Yesterday afternoon, Bill and I went to the Cannstatter Volksfest for the first time since 2007. The Cannstatter Volksfest is a pretty big deal. I have heard it is the second largest fall fest in Germany behind Oktoberfest in Munich. This year, the Volksfest runs from September 23rd until October 9th.
The first time we experienced the Volksfest was just days after our arrival in Germany. Bill’s office at EUCOM had reserved a table. We were brand new and knew no one. I remember going to the tent and sitting among a huge crowd of people, many of whom were much younger than I was. The band played fun songs that they never seemed to finish. I distinctly remember hearing them play “So Lonely” by The Police several times, but they only seemed to know the chorus. I also remember a bunch of young guys, maybe 17 or 18 years old, with bras on their heads. They hit on me, even though I was old enough to be their mother. I think they had their beer goggles strapped on pretty tight!
This time, Bill and I went with people who work with him at AFRICOM. Instead of attending at night, we went at 11:00am. I was surprised by how much emptier the tent was. I was also surprised to see so many people dressed in proper Bavarian attire. Lots of guys were wearing lederhosen. Lots of women, myself included, wore dirndls. I did not get any pictures of myself yesterday, which is probably a good thing. By the time we were finished festing, I’d had four Maßkrugs of beer and was definitely in no shape for photos. Our tickets, included four drinks and a meal. Maybe next time, I’ll stick with apple schorle.
Anyway, I did take a lot of pictures and got some video, which I will probably turn into a YouTube movie. Here are some of the highlights of yesterday’s festivities!
At 11:00am, the food stands and rides were pretty idle.
White horses in front of the Dinckelacker tent. We didn’t realize there was a guy with a camera taking official photos until he told us to vamoose.
Black horses in front of the Schwaben Bräu tent, which is where we enjoyed our afternoon.
Obligatory shot of Bill. He promises me he’s going to shave this weekend.
Bill was one of the few in our group who didn’t dress up. He did wear his Saint Obnoxious t-shirt, though. For those who don’t speak German, it reads “Life is too short to drink shitty beer.”
At one point, an older German lady came up behind Bill slowly and read his t-shirt. She had on a sequined turquoise and white dress and wore lots of make up. I didn’t quite catch what she said to Bill, but I could tell she liked the shirt. Meanwhile, I got stopped by a young German man who wanted to know why Americans like Germany so much. I don’t remember what I told him, but I do remember kissing him. I thought it was the only way he was going to let me get back to the table.
The tent after we’d been sitting there awhile.
I got a big kick out of this sports team near us. They were having a blast! All of them had nicknames on their backs.
The band broke into a rousing rendition of “Looking for Freedom”, a song made famous in 1989 by David Hasselhoff. As you can see, the lead singer dressed the part! I got footage of this performance that I will probably put on the Internet for all to see. ETA: Here’s the video.
David Hasselhoff sings the famous original.
There was much dancing and singing.
There was so much beer! I drank four of these and paid for it later.
And yes, there was delicious, fresh, roasted chicken with bread… Germans sure do chicken right!
A good time was had by all!
All in all, I think I like the midday festing better. It was a lot less crowded and chaotic. There was never a wait for the ladies room. Believe me, after four big beers, I sure needed a potty with no line. I dozed off on the train ride home and got my dirndl stuck in the car door, which earned me a gentle chastising from a German lady. But, aside from being a little tired this morning, I’m not too much worse for wear. The new dirndl is headed for the cleaners and I’ll put it away until the spring fest!
There are a couple of things I did that turned out to be smart. I brought an extra pair of comfortable shoes to wear on the train ride home. I also brought a shawl, which serve to keep me warm and covered up an unfortunate spill on my blouse. I only wish I’d remembered to buy a hat this time!