In celebration of the extra long summer we’ve been having, 11 of us took to the trains for a bit of excitement and a lot of culture this weekend. I pieced together some of the most highly rated biergartens from Larry Hawthorne’s “The Biergartens of Munich” book and the itinerary was set.
Although the weather has been unseasonably hot for the past few weeks, it drizzled for a good portion of the day but we didn’t let it dampen our spirits. (We even picked up a 12th reveler, Dustin, one of two Munich bffs Molly and I met in Cinque Terre last spring.)
In all, we visited five biergartens around the city, taking every mode of public transportation except a log-flume ferry, and sampled the sweet nectar of Munich at every stop.
Somewhere along the way Emily found a four-leaf clover, Thomas rediscovered his childhood home, and Tad stumbled into a fresh patch of catnip, which led to a 40-minute tear of acrobatics, flexibility and endurance trials, and ended in what might just become a new sport.
That night we snuggled up sleepover style in two, six-bed hostel rooms and counted German sheep, which are extra sultry.
The trip was a great introduction to Munich’s neighborhoods and good practice hoisting maß biers for Oktoberfest, which is right around the corner. (Thanks for the biergarten photos, Jenna!)
The next day we woke up early and took the train back to a little town near our house, Schlicht, which was celebrating its Kirwa.
Without going into too much detail, Kirwa is a spring to summertime celebration where young, unmarried men & women (ages 16-25) dress in traditional garb and dance around a decorated tree. Beer is involved.
Towns choose the date based on their patron saint, though I’m sure the roots of this tradition are much deeper.
Basically, the guys get drunk, drive around on a tractor towing a decorated flatbed trailer and make several stops to pick up the ladies. Molly and I met at our co-worker Franz’s house (two of his kids were participants), which was one of the stops before the fest.
Everyone was in good form by the time the tractor arrived and the group launched into several songs before making a few more laps around the town.
A few of the guys at the party kept telling me I looked like a certain King Ludwig from Bavaria and even provided proof, but I just figured they had had a few too many.