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Gardens, Cars and Cheese

September 10, 17, & 30

Written November 19


Dear Friends and Families,


In our part of Germany, perhaps in any part of Germany, it is possible to go to a half-dozens festivals every summer weekend. Unfortunately, we find ourselves too heavily committed to house-work to make the most of these opportunities. Nonetheless, in late Summer 2006, we managed a few.

********** September 10 **********


Sometimes we need to travel away but it's nice to not have a long drive on crowded summer autobahns. On this weekend, we drove all the way to Burgellern, avoiding autobahns all the way. It took 45 minutes (only because we stopped along the way.) Our goal was the "Gartenfestival im Schlosspark Burgellern ".

To keep up the illusion that we were "traveling", we checked into the small hotel on the Schlosspark grounds. We could see the festival spread out below our room window. It all had the feeling of a medieval trade fair, albeit a smallish one.




Out in the field, there were perhaps three-dozen vendors, selling plants (we bought), art work (we passed), bad wine (we needed), good olive oil, bread, smoked trout (all purchased). After this hard work, we sat down with a beer, a Frankonian requirement, and listened to "Tuneful", a pair of singers who managed to play for hours and 90% of the time it was in good old American English.

Mostly, we simply joined everyone else in strolling around in the warm sun.

The Schlosspark itself is large enough for exploring both the grassy field and a small forest. On the back side of the grounds we came across an old mill and could not help but think of another project! (NO NO NO).

All in all, it was a nice festival -- small but just what we were looking for. We'll make the drive again next year.


Early Sunday morning, we walked around the village and discovered that it is a gem. The meandering streets are lined with half-timbered buildings, most in good repair.

Of course, there was also a "project" our there too. (AGAIN, NO, NO, NO.)


Hotel Schloss Burgellern : http://www.burgellern.de/en/


********** September 17 **********

Our next summer highlight was the cheese festival in neighboring Weiher. We had been driving past the "Kaese Fest '06" sign, announcing this neighborhood event, all summer. We weren't sure what we'd find, but the 3 kilometer drive would be easy enough, so we headed over just after the 10am opening.

First we saw cows. I'm not sure Marianne is a real farm girl but she was game enough to go up and communicate with the cheese source. Meanwhile, the real farm girls were out feeding the old milk delivery-wagon engine - two horsepower.

Outside the barn, inside the "Hof" or farmyard, there was a cheese wagon, a large stand selling traditional Bavarian meals, another stand for desert, and the inevitable beer stand. We bought an assortment of cheeses but passed on the other attractions because it was still early in the day and we had been invited to an afternoon bar b que. This was not food that one eats and is hungry two hours later. Nevertheless, we did have to sample our purchases.


Cheese store (in German, but good pictures): http://www.spezialitaetenkaeserei.de/


********** September 18 **********

The next day we went to the "Fazination Garten" show in Weingartsgreut,. We'd been here a year earlier, too soon to get material for our new yard. This year, by the time the show came around, we were tired of yard work. Maybe next year the time will be right.

This garden show is run by the same folks that put on the show next door to us here in Pommersfelden. The 2007 Pomfeld show will be from May 18th through 20th. See you there !


Garden Shows (Again, in German, but these shows aren't for tourists anyway!): http://faszination-garten.de


********** September 30 **********

The event for the last September weekend was a car show or, more properly, a car parade. It was organized by our friend Mr. Weikert, who had invited us to join. Unfortunately we arrived a bit late at the start and didn't understand the whole process. It was going to be an all-day affair, with drives through the small back roads and stops at historic churches, castles and squares. We made the first stop, but then quietly drove off.


My favorite car was this old Austin-Healy, in traditional British racing green. It looked like it was just off the boat from England, although the "boot" on back had clearly been around.

My favorite PAIR of cars were a Ferrari and a Trabant parked next to each other. It's hard to imagine a more disparate pair, but here in Franconia, anything is possible.



So, that's what we do for fun in Septemebr in our neighborhood. Not Big City excitement perhaps, but everything matches the local pace.


John and Marianne.


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