Lederhosen and Dirndls, Sausages and Beer

Trip Start Apr 25, 2007
Trip End Oct 03, 2007

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Flag of Germany  ,
Tuesday, May 1, 2007

     It is 90 degrees, clear and hot, summer weather in May in Bavaria. My boyfriend Dan and I have come to Europe to enjoy ourselves as we do every year, but this time we actually have a job lined up for two weeks in Spain (our way of justifying staying for five months instead of the usual month). Our first stop was Munich, where I was born and have close friends to stay with. Actually, our first stop was the Munich airport beer garden (which turns into an ice skating rink in the winter), where we downed our first of many delicious beers on this trip. We resisted the urge to eat sausages with our beers and took the train to the house of Erica and Franz, long standing friends of my mother. (Franz used to carry me on his skiis when I was three and too tired to ski anymore).  They had a feast of our favorite German things waiting for us: beer, sausages, pretzels, delicious bread, and more beer. Heaven. We caught up on everything, laughed a lot, and fell into bed in the cozy attic room that they had so nice and ready for us. We reveled in the eiderdowns, the sounds of the trains that we so love and miss when we are in the States, our bellies full of our favorite things, and fell deeply asleep.
    After waiting a whole day for luggage left in London (why did we pay extra to fly BA??), Dan and I took the train to Mittenwald in the Bavarian Alps for a couple of days of getting over jetlag. We stayed at the Hotel Alpenrose, a lovely, old hotel in the center of town with traditionally painted walls and, more importantly, the long awaited for German breakfast buffet, with heaps of different kinds of rolls, bread, cheeses, meats, boiled eggs, pretzels, and strong coffee. My hopes for balconies filled with geraniums were dashed because it was still too early, but fantasies of a Bavarian town filled with people dressed in Lederhosen and Dirndls were fulfilled, and then some! We had unwittingly stumbled upon some sort of saint's day, and every farmer and his family in the whole region rode in a parade through town on colorful wagons adorned with garlands of flowers, everyone dressed to the hilt in traditional clothing, their horses' manes braided with ribbons. There was even a wagon with a German brass um-pah band.
     Thinking we had seen it all, we started off on a short hike to a lake. Soon we heard the birds, the babbling brook, and........the umpah sounds of the brass band in the distance??? As we approached the lake we saw a Sound of Music-like scene with wagons, horses, and hundreds of pairs of lederhosen and dirndls, as all the farmers had gathered on a meadow surrounded by snow-peaked mountains to visit a small chapel, socialize with one another, and, what else, drink beer! So, not wanting to be rude, Dan and I joined in the festivities. Sausages, beer, umpah music, and mountains, not a bad start to the trip.
     Next stop: our other favorite place, Spain.
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