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Archive for 2013

Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Yesterday, I shared a little about our anti-climatic Oktoberfest. We got to the festival grounds later in the evening and stayed into the night, but what did we do the rest of the day?

Well, after getting a much later than expected start and revising our 'Fest Plan, we went to Ludwigsburg for their annual Pumpkin Festival. We had never been to this gorgeous little town before and the weather was perfect for checking things out. Warm in the sun without being too hot, slightly cool in the shade.... When Germany chooses to do so, it rocks good weather!

In the market square (every town in Germany has a market square it seems) they were having an antique market that was fun to look around. It's one of the better antique markets we've been to here with a wide selection of goods. I found a leather satchel to die for, but Mike wouldn't let me get it. {{Sad face}}

Typical of Market Squares everywhere here: A town hall on one side...
... a church on the other
Pretty boxes of color pencils


The Pumpkin Festival is a big deal every year. It lasts from the end of August until the beginning of November and always has a theme. This year the theme was the Olympics, so all of the pumpkin displays were of Olympic sports.

Also, each weekend has a different event. We found out about this fest a little late this year and missed the Pumpkin Regatta - that's right, grown men hollow out huge pumpkins to float in and race across the water - but it's SO on the calendar for next year! I sort of want to enter my husband next year to get him back for the leather bag I didn't get to buy this year. Is that terrible of me?

The lighting of the torch



The weekend we went they were having a Pumpkin Soup Cook-off! The lines to try the Pumpkin Soup were ridiculously long so we ate at a restaurant on the palace grounds instead, but we enjoyed walking around the market area and checking out the other displays, too.

"Kurbis" is "pumpkin" in German
Oh My Gourd!



This is "The World's Heaviest Pumpkin" or that's what the sign says at least. It was a pretty big pumpkin.
I think this guy was my favorite display of the day.
The Pumpkin Festival is held on the open grounds of the Ludwigsburg Palace and Baroque Grounds and it cost 8 euro each to get in. Worth it! There is so much to see and do and I think we both could have been happy spending the whole day there.

Germany is considered by many to be the home of fairy tales, and most of the ones we're familiar with in America are direct descendants of German stories. Part of the Baroque Gardens is a kids land with interactive displays for kids to play with, several play grounds, a train ride, and a boat ride for them to enjoy.

At the entrance to the kids area


King Ludwig's castle

Rapunzel's Tower
Yeah, the hair comes down when you call for it!
And can I just say how adorable it is to hear a little German girl calling out their version of, "Rapunzel! Rapunzel! Let down your hair!" and then giggling excitedly when the braid starts it's descent. It was one of the cutest things I've seen in a while.

But the palace isn't just fun for kids. They have an aviary and massive gardens to explore. I've heard the palace tour is really interesting, but we didn't do that. Maybe we will next year when we go back for the regatta.

I just love the word 'regatta.' That has nothing to do with anything; I just like it. 

Did you know that flamingos are my favorite birds? They are the one exhibit at most zoos I could spend all day looking at.
That has nothing to do with anything either.

This guy was kind of a show off.

The aviary was interesting; it was all open air once you get inside (you have to go through a cave to get there) and the birds were just roaming around freely. Each group had it's own area that it obviously preferred and nested in, but they weren't bothered by each other. We only saw a few of the birds but could hear the others.

Note to Mike: This is what I want lining my driveway one day.
And maybe this for the back yard. 


Entrance Gates from our table at the restaurant.


The palace as seen from below on the Baroque Grounds.
The palace itself and the grounds surrounding it reminded me a lot of Versailles. Very similar architecture and layout. It actually made me want to go back to Versailles since it was closed when we were there before. But that's another trip I have to talk Mike into and  there are still so many places we haven't seen at all yet so I don't know if it will happen or not. We'll see.

So that's it for us! That's how we started our Oktoberfest (read about how we ended our day here). I think this might have been the more enjoyable part of our day. We're pretty laid back and aren't interested in partying a lot. If we'd had a picnic blanket and a couple of books, we'd have been in heaven in Ludwigsburg. 

I'll have to remember that for next year.

Update! You can read about our time at the Pumpkinfest 2014 here!

Oktoberfest 2013

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Have you ever planned a day or a trip only to have it sort of fall apart at the last minute? That's kind of what happened to our Oktoberfest this year.

I won't go into the details and bore you into oblivion but I guess the important part is we did Oktoberfest and we had a good time. And I got to ride a really awesome swing ride. 

I mean, that was THE whole point behind me wanting to go this year.

Instead of Munich, we went to Stuttgart (about 2-3 hours closer to us). It's much smaller and supposedly more "German." I'm not sure what that means exactly, but that's what people keep telling me. Apparently, tourists go to Munich and Germans go to Stuttgart to get their 'fest on. Who knows? Certainly not me.

Anyway, here are some pics from the fest. Enjoy!





These guys serve as a warning to others: don't sit in front of me on a ride- you might end up on my blog!

Showing of my selfie-skillz, since every shot Mike took of me was very blurry.

That big swing to the right? Yeah, that's what we came for. It goes up to about 55 meters high. It just made me want to ride the extra tall one in Texas.














So if you've never been to Oktoberfest, well, there it is! It's basically a big carnival with beer or wine tents set up with music and dancing. It was a good time and I'm glad we went. It was a fun thing to see.

Oh! Wanna know how we started our day? Check out what we did at the Pumpkin Festival here!