No, not Thanksgiving. On November 27th, it is National Bavarian Cream Pie Day! Yes, in America. So pull out those draw-string pants and start celebrating!
I am readying myself for the holiday by exploring Bavaria; the large southeast state in Germany that borders Austria. Given that Salzburg basically lies on the border, I get a two-fer living here. So in my search for the best Bavarian cream dessert, I am absorbing Bavaria's sights and culture. The beauty of the Bavarian Alps (yes, there are Alps here too). The can't-help-but-be-social beer culture that envelops you when entering huge, loud, traditional beer halls. Breath-taking castles that seem right out of a fairytale (Note: Disappointingly, the Neuschwanstein, or "Disney", castle was completely engulfed by dense fog the day I was there. Not even worth a picture, sadly). And, my biggest surprise, Munich. As Bavaria's capital, its everywhere-you-turn, awe-inspiring architecture to lively outdoor beer gardens (40 degree temps stop nothing here) to points of WWII/Nazi interest blew away my expectations.
Social is the key word here though. After jumping on a last minute walking tour, I found myself afterward trading travel stories in a coffee shop with tour friends: a guy from Australia, a girl from New Zealand, and a guy from London. Similarly, two local gentlemen joined me at my Hofbrauhaus table after I mistakenly thought I had consented to them just scooting over from the draft at the front door (picture below of Tony, me, and Georg!) It's strange to find yourself in such moments, but they've helped make the city even more inviting to me. So inviting that I've taken the two-hour train ride back since (the fascinating yet bleak Dachau concentration camp was a part of that visit) and plan to go back again. So as not to offend the local Bavarians, I'll likely raise another stein of beer.
So join me in reveling on November 27. There's a deliciously-filled doughnut or pie with your name on it. THAT is something to be thankful for! (Happy Thanksgiving to you all. :))