picture of the day

“Bamberg’s most famous festival is, without doubt, the “Sandkerwa”, which transforms the Old Town into a prolonged state of joy every year at the end of August. It is the traditional church anniversary and Bamberg’s biggest fair all rolled into one and gives visitors the chance to try the whole range of local beers at the various stalls and in the pubs on the festival grounds.” (http://www.bamberg.info/en/erlebnis/bierstadt/veranstaltungen/)

As I left my apartment this morning and walked to my car, I saw that they are already setting up for Sandkerwa, a festival that happens once a year on my street, Sandstrasse (of course it happens on my street). The locals as well as my friend who works at a restaurant on the street hate it for the chaos but it brings in a lot of money to the restaurants, breweries, and stores. It starts in 6 days. It was CRAZY last year…some web sites say up to 250,000 people come to this festival…I believe it. While it’s going on, I can barely make it to my apartment door, and definitely cannot find downtown parking. It is not fun for people like me who dislike large crowds, except that sometimes you can’t help but enjoy being caught up in the excitement of it. No country does festivals better than Germany! And it’s kind of fun that the biggest one in my town happens right outside my front door. However, this year, I will be staying with a friend to avoid the crazy, and might participate a little, especially when they set off fireworks on the last day. But there’s definitely an eerie feeling of the calm before the storm every time I walk down my street now…

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