Department of Things I Have Been Dying To Tell You About
June 29, 2008
Two weeks ago, a chunk of our extended fambly –4 kids and 4 adults–landed in Zurich, Switzerland for an Epic Fambly Roots Tour of sites that are special to us in southern Germany. Jet-lagged and miscaffeinated (it seemed the children had been given caffeine and the adults had not), we loaded up our Conestoga wagons (rented VW Passats but whatever, I’m telling a STORY here) and headed for Stop 1: Munich. I’m probably not going to get much past Stop 1, because there is just not enough knitting in Stops 2 and 3, but Stop 1 was a doozy, knittingwise and otherwise.
Please note that we are not a Planning People. Typically we arrive on the scene 2 days after the Dill Pickle Festival has packed up, the Rolling Stones have left town, and the circus is not expected for 3 weeks. This time, with our timing dictated only by the window between school and camp, we landed smack in the middle of the Euro 2008 football championship–in which Germany figured HUGE–and more. Plain dumb luck. My favorite kind of luck!
Onward, VWs! Munich Ho!
Sunday morning, we awoke, foraged for milchkaffee, and lurched toward the Marienplatz.
Along the way, we noticed people in elaborate finery.
Quite a lot of people.
It also seemed like there was a rather large turnout for brunch this week.
Some of us thought something special must be afoot.
Hubby, our authority on all things Germanic, assured us that this was just the good folk from the surrounding countryside coming into Munich for a Sunday stroll. Ahem.
I had my doubts. I mean, is this a headdress for a casual Sunday fitnesswalk?
Do you wear your tricorner hat to regular old brunch?
People seemed to be having an awful lot of fun for 10:30 on Sunday morning.
So we got to Marienplatz.
Where we saw this sign. It seems we had stumbled into Munich’s 850th birthday party.
“Oh,” said Hubby. “Maybe that’s it.”
Ann, you shoulda seen the outfits. So elaborate, with twinkly silver hair ornaments on every bun and braid, fancy handknit socks, everybody from the same town wearing the same hat, all the hats different and the handbaskets and the ladies with entire bouquets of fresh carnations and roses spilling out of the necklines of their blouses (I was too shy to get a good picture of that). The level of detail would get respect from any Civil War or Revolutionary War reenactor. To show up turned out like this takes commitment.
These guys were from the town where they wear ribbons on their hats.
It was such fun, we wandered for hours. With my focus on the handknits, it was only a matter of time before I saw this guy, and nearly choked on my weissbier:
What do you call these? Bifurcated socks! Bikini socks! Calf hammocks! It’s…..can anybody explain it to me? I thought it might be a one-off, that this guy might be some crazed leg-exhibitionist.
But apparently not.
An impromptu danceathon in the victualienmarkt removed all doubt. These socks were for real. Get used to it.
This is not a scene from The Producers, I promise you.
I think we can all agree that without the socks, this dance is much less exciting.
Putting the leder in lederhosen.
If anybody can tell me about these socks, I would be very appreciative. In addition to their obvious sex appeal, they were also beautifully knitted and embellished, with embroidery I think.
And argyles! This was my sole sighting of argyles, but I’m hopeful that there is a town of argyle guys.
In other (albeit lesser) Munich highlights, I took 2 great pictures at the Olympic stadium (1972).
This one wants to be a blanket.
And this one was not staged, although I did have to take a couple of dozen shots to get it. (We really did take the ball everywhere. There are lots of places to play soccer if you are alert.)
It was a great trip, and I’m really glad to be home. Oh! Forgot to mention that I knitted 3 baby sweaters in transit. More about that later.