We planned everything via email and she arrived in early October, ready for some adventure. We decided to warm up with something semi-local: my beloved Pfalz! We whipped out a big area map and picked something within our local train network so we could benefit from super-cheap day tickets: Deidesheim. It's a name I'd seen on zillions of wine labels before. We've passed through it a few times on our way to other places, but never stopped. So, I was pretty interested to finally see what's there!
The first sign that we were somewhere awesome came before we even reached the center of town. Two horse-drawn wine-drinking parties went past! As you can see in the photo (click to enlarge), the people at this party were already feeling mighty festive - and it wasn't even lunchtime yet. My new life goal is to rent one of these sometime. Who's in? :)
We wandered around a bit, admiring the cute Marktplatz, pretty church, and grapevines draped all over everything. Around 2pm, we were ready for lunch - and that was a bit of a problem! Few places in town even opened before 5pm, and of those that did, most of them took an afternoon break starting at 2pm. Oops! We eventually settled in at a place near the old Spital which looked a bit institutional. Their menu was pretty limited, but fine for us - we ended up with two delicious Flammkuchen and for me, a big glass of Neuer Wein which made it easier to not be embarrassed about flubbing through German with their Pfaelzisch accents making it scary. My friend had her first Mineralwasser mit Gas because they didn't have still water - and she was not impressed. But, since the food was good it was all generally fine.
Next: my favorite thing - vineyards!! It kept threatening to rain, but we went onward unfazed into the open vineyards just outside of town. There, we just wandered around, checking out the old walls, gates, and stairs, baby vines and old vines, and the occasional garden or statue or bench or other random field oddity. You really can't find things like that back in the Iowa cornfields where we came from. Actually, I don't think you could wander a cornfield without ticking somebody off, but that didn't occur to me in the vineyards, since we wandered around in them at many a wine festival in the past. I guess it probably is trespassing. Fun, wonderful trespassing.
We could see a chapel in the distance, but the sky kept getting darker, so after finding a little grapevine-decorated shed which felt climactic enough, we made our way back to town.
As soon as we got on the train, the rain started. What timing! We had to transfer in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, where we discovered a festival going on! We took a brief walk through the festival and over to the Marktplatz. I had my first delicious mint Schaumkuss of the season! Man, now that I mention that, I really want one. Less than a month 'til the Christmas markets start.....
All photos in this post were taken by my friend. The Picasa photos below are mine. Enjoy!
|Deidesheim & Neustadt an der Weinstrasse Okt 2011|