Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Goodbye Bavaria and your happy opas and omas

This is my last post from Germany - we fly back to Britain today.

On Sunday evening we went to a funfair in the town of Wolzach. There were the usual attractions and ways of getting adults to part with their money that you see anywhere in Europe and those garish paintings which must also be pan-European.
It was a warm central European evening and the ground was full of extended families - Mum, Dad and the kids and granny 'oma' and granddad 'opa'.

We met my friend Siggi and went with him and his wife and son to the beer tent. I didn't have my camera, but the picture above gives some idea what it was like. About 1,500 people sitting at trestle tables, talking, drinking and eating and served by strong women in dressed in 'dirndls' and carrying 10 glass tankards of beer in their hands.
At the end of the tent a traditional Bavarian brass band played traditional Bavarian music. It was hot and noisy and, as I told Siggi, " completely unique to this part of Germany and therefore the world."
Sitting at tables around the hall I could see a good sprinkling of grey heads and this heartened me.
I briefly left the beer hall because Siggi's 10 year old son needed someone in his bumper car and I foolishly agreed to ride with him, after all fun fairs are places where men become boys. I returned to the tent a bit shaken up, but otherwise O.K.

Bye, bye Bavaria and your happy old men.

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