It’s been over a week since I arrived home from Germany, but I have yet to talk about one of my favorite parts of the country!
Way out in the countryside, 60 kilometers (37 miles) away from Munich, is Andy’s childhood home. It’s a wonderful place, perched up on a hill overlooking the green countryside.
The last picture there is of the flowers tumbling over the balcony at Andy’s home. It was underneath there that we had our breakfast the morning after Oktoberfest. I was feeling surprisingly good considering the giant, all-day party that was the day before. The weather was pleasant and sunny for an autumn day, and the cool autumn sun filtered through the cherry tree and onto the table where we had a good bavarian breakfast: sausage, pretzels, bread rolls and jam, with tea and coffee. “We” includes Andy and his wonderful mom, (she doesn’t speak English well so we communicated in French) the two Italians Giulia and Paolo, Cathy from Luxembourg (do you know there is a language called Luxembourgish?? I didn’t) and three of Andy’s friends who live and work around Munich.
That’s Cathy, above, playing with Candy.
After breakfast most of the group chatted in the shade of the apple and plum trees, while other picked the fruit to be used in a dessert later. The night before a delicious apple dessert had awaited us, made from apples right from the front yard. Andy always says the local and organic “movement” to him is funny, because he grew up stopping by a local butcher to get meet, and picking fruit. In fact, we could see a small flock of sheep right next door. To paraphrase Andy, “I could buy strawberries, but why would I do that, when we have more fruit than we know what to do with?”
After we lounged a bit like this, the whole group piled into cars and drove through the countryside, passing through little villages on the way, to a nearby lake. We passed families biking by the side of the road, and every third roof seemed to gleam with solar panels.
If there is one thing the Europeans know how to do well, it’s pass a wonderful day doing nothing, and really enjoy it. I hardly saw a TV the whole weekend, and yet I was completely seduced by Bavaria. We strolled along the lakeside, chatting and playing with Candy and her new friend that came along with Andy’s friends. We took the ferry out to a small resort island, and had cake and cappuccinos as the sun sank low on the horizon. Then we strolled some more. It was the epitome of what so many are trying to enjoy: “simple pleasures.”
After we got back, Mama Andy puttered about the kitchen, making a roast and a sweet plum dessert. After dinner was card games and thimbles of schnapps. Not like the sissy sweet stuff we have here, it’s the real deal over there, I had trouble choking it down.
All in all, an amazing weekend.