My Deutsche Freundin, Karen und mir went on a Ostern “Easter” bicycle ride. In America that would be a leisurely 30 min. ride through a greyish Metro Park to see some geese.
For us, here in the Schwäbian Alps, it was a quest was to see the famous Schechingen Easter Egg display. We did though have a few pitstops; a Baroque church, castle and wine garden.
Life is good in Deutschland and even better when you are on a E-bike.
The castle of Schloss Hohenstadt was our first stop. If you ever venture to Germany seeing the country with an E-bike, (that’s a bike with battery) is in my opinion the best way to see Deutschland. You will be able to effortlessly climb the hills and finish off with an Italian Eis (ice-cream) or a Bier with a 2″ foam head in a beautiful logo crested .5 Litre glass stein – sometimes more interesting than the castles.
In small village of Abstgmünd-Hohenstadt you are first met with the monolithic plain white Catholic church of Mariä-Opferungs Kirche, Church of the Holy Virgin. This church is one of the most famous examples of the Baroque architectural influence in Europe, (as we soon found out when we quietly tipped toed in). Typical Europe – truly amazing, all on a cheap bike ride.
The village of Hohenstadt is home to Schloss Hohenstadt and the noble Adelmann family who built the castle and church starting around the 1400 century. We were unfortunately not able to go into the castle, though I did learn that the nobility still lived there. Although the castle was in much needed repair they do give tours and I am (so) waiting to go. As we peeked in the royal gardens and decided to have our cappuccinos in the next Stadt, we were back on our bikes again and up the hills to Ostern in Schechingen.
In most villages of Germany there are Easter egg displays. Each are a little unique but with the same theme, real hand-painted (not plastic) eggs laid out in bows of greenery. And the little Dort of Schechingen has taken the prize with a display of 12,000 Eier (eggs) one of the biggest in Germany and televised on national news. As I was informed by a local chairwoman who asked me to excuse her English – not that her English was bad, she just admitted to being happily drunk, that was a first.
As we rode up in our E-bikes to the grand display the catered village event was complete in true German glory. They had Bier and Essen (beer and food), music and rows and rows of picnic tables. There were small wooden booths and even a one of a kind stand with matching, handmade, carved wood guestbook. The people were also a fabulous mix of well dressed leather clad hip motorcycle riders, colourful and sporty bicycle riders, sophisticated couples dressed in their bests with fashionable hair, well behaved children with their Oma’s and Opa’s and perfect families chatting away while toasting their Eierlikör all of this on a sunny Schwäbian Alpine Tag. What could be better? The Eierlikör of course, a special liqueur made from fermented egg yolks, sugar, condense milk and rum, kinda a alcoholic pudding mix, an all-time Ostern favourite which tasted amazing, especially after being 2 hours on a bike.
The history of the Schechingen Eier Fest started in 2002, quite recent for Deutschland. Each year the locals spend about 6 months painting large (blown out) goose eggs. Every year they add a few thousand more to the collection, though last year they had so much rain that it destroyed 1/3 of the eggs and they had a bit of catch-up work to do. At night they even have people patrolling the fragile exhibit. The display gets visitors from all over the world, like me von den USA and this year in true German fashion were going to start the same tradition at home, painting rather than dying eggs and collecting them for year to year too.
Habe einen schönen Ostern, love the American Frau
PS. sorry about any grammatical errors, my Deutches mann was too busy digging out a tree stump to proofread.
Schloss Hohenstadt: Von HolgerHw – Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4035017
All other photos Sharon Ritter copyright 2017