Sandal Knitting

It was a busy weekend around town. Munich is celebrating its 850th birthday this year (about as old as Cork says Chuffy) so there was a street party type thing and associated bands and events. I didn’t get to see a lot of what happened in town,  but I managed to roam about a bit here and there.

I would like to say I started the weekend early, but I don’t think that a post midday club sandwich and rugby in Killians counts as much an achievement. Although one could consider it to be more than South Africa managed! In any case the street party festivities didn’t start until after 2pm.

Street parties in Munich seem to mean beer. And more beer, With sausages and bread as ballast and soakage. And so many of the traditional Bavarian arts were on display. Like brewing, and glass blowing, and cask making and horse breeding. And beekeeping for some reason. Its unusual to see two or three hives more or less on the main street and lots of people milling around.

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While there doesn’t appear to be much in the way of overt Bavarian nationalism, there does seem to be an appreciation of Bavaria as a place and a history. So there were a lot of people in Lederhosen and other costumes, including some medieval re-enactors, Napoleonic military dress, Viennese Dress and 1920s attire. Basically covering every period except for the World Wars.

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I didn’t get to wander around town as much as I wanted to as some of us had arranged to go to Tollwood, and that happened a wee bit earlier than I expected. Tollwood is ok, but I wouldn’t go crazy for it. Its supposed to be a cross between a music festival and a hippy get together. Its not really either, being too commercial for the second and not music-y enough for the first.  So more of a trinket-fest with bands and there was a lot of people hanging around, buying shiney things. Overall the atmosphere was good and there was plenty to eat and drink so that all worked out well.

Sunday we went to a real “knit your own sandals brigade” event, and weave, smith and braid them too, if so desired. The Kaltenberg Knights Tournament is essentially a renaissance faire; with jousting and a mediveal market, although without the, come for the stink, stay for the plague; authenticity of the real thing. The jousting is about as real as professional wrestling, but its fun in a twee, disney kinda way. The bad guys wear black, the good guys wear white and der Bayrisch Ritter always turns up on time to save the day.

The market was much more fun with plenty of people selling genuine modern home made medieval stuff including clothes, armour, jewellery, glass and fly swatters. Here’s a tip, if you ever got to a medieval market with a couple, who subsequently buy a fly swatter. It would be handy to know the German for “I’m not with them” or “I’ve never seen these people before in my life. Officer”.

The food and beer was very good and we had fish on a stick and bbq’ed meat (no name just ‘fleisch’) and beer and mead. We attracted some bees with the mead and some of them hung around to get drunk with us.

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Afterwards there was whisky and late trains home and no homework done! And care packages from home. Chuffy had been away for the weekend, and I conspired with John and arranged that he would bring back books. Hurrah!

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