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Bavaria: Where Christmas markets meet Ren Faire

Friday I reached my brother and his family around dinner time, where they put me up in one of their cozy, semi-attic rooms.

 I haven't slept there often, but this snug room epitomizes rest for me.

I haven't slept there often, but this snug room epitomizes rest for me.

Saturday we had a relaxed morning, then drove about 45 minutes to a medieval Christmas market on the grounds of a small castle. Festivities included a camel, various kinds of live music and lots of period costumes (including some animal furs). This will probably remain one of my favorite Christmas markets, of any trip.

Sunday we packed up and drove west, out of Bavaria, to the region near Stuttgart. Midway there, we stopped to explore the town of Rothenberg, which boasts 14th century architecture, a soaring cathedral and a still-intact, covered wall you can walk inside (several feet above street level), which encloses the old city.

In some parts, the wall had window-like openings, but others were little more than slits wide enough to shoot through. My nephew considers the wall Rothenberg's castle - his favorite part of the town.

 One of the Rothenberg wall's open sections.

One of the Rothenberg wall's open sections.