Love From, Germany (Part 1)

If you've missed my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook posts (why did you miss them?!), I went to Germany! I have been planning it since Christmas and the build up of excitement was explosive as soon as I sat down on the plane to Munich. I had never been to Europe before but for the past 2 years I had been attracted to Germany. There was just something about it that made me desperately want to visit. Just my luck to find a friend at uni from Germany who invited me over during the summer and it was everything and more.

Germany's history has always been of interest to me. From school I was taught of the Kingdoms, the wars and the nationality that has driven the country to be the Germany we know today and I after hearing about it, I wanted to see it. Bavaria is one of the biggest areas in the South of Germany and with a strong history of having a strong kingdom, there is a sense of pride that runs throughout. Munich was first on the list and despite the pouring rain (I must have taken it from Scotland-sorry) I was taken for a tour down the cobbled streets.

Munich's architecture echoes the past of the kingdoms with buildings built for the Kaisers and the strong Christian faith that has run through is shows as the tallest building is the church which by law must not have anything that is higher. Sassy church! Being in Munich I had to visit the palace which in fact was only a summer home built for the Kaiser's summer getaways. Most people get a 2 bed villa in Spain. He builds a palace. With each room open to the public I learnt about the history of the Kingdoms and Bavarian's Kings and Queens. They thought extremely high of themselves which showed in the self portraits accompanied by Gods and angels on the ceilings. I also noticed that they really liked to throw each other into exile. Tad dramatic but hey ho.

Ox Beef Burger

I'd love to go back to Munich and have a proper long wonder round the city, sadly the rain started hammering down and we decided to cut it short. No matter the weather, food is always a good idea we luckily find a table in a traditional German pub. The waitresses were dressed in the traditional dresses, the Bavarian dirndls and I was slightly embarrassed to ask for an English menu, *OMG spot to tourist!*. I had been trying to learn German before I arrived but only managed to memories a handful of words and phrases (Danke, gut and Bis sp├Ąter). Unfortunately local delicacies were not part of it and I went for an Ox meat burger. It was there I tried my first German beer and with one sip I knew I'd get on well with Germany. After all, our love for alcohol is something Germans and Scots share.

You can therefore imagine my excitement when Lara told me I was visiting at the same time a wine AND beer festival was on! After a techno filled night out in Munich (they LOVE their techno beats), we headed down the Autoban to Bamberg where the rest of my holiday would be spent. Bamburg is an old town home to Bamberg University and built around the cathedral and canal. I quickly dropped my bags off, me and Lara had a bite to eat and headed to the Wine Festival. Every year Bamberg holds a wine festival were there showcase their home brewed (and delightful, may I add) wines. I had a very fruity one and since then I've been failing in finding the same kind over in Scotland One more reason to go back to Germany. A live band was playing with covers of classic 1950 songs. Everyone was up doing the twist in the middle of the square, Maxplatz, despite Lara arguing that "German's don't dance!" Unless of course the word "festival" is used in conjunction with an alcoholic beverage. The beer festival got everyone up on the tables dancing and singing german songs, pop songs and german football songs, which proved to be very popular with everyone, I even tried to sing it. I managed to sing the words "Woah. Woah." I'll try again next year.

The beer festival was my highlight of the week. A short train ride to Erlangen and the crowds walked up the hill (or "The Berg" as Lara called it) into a canopy of trees decorated with fairy lights and Chinese lanterns while food and souvenir stalls guided us through the festival. The atmosphere was buzzing with an assortment of music from the different beer gardens as the people hopped from one garden to another in lederhosens and dirndl. Even I was lucky enough to be lent the traditional dress from Lara. The dirndl can be worn for occasions with different variations of the dress and Maritt explained that there are some smaller villages where they would wear them everyday too. I loved the pride that people had for the traditional clothes. Scotland has the kilt but there's nothing really for women, I so maybe I need to try and get a Scottish dirndl type of thing into history. I can try.

After a wonder round, I bought my litre (YES A LITRE) of BierFest (the local beer) and we made our way up stairs and into the beer garden. A live band played and the people cheered, sung and dance. The band continued to sing a football song which everyone cheered to and it became very obvious that they rate football highly in Bavaria. We were joined by a few men who really sung it with heart. I tried to impress them with my German by saying "Ich kommen aus Schotland" in which they replied, in English- "Yeah we know, your friends told us." So my use of german words was sadly short lived.

 We danced with everyone else on the tables for hours and before we knew it, it was home time. Stuffing the Stein Glass into my bag, we stumbled on the train back to Bamberg to recharge our batteries for the next day.

We managed to fit in so much in the week so I have a lot of photos and a lot to say. I'm going to be doing a part two all about the town on Bamberg itself, so keep an eye out!


No comments