having a small disagreement...or are they mating?  They must be mating, unless he (or she) is slowly killing her (or him).  How can you tell?  I'm feeling a bit voyeuristic and so, I will now look away.
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