Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Wollen und Bier

...I think. I didn't pick up too much German while I was away, mostly because so many of the lovely Bavarian people were clever enough to be able to speak English to me and kind enough to be willing to!

But wool and beer pretty much sum it up. Although I didn't bring back many souvenirs, I did manage to pick up a lovely alpaca in a colour I have been on the hunt for all autumn as well as an excellent magazine, the patterns in which I hope to some day decipher.


I was very pleasantly surprised and pleased to find that our train station ("banhof" - see I learned some German!) had a bookshop/news agent-y type of place that had an entire shelf devoted to knitting magazines - bliss! If it hadn't been for train schedules and my limited budget, I would have definitely come away with more than I did. As it was, I chose this one for these patterns in particular:



I am getting into knitted dresses these days - probably because it's getting cold and I am trying to not use the heater too much just yet, and also because I am lazy and like the idea of only having to think of one think to wear in a day as opposed to a top and trousers... Unfortunately they take up lots of yarn and are therefore expensive. I'll just have to think of them as an "investment"... Right?

The yarn in the first photo is Austermann Alpaca Silk. Yum. It actually says "Made in Peru" on the label, but it's a German company so I'll just let myself believe it's an authentic German souvenir. Better than, say, a Bayern Football Club t-shirt or a framed picture of Kind Ludwig II of Bavaria... speaking of whom, here's his house:

neuschwanstein 2

Yes, my friends, that is a giant, fairy tale castle on the top of a large mountain. It took a good long hike and the use of a lot of backside muscles to get up there, but it was worth it. If you haven't heard of this guy, he was a sort of 19th century Bavarian Michael Jackson and this was his Neverland. He was deposed from his role as king on the grounds that he was mentally ill and then found dead with his personal doctor days later under very peculiar circumstances. More on the "mad" king here. The castle is full of legend and fairy tale references and even has a room which was meant to be devoted to the full performances of Wagner's music for his sole enjoyment - but was never used. Just the sort of tragic, mysterious stuff I get sucked in by.

Other than fairy tale kings, knitting and beer (and there was lots of the latter), there was the scenery - probably the most beautiful of which I have ever seen:

view from our balcony

gorge - waterfall

austrian gorge

neuschwanstein 4

As you might be able to tell from the photos, it went from swelteringly hot to freezing cold and snowy in the 10 days I was there. But it was wonderful to experience the place in both ways. More in the Flickr set here.


Listening to: Emmy the Great
Eating: Aquacotta


Anonymous said...

Lovely patterns! I wish I had the stamina to get through a knitted dress. They're so warm & functional. I'll just drool over yours :)

I visited Ludwig's castle several summers ago, but it looks much prettier with a dusting of snow...

Renee said...

Germany has the most incredible knits... and people who really appreciate them.

I like your description of Ludwig as a Michael Jackson sort -- I took that away from it when I was there too. Isn't the scenery incredible? Beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing. :)

meghanaf said...

I drove past this place in 2007, I think it was, on my way to Italy from London - and knew I had to come back and take a closer look at some point. The castle is beautiful, but I don't think it would be half as gorgeous if it weren't in the setting it is. Glad you both have been there and can appreciate it too!

kate said...

meghan, i've been without my computer for a while now. i'm back. and i'm obsessed with your blog. and you. can you come live with me? please? i need to learn how to make things other than scarves and you are a freakin master of all things knitted. unbelievable. much more to catch up on just wanted to let you know your blog is read and appreciated....