I would be remiss if I just slipped out of Germany without so much as a Danke Schön. The first week there was great, filled with a roller coaster ride of warm family time together and a little life reaffirming, life threatening drama. Anton’s family, which has become my family too, are so great, so warm and enjoyable. It’s very nice to feel instantly at home and accepted even on the other side of the pond. But you see I’ve been a ‘member ‘ of the Bronner clan for over 30 years , so it sort of makes sense.
The night before we left for Paris was a late one with a big dinner to attend and then epic packing for Paris and for Mallorca which we’ll fly to directly from Paris for 5 days. The same old question arose: what do you pack for a possibly cold, damp and rainy Paris with a switch to warm, sunny, beachy Mallorca. Anton is the sort that plans his wardrobe like a scientist. I’m like the sloppy check out girl at your local Piggly Wiggly; I just take a pile of this and a pile of that and throw it all in the suitcase. As long as there are a few cashmere sweaters, some (clean) sneakers and my trusty Prada windbreaker I’m basically ready for anything. Lights out came at about 2:30 am and the alarm set for 6 am to make the 2 hour drive to the Stuttgart train station for the TGV at 10:54…. not 11:00 and not 10:53; 10:54.
With just 4 hours sleep I was technically blind and without a shred of reason. Racing on the autobahn at 220 km to beat morning traffic we hauled ass and got there with time to spare. Walking (stumbling in my case) into the Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof (long hand for train station) I was jolted awake by the hordes.
Not just hordes of morning commuters but a very specific horde. Who knew Oktoberfest was still brewing in Stuttgart? I thought Munich had done the honors and buried their near blitzed and beer soaked revellers. Well, they hadn’t. The party just shifted a bit north and staked its tents in Stuttgart.
Thousands of Dirndl and Lederhosen clad boys and girls were swarming into the station from points north south east west and a few dropped in from the outer most regions of Space. Anton was unfazed by the parade of party-goers. I stood agape not knowing where to point my camera, so I just shot everything that passed, lurched and fell around my feet. I’ll let the pictures do the talking. It was AMAZING to behold. Cute girls in every sort of dirndl and boys so sharp in lederhosen and the rest of the Trachten gear that goes with it.
But the most incredible thing of all was the fact that it’s 9 am and everyone, I mean EVERY SINGLE ONE was SMASHED, 2 fisting beers and carrying cases of more beer between them; boys and girls alike. So bizaare and yet surprisingly quaint. Enjoy! I did. Anton had to drag me to our waiting train as I was busy capturing the scene and all of its strange variations on a traditional theme we in America rarely get to see.