Bavarian blitz

August 26th, 2011 § 0 comments

Touchdown! I like Germany, specifically Bavaria. To be exact, I like Kempten in the Allgäu. Because that’s where my sister Libby lives whom I last saw at my mom’s funeral fourteen months ago. This reunion was highly anticipated so a night out was in order, despite my near-zombie state after 24 hours in transit. My timing couldn’t have been better as it was festival week in Kempten. Everyone in high spirits, wearing Tracht (trad German clothing) and drinking tankards of beer.

I was an exchange student in Germany after school so it’s almost like a second home to me. My German is a fast-flowing grammatical calamity but who gives a kartoffel about grammar? We had dinner at the Altstadt Wirtschaft which, as the name implies, is in the old part of town, situated in a thick-walled underground cellar. They serve classic German fare made from scratch with only the purest local ingredients. Their veal schnitzel is legendary and everyone at the table had it. Served with cucumber and potato salad, of course.


Local is lekker all over the world


The welcoming posse with a thirsty gentleman in the background.


Libby, Rosi, Rita & Birgit


Owned by two brothers, Peter and Florian Geissler, the Altstad Wirtschaft is German hospitality personified. My inquiries about Riesling lead to Florian giving me a fine example of the wine to enjoy at home. Good man. In fact, they were so hospitable we only left after two… many pear schnapps later. Go ousus!

Plans for Libby and I to dress up in Tracht the next day didn’t happen. For obvious reasons. But I did make it to the town festival with my bro-in-law Bernd and nephew Paul. My sis says that when she arrived in Kempten twenty odd years ago, the town festival was a sad show. Not well attended and lacking in traditional spirit. Today, everyone is once again wearing Tracht. In this tech-savvy age of global culture I think it’s super cool that tradition is enjoying a revival. Besides, how can you look at someone in Lederhosen and not smile. I went off on Tracht-spotting.


Tracht made trendy with tattoos

Vintage barbie Tracht


Metalhead Tracht


Sheena Queen of the Jungle Tracht


Blues Brother Tracht


Bodacious Tracht


Skank Tracht


Joe Cool Tracht


And what’s a German post without a bit of….



Punk Tracht


But my favourite Tracht pic is of Paul, my nephew, who despite the heat was a stickler for etiquette and insisted on wearing his proper, long-sleeved shirt.


Cartoonist extraordinaire, Herr Paul Mildner


My second and last day in Bavaria ended with Bernd cooking supper. Something he does really well. One day, when he is no longer an industrialist, he wants to own a restaurant. Just to ensure he works really hard in his old age! A delicious spicy goulash soup made with fresh local mushrooms, followed by tiny fish fillets and rosti and enjoyed with a good Riesling.


Dinner with the Mildners


Prost liebes Deutschland, biz zum nächsten Mal.

Next stop, bella Italia.



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