Wednesday, June 22, 2011

June 18th – A Thigh Slapping Good Time in Berchtesgaden

In our brief time in Berchtesgaden town centre the day before, we saw that the local brewery had some kind of traditional Bavarian festival going on in their Hofbrauhaus. Not really knowing what to expect, but needing a drink after our awning disaster, we turned up for a night of Bavarian music and dancing.

This was the absolute opposite of our disappointing experience of the Hofbrauhaus in Munich – here, we appeared to be the only foreigners, the atmosphere was genuine, the staff were jolly and friendly, and the whole place had a feeling of innocent fun. We were seated on long tables with complete strangers who spoke no English, yet by the end of a night of faltering conversation, based around miming and hand movements, we'd all had a fantastic time together, linking arms and swaying in time to the drinking songs.

The beer was tasty, the band played really joyful music, while the dancers (the men of course dressed in leiderhosen and feathered hats, the women in traditional Bavarian dresses) were energetic and skilful. There was plenty of thigh slapping from the men, and plenty of twirling from the ladies.

The audience were happy to join in with the polkas, and they even got Tracy up to do a bit of twirling and slapping – something she looked born to do, even if she didn't have a clue what was going on. There were some hilarious dances – one, chopping wood in the middle of the restaurant with wood chips flying everywhere, and another where they all stood on our tables and slapped away furiously.

To see a small snippet of the evening's activities, Tracy's uploaded a small video onto youtube -

One of the most enjoyable evenings we've had in ages – prost!