Sunday, December 21, 2014

Ludwigsburg... beer run and Christmas market!

Yesterday, Bill and I decided to drive to Ludwigsburg to unload the many bottles we collected after finishing the beer we purchased on our last trip there.  For those not in the know, Ludwigsburg has an awesome drink market called Heinrich's Getranke Markt.  This super sized drink market has beverages of all sorts, but really specializes in beer.  If you've been reading my blogs, you know Bill and I are beer lovers.


Aside from drinks, Heinrich's also has some basic grocery items.  I didn't buy any "Corny" bars, but I did manage to get some laundry soap and fabric softener.

We visited Heinrich's and picked up some new suds.  I was actually hoping to find some alcoholic ginger beer like I did last time.  Heinrich's has a pretty good international section.  I only found one beer that sort of fit the bill-- it has an essence of ginger.  I saw another that was non-alcoholic, which would be okay I guess... but it wasn't really what I wanted.  But I did find some interesting brews from the Republic of Georgia and Estonia.  We also managed to pick up a rack of Ettal double bock beer.  The Ettal Monastery is in Bavaria, not far from Garmisch-Partenkirchen.  I took a tour there a few years ago and became acquainted with the beers made by local monks.


A picture of the Ettal basilica.  I took this last time we lived here when I took a tour of the Ettal Monastery through the Edelweiss Lodge.  That was a surprisingly fun excursion!

I don't have high hopes for the Georgian beers, since I lived in its southern neighbor, Armenia, and Armenia's beers weren't very good.  I would have liked to have found some Georgian wines because wine is what both Georgia and Armenia do best...  along with brandy.  I think the Estonian beer will probably be good.  I have had beer from Estonia before and liked it.  I always enjoy visiting Heinrich's, because you never know what they'll have... especially in the international section.  I was impressed by all the African and South American beers being offered, as well as a few from places like Lithuania, Finland, and even Hong Kong.


This might make a good gift for the beer lover in your life...

After we visited Heinrich's, we went into town.  Parking was a bit of a bear in Ludwigsburg because their Christmas market is still going on.  Both Bill and I needed a WC, though, and we hadn't been to any markets this season.  I must say, Ludwigsburg's Christmas market was very good.  They had a carousel, lots of little stands with handmade gifts, and gluhwein aplenty!  We were a bit hungry, so we stopped at a stand that was selling homemade soups.  I had potato soup with wurst and Bill had the soup of the day, which was some kind of heavenly cheese concoction.  We washed it down with three gluhweins.  Bill had ordered two-- a merlot based one and an apple one-- but the lady must have misheard drei instead of zwei.   So we each had an apple gluhwein and split the merlot one.


Germans love their Christmas markets!


Lots of kids were out shilling for euros, playing whatever instrument they are learning.  One little girl was blowing a mean "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" on a recorder.




That soup was delicious!  And it was cold and windy yesterday, so it was perfect for the occasion!  They had several other soups as well.


Loading up on gluhwein!


The guy on the stage was doing a great job entertaining some kids... I wish I could have seen more, but I'm vertically challenged, especially in this country, where tall people abound!

On the way out of Ludwigsburg, we stopped in the mall for one last pit stop.  The mall was packed with people and the restrooms were very busy.  As I was standing in line, a young German lass said something to me.  My brain froze, even though I've been trying to pick up some more German.  I said very apologetically that I don't speak German.  She laughed and said in perfect English, "You are waiting?"  It really puts us to shame that we Americans aren't so proficient in languages.  But then, in America, there's less of a need...  unless you count Spanish.  I studied Spanish for years and understand it, but when I speak it, it comes out Eastern Armenian.  Armenia is the only place I've lived where speaking the local language was essential.

Our next stop was Breuningerland in Sindelfingen.  I dreaded going there because that place is a madhouse on Saturdays and especially the Saturday right before Christmas.  But Bill wanted to rejoin ADAC, which is basically the auto club in Europe.  Last time we were here, the membership paid for itself when we came back to our car after a week in Scandinavia to find it with a completely dead battery.  An ADAC guy came out, diagnosed the problem, and replaced our battery on the spot.  We opted for the ADACPlus whole Europe family plan, which I think was 109 euros for the year.  Well worth it.  We also stopped by WMF to pick up a new salt and pepper grinder since our salt grinder bit the dust last week.

Our landlady said Americans love Breuningerland, but from what I saw yesterday, that mall is equally loved by Germans and Turks.  The parking lots were jam packed and we saw lots of creative parking done by desperate shoppers.  I'm proud to report that we managed to get out of Sindelfingen unscathed.  Today, we'll probably end up doing what we usually do on Sundays... shopping on base and drinking beer at the Irish pub.  But maybe we'll go Greek today.  Who knows?





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