fests, Germany

Entertained in Esslingen!

Special thanks to Ellen in the local Facebook group for cluing me in on this weekend’s Buerger Fest in Esslingen.  Bill and I decided to go today and had a fantastic time.  Esslingen is a great town!

At about 11:30am, Bill asked me what I wanted to do today.  I mentioned that I’d heard there was going to be a fest in Esslingen.  Esslingen is about 55 minutes away from us by train and probably about the same by car, depending on the staus and parking situation.  I thought it would be fun anyway, at least until we headed out to the car and I noticed the heavy clouds hanging overhead.  Bill was determined, though, so we hopped on the S1 in Herrenberg and traveled to Esslingen.

I took lots of photos today and I’ve had a few beers, so this will be a photo heavy post.  Before I get started, I need to say one more time that Esslingen is an awesome town.  Today’s visit was only my third time visiting and in August I’m coming up on having spent a total of four years living near Stuttgart.  Last time we visited was last year about this time.  It was broiling hot and we had my mom with us.  Mom isn’t able to walk as much as she used to.  The time before that, we only managed a very short visit.  I’m glad we got to hang out for awhile today and enjoy an Esslingen style celebration.

On the way to Esslingen, some guy on the train went around and dropped off these tissues with notes on them.  Basically, he’s poor and hoping someone will give him some euros for his wares.  I know this is one way some people make some money, but I find the practice kind of manipulative and annoying.  After a couple of minutes, if you don’t pick up the tissues and leave some euros, he comes around and picks them up again.

We arrived in Esslingen to big crowds and heavy clouds…  Just as we got off the train, we passed a minor spectacle near the train station.  Several guys who appeared to be bicyclists and may have drank too much alcohol were arguing with several cops.  One guy was wearing a matching t-shirt and shorts ensemble that was decorated with marijuana leaves.  We left the area just as they appeared to be getting belligerent.  I was impressed by how calm and professional the police officers were.  No one was getting tackled to the ground.  

Since this was the first time we took the train, it was the first time I had ever seen this cool looking Eis Cafe…  It had a line when we were coming and going.

Lots of people were enjoying the fest despite the clouds.  It didn’t rain at all while we were there.

There were many food stands from international vendors selling delicacies.  I saw everything from Greek food to culinary delights from Eritrea.  Alas, I was drawn in by the sound of a brass band and followed my ears to an adorable little courtyard where a band was playing.  We ended up drinking German beer and eating wurst.

We arrived just as this band was finishing their last number.  I got a short clip of it, which I hope to put into a video.

Bill strikes a pose over a nice fresh hell…

We enjoyed most of this concert by the Ostfildern Music Club.  They played everything from German classics that had everyone clapping to songs by ABBA and Tina Turner.  Some of the musicians in the band were clearly sparks in their fathers’ eyes when ABBA and Tina Turner were flavors of the week.

Bill enjoys his wurst… I probably looked inappropriate as I tried to eat mine.  It was very hot and I had to blow on it a lot.

I enjoyed watching the cool sax player in the shades.

And a lovely weizen… so nice to drink beer out of a proper glass instead of a plastic cup like you’d get in the USA…

Croatian beer!

They even had a climbing wall.

I love this building.  I always take pictures of it when I visit Esslingen.

This kid was doing pretty well on the wall.  Better him than me.

Yet another German music club.  I convinced Bill to stop for one more beer before we headed back.

And this was what we sipped as we listened to them play “Under the Sea”…

Nice anti police sentiment.

At this point, I was really glad we hadn’t driven.

The guy playing bongos was killing it.

On the way out…

The guy in the yellow tent was selling cocktails and wearing a big red sombrero as an Italian tenor sang “O Sole Mio.”  Impressive indeed!

One quick shot of the vineyards overlooking Esslingen.

One handy thing to note…  Esslingen’s train station is very well equipped.  They have a pissoir which is free for the guys who just need a urinal.  They also have a surprisingly clean public restroom that costs 50 cents.  The station has a handy bike storage room and lockers for your bags.

Until next time, Esslingen!  And we will have to visit there sooner, now that we’ve braved the train!  I have plans to go back and have dinner at an Italian restaurant suggested by a reader.  


On our way out of the Herrenberg station, some guy asked us in German if we’d give him our train pass.  That was annoying, since we paid almost 20 euros for it.  I mean, it would be one thing if we’d offered it, but to just come up and ask a stranger for it seems pretty ballsy.  But he must have had success in the past because he was completely unabashed about asking.  😉


We really had a good time today.  Bill was very happy that I suggested Esslingen.  Again, I must thank Esslingen’s American cheerleader, Ellen, who I understand will be PCSing soon.  I would not have known about this party had she not posted about it.  Esslingen is a great place and I wish we lived closer so I could see it more often.  We must definitely go back for the Christmas market this year!


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