Biergartens: Not Just for Boozers; Alternate Title: “The Day that Proved Me Wrong”

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.

you get the idea…

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.

Please note the kazoo. I was not able to capture the Harley Davidson jackets that the band had cast to the side, but you get the idea. They actually were pretty good, but the kazoo playing sort of set the tone for me…

The people watching was amazing! We sat in the Biergarten part of the park for a couple of hours, just taking it all in:

Rows and rows of these picnic tables, and people just gathered around and enjoyed the shade of a sunny Sunday.

It’s a family event! Kids here learn to ride bikes without training wheels, using a “LIKEaBIKE.” It is, um, like a bike, only it doesn’t have peddles. It teaches kids to balance first, while they use their feet on the ground, and from there, they transition to riding a “big girl/boy bike” (my words, not their’s). I’ve seen kids who looked like they were 3 years old riding real bikes. It’s amazing!

It’s hard to see details here, but there was a young boy (“junge”) in a relatively low branch of the tree just bordering the seating area (you can see a blonde spot in the branches in the middle of the picture). He was riding that tree like a pony, grooving to the beats of the band, FOREVER. It was hilarious! He also got stuck in the tree, and couldn’t figure out how to get out. Great people watching…

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:

A swan among beautiful ducks, swimming towards the Rote Brüke (red bridge).

The path, all along the water and much beyond it, was filled with couples and families, out for a Sunday stroll.

die Rote Brücke, where people stopped to watch the really gigantic catfish and feed the ducks. For some reason, I thought that catfish were pretty much part and parcel of the South. The South, USA. Wrong again…

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!

6 thoughts on “Biergartens: Not Just for Boozers; Alternate Title: “The Day that Proved Me Wrong”

  1. I love to people watch! I also love the swans, and the silly boy. Sounds like it’s a really nice place!

      • 🙂 Thank you so much! I can’t guarantee ongoing daily posts, but I will post often, I promise! 🙂 You are sweet to say so, and I appreciate it!

    • Easily, hours of entertainment… It is a really nice place. I haven’t figured out what everyone does when it is really cold outside, but I’m happy to postpone that part of my cultural education as long as possible!

  2. That sounds really lovely! Like what used to happen in parks here in the states…like in the ’50s. Your little slice of Germany sounds great! …and I think there are catfish up here in MI. But it is a little disconcerting to realize they’re in Germany also…

    • It really threw me for a loop to realize that those fish were catfish. To me, catfish and country music and people walking around with snuff in their mouthes all go together. Of course, the band did play Keith Urban, so… What is awesome about Germany is that the people really do defend their time and make sure to keep time for important people. And themselves – the store clerks almost all sit on chairs to ring people up. Even the guy at the Apple store that we just got back from (Mike wants to hook my computer up to our tv so we can watch stuff from the US when we want to)!

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