Bavaria: Craft Beers, Farmer’s Markets and Maultaschen to Beat the Band
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StuttgartIn Stuttgart, you’ll be treated to Street fairs, the stunning “Fountain of Destiny,” the Stuttgart Ballet and in summer, an international Jazz Fest. One popular summer festival is the “Hambrger Fischmrkt,” a celebration of the sea’s bounty. Herring on dark bread with pickles and beer. Or enjoy a crisp Riesling and salmon. Whatever your pleasure, you will enjoy a tasty meal in a friendly beer garden with locals and, most nights, live music.
While in Stuttgart, indulge in an outrageous picnic from Markthalle Stuttgart – a gorgeous 1914 Art Nouveau building, this year-round indoor market consists of over forty vendors mongering local cheeses, breads, Black Forest Ham and other cured meats, German wine, seasonal fruits and vegetables and homemade desserts.
Take the picnic to the Green Lung the 123 acres of Killesburgpark. Rent a bike or stroll for a fun day or evening out. Every July the park hosts the popular Lichterfest Stuttgart. Thousands of lanterns decorate the park. After dark, there is a fireworks show accompanied by music. Bring a blanket and enjoy the show! While in Stuttgart, visit the Ballet and the world headquarters of Mercedes Benz and Porsche.
Carls Hofbrau directly on the Schlossplatz is popular with locals’ offering outdoor seating. Weinhaus Stetter, located at Rosenstrasse 32, the specialty of the house is venison stew topped with a hazelnut crust and a lingonberry sauce served with fresh spaetzle. Their local cheese plate big enough for 2.
After lunch, saunter the streets crowded with half timbered houses, crossing bridges over the small river. Wander down side streets and relax at a cafe or wine bar. Definitely try sekt, a German sparkling wine, at Sektkellerei Kessler (the oldest sparkling wine producer in Germany), located at Georg-Christian-von Kessler, Platz 12-16 73728
Bavarian delicacies about in the southland. Just the mention of Maultaschen makes German’s mouths water. A delicate homemade pasta is wrapped around meat or vegetables. Think savory strudel, and savor the excellent Maultashchen at the casual but gourmet Weinkeller Einhoren, a unique treasure dating back to the 13th century, located in Esslingen’s historic town center. Look for the gold unicorn – the restaurant's symbol at Heugasse.
MunichWhile much of Munich was destroyed in WWII enough survived so that the city retains a strong European personality. Many structures have been rebuilt, replicated to 19th century architectural standards. Several city squares are quite lively; when we visited in July one was packed with a group of Pokeman Go players. The presence of Google in the city center provides a population of young techies ready to work hard and play hard.
Fun highlight of Munich is to watch the surfers catch waves at the mouth of the Eisbach, a small channel of the Isar River that runs through Munich's big, central park. Every day, more than one hundred aspiring river shredders line up to surf the continuous, ice-cold wave that rolls through the channel all day long.
The Hofbrauhaus am Platzl, Munich's famous beer hall, was founded in 1589 by the Duke of Bavaria, Wilhelm V. It is one of Munich's oldest beer halls. At night, you can hear a Bavarian oom pah pah band (and, yes, locals are decked out in lederhosen and green hats) and catch a spontaneous display of German fun complete with singing and clapping along to the old, beloved tunes.
For hipsters, other watering holes that are popular are: “80’s reloaded,” “So Cal Drink and Dine,” “eat the rich,” “labor bar”, “lensbach and sohne,” and “Backstage.”
RegensburgAnother interesting city in Bavaria is Regensburg. Boasting the oldest sausage factory on the banks of the Danube a meal here is relaxed and scenic. In summer, there is a medieval festival. In this town you’ll also see the house of Schindler – the man who saved so many Jews – and the location where “Schindler’s List” was filmed. A fun excursion in Regensburg is a cruise on the Danube. Our cruise included a beer tasting and presentation of “Spital” beers created by the Welhenstephan Brewery.
For dinner try the Ringhotel Zum Roten Baren at Oberlinden 12. A well-known landmark at the very center of historic Freiburg, it is Germany’s oldest guest house, dating back to 1311. Pates, fish dishes and a deconstructed Black Forest Cake are a few of the restaurant’s specialties.
If You GoRecommended lodgings throughout Bavaria: Best Western Premier, Regensburg; Le Meridian, Stuttgart, The King’s Hotel, Munich.
For more information on visiting Regensberg go to Regensburg Tourism
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Author of three poetry collections and a chapbook of short fiction, Joan Gelfand has been published in national and international journals and anthologies. A member of the National Book Critics Circle and Development Chair for the Women’s National Book Association, her poetry film, “The Ferlinghetti School of Poetics,” was featured in the Video Poetry Festival in Athens, Greece and local venues. JoanGelfand.com
Unless otherwise indicated, all photos by the author