Germany, Volksfest and Dark Chocolate Dipped Gooseberries

Last fall I saved enough air miles for a free ticket to Paris! I stayed with my brother Ryan for two whole weeks of rambles along cobbled streets, leisurely dinners with good friends, and blissful solitary writing over espresso at a nearby cafe.

Mid journey, however, we took a weekend to fly to Germany to meet up with Ry's girlfriend Melissa and our sister-in-law Kendra for a jolly couple of days laughing, talking and exploring.

It was the perfect time of year, not too cool, the hillsides and forests a riot of fiery oranges, reds and golds as autumn crept into winter.

After a scrumptiously lazy Saturday morning we decided to mosey on over to Volksfest - Stuttgart's answer to Oktoberfest. Fortified with delicious Italian coffees from the PX (my brother Evan is stationed in Germany), we drove off, oohing and aahing at the gorgeous autumn foliage.

We arrived in Stuttgart just before evening, the setting sun casting a warming glow over faces, buildings and countryside.

We joined hordes of Germans clad in traditional dress, and entered the gates of the fairgrounds. We were met by this towering confection festooned with flowers. I thought it looked like a gigantic pepper grinder.

We wandered through the crowds, blending right in with our blond hair and blue eyes, delighting in the leiderhosen, braided locks, and jaunty polka tunes emanating from the bevy of beer houses lining the main drag.

We determined to try every kind of food we possibly could, even if it was just a bite. We downed sausages piled with mustard, devoured hot, giant pretzels, and nibbled corn-on-the-cob drenched in garlic butter.We saw lots of people with these heart-shaped, decorated cookies hanging around their neck or dangling from their wrist, but we passed them up in favor of other delicacies.

Ry and I couldn't go to Volksfest without sampling the local brew.

Ah, this brother o' mine makes me laugh :-)

Nor could we pass up these exquisite candy apples and chocolate-dipped gooseberries and raspberries.

Needless to say we were thoroughly stuffed by the time we left. :-)

That night we drove to Munich, and one day soon I'll tell you about the lovely Iranian restaurant we found. :-)


  1. Lovliest pics u always have lovely gurl and top that with chocolate and boy u'll have everybody eating right outa ur hands...literally ...the chocolate.....

  2. Ohhh, thank you, dear Vanilla! You are such a lovely soul and always know just how to cheer me up. :-) I'm so glad you like the pictures!

  3. My maternal grandmother was German but I've never been. Lovely pictures.

  4. Lovely pictures. So it is worth saving those airmiles....after all!!!!!!!

  5. Thank you, Sarah. :-) Oh, I hope you get to go to Germany one day. My maternal grandmother was German too (and Swiss). There's something so special about seeing the place your forebears came from. :-)

  6. It sure is, Ozoz! :-) I was completely broke at the time but with a free ticket and free place to stay, I could NOT pass up the chance. :-)

  7. Your pictures made me feel like I was right there with you! I so want to go to Oktoberfest some day. I love how you seem to get right in there with the locals, eating everything, seeing everything and doing everything. Sounds like a fantastic trip!

  8. That makes me so happy, Joanne! :-) I can totally see you at Oktoberfest! You'd be the life of the party. :-)

  9. Oh thanks so much for sharing these photo's. It just looks wonderful..(your brother looks a right character) Your time in Paris sounds dreamy too.

    Gosh those candy apples look nice.

  10. Aw, you're very welcome, DJ. :-) I'm delighted you like them! He IS a character! All three of my brothers are, and provide me no end of amusement. :-)

  11. This looks like such a lovely trip. I love the giant cookies. Beautiful.

  12. It really was, El. :-) Love my family so much - they're the best travel companions. :-) And those cookies were so pretty. :-)