Fork Trucks+Beer+More Old Town Adventures=Happy Saturday

The excitement truly was in the air days before the Stapler Cup (the link is all in German, but if you open in Google Chrome, you can easily translate it), aka “fork lift festival” actually opened for the public. A whole week before the festivities, they were laying the groundwork, in fact. Right in the middle of the town square, they laid huge sheets of plastic down and poured asphalt down (probably 6 or 8 inches thick, even) in a circle. Several days before, there were band performances, and Mike even got a sneak-peak ride in a shipping container! Signs up, tents set, streets blocked… Aschaffenburg was ready to party!

The tents and street view from above

I’ve got to admit, when I first heard that there was a big fork lift festival in town, I figured I had to go in order to re-connect with my roots. I knew that this wouldn’t compare to the good old days at the Fayette County Fair (and those were some good times, don’t get me wrong), but I figured it might at least give me a taste of a fall fair. I was SERIOUSLY underestimating the fork lift festival.

in addition to face painting and the usual kinder amusements, they had fork trucks that kids could manipulate the forks to play games like this one!

I used to love race tracks when I was a kid! They had them here for kids to race with, and they had a leader board of the fastest lap of the day and the fastest lap in the whole series of fork truck events in 2012!

A large glass shipping container was available for the public to ride in to better understand what Mike called “impressive engineering” as it lifts straight up. 🙂 It was pretty cool!

I took this picture when we rode in the glass shipping container, and you can see my feet reflected in the glass looking down towards the festival. Nifty, huh?!

Lest riding in a glass shipping container with impressive engineering isn’t sufficient for your entertainment, the glass shipping container also featured a DJ who was getting down to his own beats. There were techno-color lights, too!

It is actually a pretty intense competition of fork truck drivers (and I didn’t even know that there were any such things), and its a series of events that have been going on all year featuring the best drivers IN THE WORLD! I mean, seriously, people from India, China, all over Europe, etc. (although I have yet to see mention of an American or an American team in the competition) compete in individual and team events in preliminary, regional, national, and international events to become the fork truck driving champion (of the world!). The whole idea of the Stapler Cup was started to promote safety throughout the industry, which is a nice idea that has been translated into a whole community affair! Nice!

Fork truck competition is ON! They had to pick one stack (of beer crates) up and put it on top of another stack (of beer crates), and then do some crazy maneuvering backwards and in circles and then put the crates down on the other side. Each “heat” matched 4 fork truck drivers at a time.

We watched were amazed.

And then we went to eat. And were amazed again! Germans are so serious about minimizing their waste that at a huge outdoor festival, I ate my spätzle off of a porcelain platter, which I then returned for the 1 Euro deposit I paid upfront. The same was true of the beer and water bottles. I saw it with my own two eyes and can still scarcely believe it. When we got our dishes/bottles, we were also given a little white chip which we returned with the item’s container we purchased (to minimize fraud; Mike was already wondering why people (not him, he claims, just people in general) didn’t just go buy a case of beer and bring the bottles back there and make a quick buck or 12, but having the white chip with the container means that sneaky souls will have to work harder than that!). Pretty cool, n’est pas?

Spätzle (with a lot of onions in it). In a breakable plate/bowl. At a fair. Where people were drinking beer.

After all the excitement of the fork trucks (and the dishes amazement), I had to regroup before our next adventure. So, back to the casa for a wee siesta (I’m in a weird form of cross-culture shock today, with it being 2 FULL weeks since we landed; I’ve noticed that this post alone contains English, French, German, and Spanish. Hopefully, I will figure out which language to communicate in and just stick to it!), and then we were off again!

We went on a small adventure to Miltenburg, which dates back to around 1200 (although there are Roman ruins that indicate that the area was important to the Romans as early as AD 155). History is old here!! It is a really pretty town built on the narrowest of river banks, squeezed between the Main River and the Odenwald mountains. See the pretty pretty pictures!

This van, complete with rebel flags and a “make mine country” proclamation, was literally my first greeting in Miltenburg.

Miltenburg is a town nestled in the “knee” of the Main River. It was formed under the protection of the castle “Mildenburg.”

City scene. The houses looked so neat next to each other, so I turned the camera to fit both of them in.

One of the many very intricate signs found about town.

The Riesen, one of, if not the oldest guesthouse in Germany (per Wikipedia).

Street scene, downtown Miltenburg. It’s no wonder that tourism (from around Hesse and other parts of Germany) is their main industry!

As we walked along the streets of the downtown area, we saw a pot, probably about 18″ in diameter, from which this whole bough of grapes sprung! A living example of bloom where you are planted!

After climbing for days, we reached the top of the castle enclave, and found some of the ruins of the oldest parts of the castle (circa 1200). Pretty cool stuff…

View of the town from up at the castle-height. Gorgeous!

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11 thoughts on “Fork Trucks+Beer+More Old Town Adventures=Happy Saturday

  1. Great view and Food. I have enjoy seeing the country through the see of friends! Keep it coming!

  2. What a fun day!! I am very jealous of the fork lift festival but disappointed that it didn’t include fork lift rides. Michael and I have a fantasy of opening a construction equipment theme park for adults where you can lift, dig, and scrape stuff to your heart’s content.

    • I gotta say it was pretty awesome, though, even without full on rides. The kids sure did love all the games and simulation things they had set up, but I never saw anyone but a young person doing it. There were a huge amount of adults there, which leads me to believe that a theme park would go gangbusters. I L-O-V-E your idea! When we had our lawn done, the grass guy pretty much straight up said that he was sure that my hubby would want to do all the back hoe stuff because every man under 60 does! I wanted to add (but didn’t want to rock his world too much) that if we rented one, I would absolutely get out there and ride in that thing myself! 🙂

  3. Being almost anywhere else in the world really makes it hit home how very young the US as a country is. 1200 AD…crazy.

    I absolutely LOVE that they do porcelain plates and glasses for the beer and water!!! So amazing! Talk about reduce and reuse. 😀

    Lovely photos!

    • I know, and I’m sure that at some point in our tenure here, I will start to get over it, but for now, I’m just AMAZED. That castle was built before Columbus was even born to tell the world (er, Europe) that the US was there… Unreal.

  4. Not sure which is more awesome, the fact that there was a FORK-LIFT festival (what???) or that they used real plates. Haha! Love the last picture,too. It looks so pretty there!

    • I KNOW! It took me all of last week to really believe that the fork-lift festival thing was for real. At first, I thought it was a joke that the guys in the group were playing, trying to make us believe that craziness! The real plates thing… well… I wouldn’t have believed that if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. They are serious!

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