Tag Archives: Obersteinbach

Gartenfest, Obersteinbach

Germans and Bavarians in particular, really know how to live. I’m convinced that the Biergarten is one of life’s finest pleasures. I read an article one time describing the Biergarten as the outdoor living room of Germany, a description which I very much like. We’ve visited several Biergartens up in Munich and around our area; we have our favorites, but the one that I think I like the best happens just once a year in the tiny town of Obersteinbach.

It’s an adorable neighboring village; we have some friends who live there. The Gartenfest in Obersteinbach is, I believe, a fundraiser for the local volunteer fire department. Everyone in the town gets involved in setting up the temporary Biergarten: the women tend to bake the cakes and serve the Biergarten tables; the men tend to work at the beverage and grilling stations. There’s live music (Bavarian, of course) performed by some of the locals and different groups of kids and adults perform dances. In particular, a group of men typically present the Goaßlschnalzen, or whipcracking in English, which I would describe as rhythmic whipping to music. It’s unique to Bavaria and Austria and apparently it’s significant in Bad Tölz during the well-known Leonhardifahrt. The first time I heard the Goaßlschnalzen, I was so impressed by the intricacies of the rhythms (and I still am!). I imagine it must take a lot of practice for a group to do it well.

Also at the Gartenfest, there’s always a special area for kids with crafts, art supplies and some games. Many of the people who attend the festival dress up in their Bavarian clothing (Dirndls for the women, Lederhosen for the men) and of course, all the families who work at the festival are dressed for the occasion.

This year we went for afternoon Kaffee und Kuchen (coffee and cake) although we could have stayed for dinner as well. There were all sorts of delicious food items one could order, from Bratwurst and rolls, to potato salad, to grilled meats and Obazda (a cheese spread made from camembert and usually flavored with paprika). I had a piece of Schmandkuchen, which is a cake made from a yeast dough, usually with fruit and then a layer of cream or pudding. Of course, we dressed Rosebud in her Dirndl and she looked adorable. I don’t have a Dirndl yet, but plan on buying myself one after Budlet arrives in the world.

Mama and Rosebud at the Gartenfest, Obersteinbach

Apfelschorle!

Daddy and Rosebud, Gartenfest, Obersteinbach

What I like best about the Gartenfest in Obersteinbach is that it’s such a friendly atmosphere and we’re always sure to run in to friends when we go. It also showcases the best of Bavaria: friendly people who are proud of their local heritage and traditions, but without being touristy at all. It’s all about the local town, friendship and best of all, the joys of being in that outdoor living room, the Biergarten!

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Vogelherd

Our little friend Christofer had his first birthday party, and friends of his and ours hosted the party at their Bavarian home in Vogelherd. The property is both stunning and inspirational. We all had a wonderful time, especially our little girls. They liked playing in the sandpit and running through the field. Rosebud got quite soaked but didn’t seem to mind, and I am incredibly grateful to my friend Veronika who lent us plenty of extra clothing! Next time, I will be prepared. I packed extra shirts and jackets, but for some reason, forgot extra pants and socks.

After tea time for Christofer’s birthday, we later had a cook-out and simply enjoyed being with everyone. I’ve mentioned before that one of my pregnancy cravings has been sauerkraut; I was quite lucky that the lady of the house made a fabulous homemade sauerkraut. I ate lots, and then she was pleased to send some of the leftovers home with me. Yum, yum! I am hoping she’ll share her recipe with me.

Photos from our evening at Vogelherd:

View from Vogelherd; the Benediktenwand mountains are to the left, and the Herzogstand is in the center.

Here’s the birthday boy!