Sunday, May 4, 2014

Volksfest 2014

The annual spring fair at the Wasen in Bad Cannstatt is the largest of its kind in Germany.
For young children, it is an opportunity to go on carousels and other rides while eating cotton candy, sugar-coated almonds, french fries and chocolate-covered strawberries. OK, to be honest, that's also a big reason that the adults go there, too. For me and several dozen others, it's a great photo op!

Another reason adults go there is the beer. The Economist measures world-wide currencies based on the "Big Mac Index" in that it takes the price of a Big Mac in various countries and evaluates the currency based on the price of McDonald's iconic burger. Well, here in Germany it seems that they take the current price of a liter of beer and adjust the currency (raising and lowering salaries accordingly) so that a million liters can be bought (and mostly drunk) during this three-week festival! Currently, a liter of Festbier costs €9.10. That's obviously not too much for some Lederhosen and Dirndl types.

You think that's scary? Look at this! A little boy was walking through the fairgrounds with a "Scary Movie" mask on and was going up to everyone in his path and shouting "Boo!"

Think that's scary? These three Dirndl-clad lads nearly bowled me over as I was maneuvering my way through the crowded streets.

Still not scared? OK, then there are the rides. I'm sure they aren't as scary if you are clobbered, but if you are waiting below for your friends to get off the ride, watch out because all sorts of projectiles fall and flow from these whirling contraptions.

For photographers, I don't think there's a best time to go there, unless you are waiting for certain types of pictures. The evening is attractive because the lights are flashing, but on the other hand some people are getting out of hand by then and the next thing you know, lights are flashing on a police car or ambulance coming to haul away somebody.

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