A little late, true -- but I have lots of time now. This is copied from the reports made on-the-fly to the Sacramento Travel Group in December and January. Six-week trip originally was to start in Paris but got hijacked by the French train strikes.
Flew into Frankfurt (actually, I think the plane landed in Belgium and they bussed us to the FRA gate -- longest transfer from plane to terminal that I can remember!) Jet lag hit about four hours after we landed and lasted for two days. Loved the Frankfurt market in the beautifully restored Old Town area. (Thank you Ms Jo!!) Had a great (and inexpensive) hotel across the street from the train station -- Fleming's Express -- with enormous breakfast buffets. Five nights.
German train to Strasbourg, France. Colmar was skipped because the train service was questionable due to the SNCF strike (didn't want to get there and not be able to get back to Strasbourg.) Beautiful city and markets, as always. We stayed, as before, at Residence Hotel Louise, a student residence about 15 minutes walk from Cathedral and markets (and Monoprix!) -- has free laundry room so I did a couple loads.
Next to Stuttgart (3 nights) which also had an extensive beautiful Christmas market area with decorated roofs on every booth. Took a train to Esslingen to see medieval market -- very cute! Hotel was Park Inn Radisson -- chain style, but good and well-located and big buffet breakfasts.
Nürenberg (3 nights) with another enormous market area. Hotel was a Rick recommendation, Privat Hotel Probst, walking distance to train station and Christmas markets. Charming family-run, possibly renovated since the last RS review. Multiple delicious pastries at breakfast, eggs soft-boiled to order.
Then Bayern pass train to Munich (3 nights) for Ed's reunion with his home town of 9 years.
Munich -- main market at Marienplatz, Ed got raiber dachi (latkes) in honor of Hanukkah. (AKA kartoffelpuffer.)
Hotel Brecherspitze, outside downtown by a direct tram from Hbf. Our third or fourth visit.
Salzburg -- our favorite Christmas maket. On the 26th since many/ most things were scheduled to be closed we did an all-day Bob's Tour which included Sound of Music stops plus a drive to Hallstatt and its incredibly beautiful views of lake and mountains. Would have been more fun if the other 6 passengers in the van had said a word on the drive. (But no, we did not sing ' Do , a deer")
Goldenes Theater Hotel, 10 minutes walk from Altstadt, great breakfast and mini-bar where we stashed soda from Spar market and sandwiches from said breakfasts for Christmas meals. Also a return visit -- third ?
Local specialty foods sampled:
Frankfurt - Green Sauce
Strasbourg - Flamküche
Stuttgart - Spätzle
Nürenberg - Lebküchen (and tiny Nürenberger sausages)
Items purchased to date (excluding glühwein, cookies and other comestibles) :
one €2 night light, 2 glühwein mugs.