A Travellerspoint blog

May 2018

Peter-und-Paul-Fest in Bretten

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Peter-und-Paul-Fest is Bretten's biggest event of the year. Every year on one long weekend Bretten turns back time for more than 500 years, back to those days when the town was still named „Brettheim“, back to the glorious and victorious battle of 1504. The festival takes place on the weekend after St Peter and Paul’s Day (June 29) from Friday to Monday. The events of 1504 are re-enacted, with a big parade on Sunday afternoon as the climax.

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This is not one of those many „medieval“ shows done by a travelling company of professional actors with no relation to the place. It is a festival of the town, and the whole town takes part in it. The majority of participants are local groups and clubs, people of the town. Only a minority are professionals. Since this event takes place every year, owning an outfit that matches the era around 1500 makes sense. On the market during the festival you can buy all kinds of clothing and accessories which are needed.

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The festival covers most of the old town. There is a lot to see. The camp of the lansquenets. Several stages where musicians and jugglers perform. The market stalls in the streets. Demonstrations of various crafts. And overall, the people in their beautiful costumes walking around everywhere. You can participate in medieval dances, enjoy a wide variety of food and drink, kids can play knights and do fighting with wooden swords. Even if you miss the main events, just walking and watching is absolutely worthwhile. I highly recommend this festival.

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On Saturday afternoon there is the re-enactment of the battle around Simmelturm. They say that this show is not suitable for small children (probably because of the boom-bang noise of the guns and cannons and also because of violent scenes). Everything else, however, is great for families.

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An entrance fee is charged for access to the festival area, this buys a ribbon to wear round your wrist which is valid for all the weekend.

Website: http://www.peter-und-paul.de/

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Posted by Kathrin_E 14:25 Archived in Germany Tagged festival kraichgau Comments (0)

The Palatinate Forest: Hikers‘ Paradise

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Endless hiking trails, great views of the Rhine plain and the hills, castle ruins, charming villages and of course great wines and food from the Pfalz - the Palatinate Forest / Pfälzer Wald is truly a paradise for hiking.

Pfälzerwald - the Palatinate Forest - is an area which is relatively unspoilt by tourism. It is popular in the region for hiking and outdoor sports, but hardly known among international visitors. The hilly region along the western side of the Upper Rhine plain is covered with seemingly endless forests. This is the largest forest area in the whole of Germany.

The Palatinate Forest has the status of a national park. Grünstadt, Kaiserslautern, Pirmasens, the French border and the Wine Road mark the borders of the protected area. The landscape is connected with the Vosges on the French side. The highest peaks reach an altitude of more than 600 m.

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If you plan to do hiking in the Palatinate Forest, wear appropriate shoes. Ankle-high hiking boots aren't necessary (though no mistake if you have them) but you need soles that have a good grip. The paths can be steep and rocky, have loose stones and mud, and get slippery when wet or covered with leaves. Even the trails up to Trifels castle are unpaved, steep forest paths. Clumsy Me observed 999 tree roots but tripped over root number 1000 on the way down and bruised her knees badly... ouch!

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The further west you go, deeper into the forests, the quieter and more remote they are. These rural areas are far off the beaten path.

The central part includes some quite spectacular sandstone rock formations. These are popular among rock climbers. My photos are just snapshots taken from the Pirmasens train, hence by far not the most impressive ones.

The majority of the trees in the forests are deciduous. This means autumn colours. In October the forests turn to rich golden colours. This is the most beautiful season for hiking, good weather provided.

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Landeck Castle

Sweet chestnut trees grow wild in these forests, guess what many local specialities include. The Palatine is a region for foodies and wine lovers.

Hiking is more fun if you have a destination.

Several of the peaks along the Rhine plain carry the ruins of medieval castles, for example Madenburg, Burg Landeck, and the most famous of them, Trifels above Annweiler, or view towers and viewpoints.

Wide views down into the Rhine plain over to Odenwald, Kraichgau and Black Forest add to the pleasure.

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Landscape view from Hambacher Schloss

Posted by Kathrin_E 14:39 Archived in Germany Tagged pfalz Comments (0)

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