Monday, September 20, 2010

Trachtenumzug 2010

The parade of the folklore groups on the second day of the Oktoberfest has always been an event I really enjoy watching. One of the most memorable for me was a few years back when a Scottish pipe band was invited to march among the German groups. That I saw on television... live on the Deutsche Welle channel... from my sitting room in Abu Dhabi! 

This year I was a spectator in person, under a Bavarian white-blue sky with perfect scudding clouds and agreeable temperature as the sun rose higher. The vantage point was a privileged one. The café opposite the bookshop where I buy my paperbacks is fittingly called Literaturhaus. For the occasion the tables outside where Munich's literati gather for coffee and cakes were replaced by beer garden tables and benches which welcomed a crowd which was very Bavarian, but also very laid back and cosmopolitan.

My ex turned up in a splendid dirndl. We had wonderfully friendly and chatty neighbours at our table.

The parade with over 8,000 participants took two and a half hours to pass by, with countless bands and all of the Munich breweries represented. The Hofbräu beer waggon was hauled by ten magnificent drays.

It was, of course, an opportunity for me to prove that Highland Dress is as eye-catching as any Lederhosen outfit.

It goes without saying that a liking for traditional brass bands playing martial melodies is mandatory. And when the parade was finally over it was a joy to discover that in every corner of downtown Munich small musical ensembles had positioned themselves to perpetuate to soundtrack of a very pleasant Sunday.

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