Yes, the Wurstmarkt is a wine festival but there’s always room for beer. Jeff had a strict drinking regimen to minimize inebriation, wine, beer, schorle (half wine, half soda water). It seemed to work pretty well.
A pretty sight any time in Bad Durkheim; St. Michael’s Chaple on the vineyard hill and the newly built Saline on the right. The foundation stones of the Saline are from 1847 but the entire wooden structure is only a couple years old having been rebuilt after it was destroyed by fire six years ago. Saturday morning we walked along and up on the Saline to see how it looked.
Jeff up on the Saline. It costs 1.50 Euro to walk up around the structure. Well worth it.
Me standing in one of the Saline walk-through areas. You can see the water dripping at the bottom.
The Saline is a huge structure, 1050 feet long, over three football fields, about fifty feet high and thirty feet wide. It’s packed with bundles of brushwood. Natural spring waters are pumped to the top of the Saline and released to run down through the brushwood. As the wind blows through the Saline brushwood the spring water gases are released. Germans will sit on benches or walk along the Saline downwind to inhale and absorb the “medicinal” gases.
A close up of the brushwood. Very densely packed. At one time there were five of these huge Saline structures in Bad Durkheim.
Here’s a picture of a single bundle of brushwood, Reisigbündel. There are 250,000 bundles of brushwood packed into the Bad Durkheim Saline. Now that would have been a tedious job.
OK, back to the actual festival. Here are the members of a band tuning up for their performance. Yes, it’s a little gay and they’re not tuning up with their instruments but the amazing amber nectar will get them ready just the same.
There are a lot of strange drinks in Germany and all over Europe for that matter. This is a drink made with some type of clear schnapps and figs that have been soaking in a vodka mixture of some sort. We gave it a try. Actually quite tasty and smooth.
Now these ladies were having something completely different; a dark beer with some sort of round things in the bottom. Turns out they’re strawberries that have, again, been basking in some sort of vodka mixture. Alcohol soaked strawberries and dark beer; sounds good.
Here’s the sign advertising that concoction. Translates to, Always a Lot of Liquor. Old Beer with Strawberries.
You always see some American culture at these big festivals and here’s some of our best. One of the carnival games at the festival.
Time to go to our favorite vintner tent, #15. Really, it’s not our favorite, they’re all almost the same but it’s been a place to tell people to meet us for a number of years. A good place to start and meet.
This is the first year we saw this plate of food, four baked potatoes with sour cream and that’s it, just potatoes. Now this lady took it one step further, three kartoffelpuffters on the napkin, potato pancakes, fried in hot grease. When she walked into the tent with her 4 baked potatoes and 3 kartoffelpuffers, even the Germans were in shock. Jeff and I were sitting across the table from an German couple. The man looked at us and said, “We Germans like our potatoes.”
About this time, quite surprisingly, Mike and Kathy Franklin walked up to join the festivities. Mike was flying an American Airlines trip to Frankfurt and Kathy tagged along. Here’s where the genius of meeting at vintner #15 came in; they knew right where to find us. What a wonderful surprise. They spent the afternoon and evening with us then flew back to Texas the next day. Just one of the perks of an airline pilot.
Our group Marshal (friend from our Alaska days), Weezer and Simo (Jeff's only F-16 buddy, not really, but you can't let them get out of control), Mike and Gloria (28-year friends and counting), Kathy, Jeff, me and Mike. Marshal's friend Lisa took the picture.
A scan of the vintner tent area from #15. We take a picture of this traveling band every time we're at the Wurstmark and they're always fun.
What a fun place and time with great friends. Two of my favorites, Weezer and Kathy.
Next morning, on to Munich and the Oktoberfest. Can't wait!!