Monday, October 4, 2010
In the Alps with bells on
Encountering so much peace and quiet at the foot of the Alps was almost a shock. Wackersberg, a tiny village at the foot of the Alps south of Munich, was just the place to relax before the wedding. Green pastures, little wooden Heidi houses and cows with bells on.
We stayed at Pension Willibald, a guesthouse in the same style as the wooden houses in the area. All flower pots on the window sills and balconies and animal trophies on the walls. It offered great value; not that there was that much of a choice. The village of Wackersberg is so small that you can walk through it all in 10 minutes. Which means no hotels and no shops; although the closest town of Bad Tolz is only a couple of minutes’ drive away. I guess you can say walking distance if you’re up for a bit of exercise.
On the nights when we didn’t linger at the Altwirt beer garden around the corner enjoying German beer and weiswurst, we cooked up a storm at one of our guesthouse apartments or at the bride-to-be’s little fairy tale house next to the church.
I soaked in the Bavarian way of life, so much so that I bought a dirndl for the wedding. You know, those corset dresses with the white shirt underneath that pushes up your boobs. An apron completes the outfit – no wonder my Capetonian friend Leigh insisted that it looks like a maid’s attire. It was fun shopping for it and of course the first one I picked was all pure silk and cost about as much as a decent wedding dress.
So I chose something more modest and spent the rest of the time on healthy pursuits such as cycling along the Isar from Bad Tolz to Lenggries and riding Iceland ponies at Rosenheim. Slowly my whole life started disappearing – I forgot about my job, my life in Cape Town, all those general fears and worries.
Soon the church bells started ringing and I was all dressed up in my dirndl ready to accompany my beautiful friend to a small chapel in the mountains. For one day, I became Bavarian. It has been a while since I had felt that present.