Host Nation Update, Nov. 27, 2023
“I would be happy to receive a call” – VfB striker Deniz Undav dreams of the national team
In the 2-1 victory of VfB Stuttgart in Frankfurt, Deniz Undav made a significant impact. The 27-year-old is currently playing exceptionally well and dreams of the Euro 2024.
Deniz Undav’s performance in the current season leaves only one possible rating: a straight “A” with a star. The striker appeared nine times for VfB Stuttgart in the Bundesliga, initially starting as a substitute. Undav has played a total of 470 minutes for the Swabians, scoring seven goals and providing two assists. This means the attacker averages nearly 52 minutes per goal involvement—a remarkably impressive statistic.
Deniz Undav makes Bundesliga history with this performance, Undav simultaneously set a VfB club record. Seven goals in the first nine Bundesliga games were previously achieved only by Hartmut Weiß in 1965, Fritz Walter in 1987, and Adhemar in 2001 for Stuttgart. Moreover, as the first player in the 60-year history of the Bundesliga, he scored in both the first and last minute of the first half.
“We need to stay grounded” In VfB’s 2-1 victory against Eintracht Frankfurt, the 27-year-old scored both goals, becoming the matchwinner. However, he remained humble after the game. In an interview with ARD, Undav said, “We need to stay grounded because we’ve been fighting against relegation in the last two seasons. We take it week by week. Today wasn’t our best game, but we showed mentality and fought hard. Winning such games feels better than playing well and losing 3-2.” Undav is in such good form that the Euro 2024 is, of course, a significant topic for him. The German-Turkish player, born in Achim near Bremen, who had an unconventional career path and turned professional late, has not played for either Germany or Turkey yet. After the Eintracht match, he stated that a nomination is his big dream. He would be delighted to receive a call, whether from national coach Julian Nagelsmann or Turkish coach Vincenzo Montella. “I’m open to it. Everything is new for me as I’ve been playing professionally in a league for only two and a half years. I’m trying to enjoy it. If a phone call comes, we’ll see which option is the best. Let’s see what happens.”
Headache for VfB coach Sebastian Hoeneß If Undav continues such self-promotion, the call may not be far away, whether from Nagelsmann or Montella. Until then, he poses a challenge for his club coach Sebastian Hoeneß. After the Frankfurt game, Hoeneß admitted, “Deniz was never in doubt that he wouldn’t play. He’s in too good shape, as he reaffirmed today.” This leaves top scorer Serhou Guirassy on the bench, although the 27-year-old was also weakened by an international match journey during the week. “It’s not easy to tell Serhou that he’s not playing, that’s a different matter,” Hoeneß confessed.
The conclusion of the Stuttgart coach: “It must be an option to start with both. I have to find a way.” Together, the two attackers have already scored 22 goals in twelve games.
Deniz Undav on Serhou Guirassy: “We have a world-class relationship” Guirassy himself was very pleased for the double scorer Undav, who sent a greeting towards the bench after his second goal. Apparently, the two top strikers get along very well. Undav confirmed this after the game, saying, “We have a world-class relationship. We have fun for each other and rejoice when the other scores a goal. We laugh, we rejoice, and we have fun—that’s how it should be.” (SWR Sport, 26.November.2023).
First Snow Fun in the Black Forest
Winter has arrived in the Black Forest: although the lifts are not yet in operation, winter sports enthusiasts are already out and enjoying the first snow of the season.
On the Feldberg, it snowed quite a bit from Saturday night to Sunday. And that means: the first winter sports enthusiasts are, of course, already on the slopes. It’s not a real winter wonderland yet. Nevertheless, many are not letting the first snow fun pass them by. Some are already heading up the first hills with their sleds – and quickly back down.
First Cross-Country Tours at Notschrei Although the trail at the Nordic Center at Notschrei has not been groomed yet, the first cross-country skiers are already hitting the trails. Elisabeth Zink from Freiburg is one of them, heading out on cross-country skis with the first centimeters of snow. “We just organized our skis in the basement and then went out early. Before that, we checked the webcam – twenty centimeters of fresh snow – fantastic.”
Elisabeth Zink, Freiburg Weather forecast predicts snow in the coming weeks In Muggenbrunn (District of Lörrach), the sun even briefly came out. And the weather forecast for the next few weeks looks good. Ingo Baumann, owner of a snowboard school, is optimistic about the upcoming snow sports season.
What more could you want at this time of year: snow – perfect. It can’t get any better. The forecast for the next few weeks is also good.
Ingo Baumann, Owner of Snowboard School at Feldberg
(SWR, 26 Nov 2023)
Christmas Market Season Started in Baden-Württemberg – Here Are Some Highlights
Mulled wine, fairy lights, and handicrafts: Christmas markets have opened in many cities in Baden-Württemberg. Each market has its unique attractions.
Once again this year, the Christmas markets in Baden-Württemberg are expected to attract millions of people. Those looking to enjoy mulled wine or roasted almonds beyond their own region will find a variety of options in this overview. It’s worth taking a look beyond the regional borders for some Christmas markets.
Aalen-Wasseralfingen: Glittering Lights in the Mine A Christmas market underground can be found in Aalen. The visitor mine “Tiefer Stollen” in the Wasseralfingen district is adorned with numerous lights and stalls for four days in December. The city warns of long waiting times for entry as only a specific number of people are allowed in the mine at the same time. The Christmas market takes place from December 7th to 10th. It is open on Thursday and Friday from 2 PM to 9 PM, on Saturday from 11 AM to 9 PM, and on Sunday from 11 AM to 7 PM. Adults pay six euros for admission.
Old German Christmas Market in Bad Wimpfen One of the oldest Christmas markets is in Bad Wimpfen (Heilbronn district). In 1487, Emperor Friedrich III granted the former imperial city of Wimpfen the privilege of holding a market before Christmas. The protected historic city center creates an atmosphere that is popular beyond the state borders. On the first three weekends of Advent (December 1 to 17), the market opens on Fridays from 12 PM to 9:30 PM, Saturdays from 11 AM to 9:30 PM, and Sundays from 11:30 AM to 8 PM.
Baden-Baden: Christmas Market with Carousel and Ferris Wheel The Christkindelsmarkt in Baden-Baden aims to impress its visitors with the ambiance in front of the Baden-Baden Kurhaus, concerts, and stalls. A mini-ferries wheel and a children’s carousel also cater to young guests. For those who lose track of the offerings, a guided two-hour tour of the Christkindelsmarkt can be booked. It has been open since November 23rd, usually daily from 11 AM to 9 PM. It continues until January 6th.
Christkindlesmarkt in Biberach with Performances on the Christmas Stage The Christkindlesmarkt in Biberach invites visitors from December 2nd to 17th. In a medieval setting, a Christmas village with 80 huts unfolds. On the Christmas stage, performances by associations, choirs, kindergartens, and musicians provide a festive Christmas program on 16 days. The market is open daily from 11 AM to 8 PM. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, it starts at 10 AM. On Friday and Saturday, drinks and food can be enjoyed until 9 PM.
Burg Hohenzollern Invites to “Royal Winter Magic” At the “Royal Winter Magic,” visitors can enjoy the Christmas atmosphere at Burg Hohenzollern. According to the organizer, it is not a classic Christmas market but rather a special exhibition. However, mulled wine is still available. The “Royal Winter Magic” started on November 24th and lasts until January 7th. It is usually open on Sundays to Thursdays from 3 PM to 8 PM and on Fridays and Saturdays from 3 PM to 9 PM. Closed days are November 27th and 28th, December 4th, 5th, 11th, 18th, 24th, and 31st. Admission for adults with an online ticket is 22 euros.
Esslingen: Medieval Market and Christmas Market The Medieval Market and Christmas Market in Esslingen advertise with 180 stalls and around 500 cultural events. A special feature includes various workshops that visitors can book, such as a course for ritual smoking or a fencing workshop. The Medieval Market and Christmas Market in Esslingen started on November 23rd and ends on December 21st. It is open daily from 11 AM to 8:30 PM, closing at 9:30 PM on Fridays and Saturdays.
50 Years of Freiburg Christmas Market This year, the Freiburg Christmas Market celebrates its 50th anniversary. However, the tradition dates back to the 19th century when there was a Christkindlmarkt at Münsterplatz. Children, for example, can be gifted by St. Nicholas on December 6th, participate in Christmas baking, or make their own candles.
Otherwise, there are more than 120 market stalls offering handicrafts and delicious treats. The Freiburg Christmas Market started on November 23rd and ends on December 23rd. It is open from Monday to Saturday between 10 AM and 8:30 PM and on Sundays between 11:30 AM and 7:30 PM.
Heidelberg Old Town Shines in Christmas Splendor Picturesque alleys and Christmas stalls extend through Heidelberg’s Old Town. The market stretches from Bismarckplatz over Universitätsplatz to Kornmarkt. There, white lace tents and a Christmas crib catch the eye. At Karlsplatz, an ice rink invites you to go ice skating. The city also offers paid Christmas market tours, including a cup of mulled wine or children’s punch. The stalls have been open since November 27th. The Christmas market ends on December 22nd. It is open on Sundays to Fridays from 11 AM to 9 PM, and on Saturdays until 10 PM.
Heilbronn: Käthchen Christmas Market with “Christmas Beats” Since November 21st and until December 22nd, the Käthchen Christmas Market invites visitors to Heilbronn. Daily, visitors can enjoy punch, mulled wine, and other treats from 11 AM to 8 PM. The stage on the market square offers a varied program for all guests. On Saturday evenings, DJs play at the barn on Kiliansplatz and in the alpine hut on the market square as part of the “Christmas Beats” event.
Christmas Market in Karlsruhe with Ferris Wheel and Concerts The Christkindlesmarkt on Marktplatz and Friedrichsplatz in Karlsruhe immerses the city in a festive atmosphere. A 40-meter-high Ferris wheel, concerts, and stalls aim to attract visitors. The Christkindlesmarkt takes place from November 28th to December 23rd. It is open on Mondays to Thursdays and Sundays from 11 AM to 9 PM, and on Fridays and Saturdays from 11 AM to 10 PM.
Lindau Harbor Christmas Market on Lake Constance Since November 23rd and until December 17th, the Lindau (Bavaria) Harbor Christmas Market has been taking place. This market offers a festive atmosphere right on the picturesque Lake Constance near the border with Baden-Württemberg. The market presents a diverse selection of handicrafts and gift items. From handmade jewelry to wood carvings and decorative Christmas items, there is something for every taste. An entertaining program with live music is also provided. The market is open Thursday to Sunday from 11 AM to 9 PM.
Ludwigsburg: Christmas Market in a Baroque Setting The Baroque Christmas market attracts visitors to the heart of Ludwigsburg. The baroque market square is festively decorated, and around 160 exhibitors offer goods. Artists and associations also perform there. The Ludwigsburg Baroque Christmas market started on November 23rd and continues until December 22nd. It is usually open daily from 11 AM to 9 PM.
Water Tower, Kapuzinerplanken, and Fairy Tale Forest: Christmas Markets in Mannheim With its decorated wooden stalls and sparkling lights, the Mannheim Christmas market at the Water Tower has been providing a festive atmosphere since November 27th until December 23rd, daily from 11 AM to 9 PM. Visitors can expect a diverse selection of handicrafts and Christmas delights at 160 huts. The centerpiece of the market is the Water Tower, surrounded by an ice rink. The market also features a more than 130-year-old carousel with a powerful organ, a children’s Ferris wheel, a fairy tale carousel, and a children’s train.
Also since November 27th (until December 23rd), there is the “WeihnachtsMarkt” on the Kapuzinerplanken and the Mannheimer Märchenwald (Fairy Tale Forest) on Paradeplatz in Mannheim. Visitors can find a colorful array of handicrafts, artworks, and culinary delights at these locations, along with lovingly designed fairy tale huts in the heart of the city.
Offenburg: Christmas Market with a 200 Square Meter Roller Skating Rink The Christmas market in Offenburg (Ortenaukreis) opened its doors on November 21st and ends on December 23rd. This year, it comes with a special novelty: the debut of a 200 square meter roller skating rink in the Winter World of Vinzentiusgarten. The use of the rink is free, and roller skates can be rented for a small fee of two euros.
In addition to the usual Christmas market stalls, there is a light and sound show in the monastery church: the Monastery of Our Lady is open from December 1st – Fridays and Tuesdays from 4 PM to 8 PM; Wednesdays and Saturdays from 4 PM to 6 PM, and on the 3rd Advent (December 17th) from 4 PM to 8 PM. The rest of the Christmas market is open daily from 11 AM to 9 PM.
Between Höllentalbahn and Viaduct: Christmas Market in the Ravennaschlucht Traditionally, between wooded hills and the over 40-meter-high viaduct of the Höllentalbahn, the Christmas market in the Ravennaschlucht near Breitnau (Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald district) lights up. It features arts and crafts as well as Black Forest specialties. The Christmas market started on November 24th, takes place on weekends, and concludes on December 17th. On Fridays, it is usually open between 3 PM and 9 PM, Saturdays between 2 PM and 9 PM, and Sundays between 2 PM and 8 PM. The entrance fee depends on the arrival time and starts at 5.50 euros for adults.
Ravensburg: Christkindlesmarkt: Arts and Crafts and Delicacies in Festive Atmosphere The Christkindlesmarkt in Ravensburg starts on December 1st and ends on December 23rd. From Marienplatz to Bachstraße, the Christmas market attracts visitors with high-quality arts and crafts, delicious Swabian specialties, and savory treats. Tradition and a festive atmosphere characterize the market, especially around the town hall.
On Bachstraße, the Reischmann Christmas market impresses with craftsmen who visitors can watch at work. Children can meet St. Nicholas and listen to stories from the largest Advent calendar in Upper Swabia. Musical ambiance rounds off the pre-Christmas experience. Opening hours are from 11 AM to 8 PM.
Christmas Market in Reutlingen with Ferris Wheel, Carousel, and Ice-Skating Rink: The Reutlingen Christmas market 2023 has been inviting visitors to the old town and the Bürgerpark for a diverse Advent experience since November 22nd (until December 21st). From Marienkirche to Albtorplatz, numerous decorated stalls offer delicacies such as grilled specialties, gingerbread, and almonds. Highlights include a Ferris wheel, a carousel, a nativity scene, fairy tale hours, the daily visit of St. Nicholas, and an ice-skating rink.
In addition to the festive offerings of the sales stands, schools and associations provide an authentic atmosphere with homemade treats and handmade gifts. A colorful supporting program completes the pre-Christmas flair. Opening hours: 11 AM to 10 PM.
Colorful Cultural Program at Weihnachtszauber in Schwäbisch Hall: The Christmas market in Schwäbisch Hall takes place from November 30th to December 20th. The market extends across the marketplace, past St. Michael’s Church into the narrow streets of the old town. In addition to classics such as mulled wine, Christmas treats, and gift ideas, there is also a colorful cultural program, including exhibitions, night watchman tours, and theater performances.
From December 1st to 3rd, the arts and crafts market takes place in front of Hospitalkirche and in the Kornhausviertel. The Christmas market is open daily from 11 AM to 8 PM. On the opening day (November 30th), the stalls open at 2 PM. Admission to the market is free, but some events are chargeable. Glühwein on Schlossplatz at the Kurfürstlicher Weihnachtmarkt in Schwetzingen For four weekends, between November 23rd and December 17th, the Kurfürstlicher Weihnachtsmarkt in Schwetzingen (Rhein-Neckar-Kreis) is open – around the famous castle. The festively lit Ehrenhof, the lighting of the electoral castle facade, and the inviting Schlossplatz create a unique backdrop. Hobby artists and craftsmen, including basket weavers and crib builders, present their lovingly crafted gift ideas.
Schwetzingen’s twin cities also provide an over regional and international flair on the first weekend with typical products and dishes. The Christmas market is open on Thursdays and Fridays from 5 PM to 9:30 PM, Saturdays and Sundays from 12 PM to 9:30 PM.
Stuttgart Christmas Market with Ferris Wheel and Concerts: The Stuttgart Christmas market traditionally bathes the state capital in a sea of lights. This year, a Ferris wheel stands on Schlossplatz, and various concerts are planned in the Collegiate Church and the courtyard of the Old Castle. The market takes place from November 29th to December 23rd. It is open on Sundays to Wednesdays from 11 AM to 9 PM, Thursdays from 11 AM to 10 PM, and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 AM to 10:30 PM. Christmas Market in Ulm: Nativity Scene with Real Animals Under the tallest church tower in the world, the Christmas market in Ulm invites visitors to stroll. And even though the organizers caused a stir and criticism with a mulled wine advertising poster – around the minster, there is much more to see and enjoy than just the famous hot drink: A total of 120 stalls offer goods of all kinds – from decorations and leather to chairs and dumplings. There is also a nativity scene with real animals. The Christmas market started on November 27th and lasts until December 23rd. It is open daily from 10 AM to 8:30 PM.
Christmas Market in Basel with a 13-Meter-High Christmas Pyramid This year, there are around 155 stalls at the Christmas market in Basel, Switzerland, on Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz. A popular meeting point is the well over 13-meter-high Christmas pyramid on Barfüsserplatz. The Basel Christmas market runs until December 23rd, starting on November 23rd. It is open daily from 11 AM to 8:30 PM.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber Reiterlesmarkt: World-Famous The Rothenburg Reiterlesmarkt in Bavaria is one of the most popular Christmas markets in Germany. The market with its 54 stalls is open daily from December 1st to 23rd. On the stage at Grüner Markt, brass groups from the region around Rothenburg play daily – surrounded by the famous medieval backdrop of Rothenburg’s old town. Opening hours are from Monday to Thursday from 11 AM to 7 PM and Friday to Sunday from 11 AM to 8 PM.
Strasbourg Christmas Market with Over 300 Stalls The Strasbourg Christmas market in Alsace attracts around two million visitors annually and is also very popular among German Christmas market fans. There are offerings at more than 300 stalls in the heart of the old town. It has been running since November 24th and ends on December 24th. It is usually open daily from 11:30 AM to 9 PM.
These Christmas markets offer a festive atmosphere with a variety of attractions, arts and crafts, delicious treats, and cultural programs, making them popular destinations for locals and visitors alike during the holiday season. (SWR, 27 Nov.2023)
Bundesliga: SGE Frankfurt vs. VfB Stuttgart 1:2