Sunday, May 6, 2012

It Rained Again

I have now been to Stuttgart twice.  It rained both times.  The first time, it was sorta ok because we were inside for most of it.  This time, it was less ok, because we were at Fruhlingsfest.  Fruhlingsfest is a cross between a giant carnival and a beer-drinking extravaganza.  It's a bit like Oktoberfest in Munich, just less well known, not as crazy, and smaller.  We set out in the rain, optimistic that it would brighten up later.  Hah.  We got to Stuttgart in the pouring rain.  It stopped as we walked into the fairground, but rained intermittently for the rest of the day.  It would pour furiously for 10 minutes, stop for twenty, brighten up for a bit, and then repeat the cycle.  After wandering through the entire area, we decided to pick a Biergarten.  We (rather Americanly, I must say) settled on the first one we saw.  They allowed half the group in, and then told the rest of us we needed to wait at the third entrance.  We figured it would be a few minutes wait, maybe 15 or so, and then we would be allowed in.  Wrong.  One and a half hours later, we were STILL standing in exactly the same section of the line, plaintively singing along to Sweet Caroline and huddling under our umbrellas.  Not fun.  We left after the guard explained that the wait could be a couple more hours.  Uhm.  Experience not worth it.

We made our way to a quieter section of the fest filled with booths selling Dirndls and Lederhosen and traditional cuisine like potatoes, spaetzle, and wurst.  Lots of wurst.  We found our own table with an umbrella.  Good thing too, because it was pouring.  *le sigh*

Later we found an Irish bar to watch the Chelsea-Liverpool game.  It smelled like home and the bartenders were actual Irish(wo)men.  It was odd and strange and wonderful to be in a place where English was the preferred language.

Sorry for the bad pictures.  There was just no time (or motivation) what with the weather and the large group to stop and snap good ones.  Here's the Biergarten we stood in line for forever:

View from our umbrella-table:

Then the rain started again.  It was incredible, like the sky was split in two.  People took shelter under whatever little corner they could.

Some people seemed to find it pretty romantic:

After the rain let up briefly, we headed back into the city to watch the Liverpool-Chelsea game:

Then home to dry off.  Never has a towel and a mug of tea been quite so good.

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