Strasbourg - Not exactly French and not exactly German, the town as a whole has a very old world international feel about it. The city bills itself as the "Capital of Christmas". Its certainly not far off.

The holiday focal point is the old town. On an island filled with an array of half-timbered houses, cobblestone streets and quaint little bridges, it lends itself an almost built in Christmas like charm 365 days a year. During the holidays, the island becomes a pedestrian only zone filled with multiple markets. The streets are lined with lights and the buildings seem to be in a competition for most adorably decorated for Christmas. There are many merry revelers [many of whom seem to be from the US on some sort of holiday pilgrimage] among the glühwein, sausage, confectionery and ornament stands.

It did seem a bit subdued due to the events of December 11th and the extra tight security. Its can put a damper on the full on Christmas spirit when military guys [OK, hot military guys] are walking around with full-on machine guns.

Bedsides the markets, the whole of old town is filled with enough twinkling lights and decorations for any true lover of the Christmas season. The cathedral spire at twilight is straight out of a Disney film making for a truly magical setting.

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