This is the best Wurstmarkt we’ve ever been to! Of course, it also happens to be the only one.
What drew us and about 600,000 people to Bad Durkheim (population 18,774) is a wine festival celebrated in this community for over 570 years. It is the Oktoberfest for wine. Fall festivals and celebration of the harvest are deeply rooted in German culture.
We enjoyed the 45 minute drive from Ramstein on the winding, hilly road that took us through several villages and castle ruins. I think about what it must be like to drive to work everyday and see the ruins of something built centuries ago, and it’s probably like living anywhere – whether it’s soaring mountains or palm trees, those things fade into the background of everyday living.
Since we arrived mid-day and things were pretty tame, we’re sure we didn’t get the full Wurstmarkt experience, and we’re OK with that. We made the rounds through all the tchotchkes, food stands, wine gardens and carnival rides and moved on instead to enjoy the real Bad Durkheim.
We’ve done a lot of meandering on this trip, and we did more today. Footsteps on cobblestone streets, church bells ringing, light rustling of leaves. The sounds of this city are muted since there are so many roads designated for walking/biking only in the downtown area.
Like many cities, it’s built along a river and they’ve done a great job with parks and public spaces following along the banks. One of my favorites spots was the Romerplatz, just an ordinary square with ordinary people. I loved standing in the middle taking everything in: the square filled with outdoor cafes and shops – not tourist shops but locals shops. On this Saturday afternoon I can hear the animated conversation and laughter bouncing around the square mixed with clanking dishes as several large groups enjoy each other and the waning days of outdoor weather.