Not far outside the city of Frankfurt is the small town of Hanau. This town could have been completely missed throughout history, so small on the edge of a big city the entire history of this small town could have been lumped together with Frankfurt.
And yet one of the most well-known fairy tale brothers were born in this tiny town.
Obviously, a large draw for tourists is being able to visit the home town of the Grimm Brothers but there is so much more to this town than just the history of the brothers.
Our draw this time was because of the Christmas Market. Much much smaller than the one we visited in Frankfurt but being a nerd I can’t help but track down Christmas markets as I have the chance and this one is known for the mulled wine and the main decoration of the almost 75 ft tall wind chime that serves mulled wine at the base.
This market focused more on the local hand made items and of course the food! I love how you can follow your nose to the markets because of the overwhelming smell of delicious foods.
This adventure took us from Frankfurt on foot to the train station. So, little insight to how I travel (or try), I really try to use public transportation instead of having to rent a car and deal with the strenuous ordeal of dealing with traffic and navigation in a new country. Our hotel was chosen (apparently not for its quality and cleanliness) but for the location. I enjoy picking hotels where everything good is within walking distance, and if it isn’t within walking distance we are able to hop on public transportation easily.
The Frankfurt main train station was a short seven-minute walk from our hotel and it took us no time to find the name of the town we wanted to go, Hanau, on the board, buy our ticket (you can buy day passes that allowed us to ride the train back and forth from Hanau to Frankfurt as many times as we wanted to in a 24 hour period) and then find the correct platform to board the train.
That is one thing that I absolutely love about traveling around in Europe, they have such a well developed and sophisticated train system where you don’t have to make a plan – you can just pick a location on the route and go! It is so simple and very inexpensive. We were able to ride the train round trip for 1/8 of what it would have cost us to rent a car and car seat for the day.
Now one thing I am sad about not being able to go and do while in Germany for my first time, was being able to visit the Neushavinstine castle. It has been a dream of mine to visit this castle for as long as I can remember. My mom was able to go to Germany when she was in High School and in the kitchen of my house growing up there was a poster of this castle hanging up. I dreamed about what it would be like to visit and I wish I had made a plan to make a day trip to the castle but I know that traveling as a parent of a toddler, you can’t travel the same way that I used to when I was traveling by myself as a teen or in my early 20s.
This is my very first trip taking my daughter on an international flight alone. I mean it isn’t anywhere as difficult as it could have been for us flying from Spain to Germany, but it did come with its own set of challenges. There were a lot of firsts on this trip, for us as a team unit traveling together but also in the journey itself.
We learned a lot about ourselves on this trip and for every challenge that presented, I am thankful for the journey. My favorite quote is “It isn’t about the destination but the journey” I think that this is so true for life, travel, love, learning about yourself – it applies to everything.
I know this got philosophical but maybe it is because I was writing about the home of writers. Whatever is the case I still believe that it is important to identify when you have faced a challenge and come out on the other side and can see what you’ve learned about yourself.
I hope that you enjoyed this little story of our side adventure to Hanau and my philosophical insights but mostly I wanted to say that I hope you spend this holiday season doing things that bring you joy. I know that parts of this trip were rather stressful but I was doing things that I loved, traveling with my daughter and visiting Christmas markets as a huge Christmas nerd finding gifts for my loved ones (because my language of love is gift-giving). I did what I love with who I love…
Don’t let someone else steal your joy! Take every moment during this holiday season to enjoy every moment.
Traveling Photographer Out!