During Mike’s “Orientation Tour” (again, these tours were divided along gender lines; the ladies learned where all of the grocery stores in town are (including the Asian grocery), as well as all of the children’s activities and yoga classes are. It was very useful information, I’m not knocking it, just explaining the differences), he learned where several Biergartens are in the metro Aschaffenburg area, and that its typical for people to do all of their house work and running around on Saturdays, and then Sundays are more about resting and connecting with other people. Novel concept: resting on Sundays! There is a large Sunday dinner with the family, and then people head out to the parks and Biergartens.
When a group of the guys that Mike works with descended on our apartment, ready to head out to the Biergarten (at 10am), I was a little wary. I’m sure you can imagine my vision of how events would unfold (but just in case, I provided an illustration to the left), with people ready to start drinking at 10am. I was VERY pleasantly surprised at what I found when we got there!
We went to Schönbusch Park (one of the oldest parks in the area, created/commissioned by an Archbishop who lived in the castle here), and it was already bustling (I’ll admit it, I procrastinated and delayed our group’s departure while documenting (and reliving the pain of) our pancake debacle and getting ready, so we didn’t really leave until close to noon) by the time we got there. Hundreds of people, eating a little, drinking a little, talking a lot, while listening to a band covering a wide swath of American music (the band ended each set with a kazoo rendition of “Tequila” if you need to set the tone in your head), ranging from (but not limited to!) Keith Urban to Guns n Roses.
The people watching was amazing! We sat in the Biergarten part of the park for a couple of hours, just taking it all in:
People weren’t getting smashed, but were getting together in their community, enjoying some of the things they do very well (beer, pretzels, beer, and brats), and it was really quite lovely. After sitting for a bit, we took a walk through the park:
Of course, all of that beauty and restfulness had to come to an end at some point, so we left, and I tried to drive the car. WRONG AGAIN!