Frühjahrslust – Spring Garden Festival @ Wolfgangshof

Wolfgangshof is one of my favorite places to visit – it’s like traveling back in time.  Luckily, there are festivals heald on this private country estate a few times a year that are open to the public – and they are always great!  I always feel swept away by the rustic charm surrounding me.

A few months back we visited a rustic Christmas market held here, and now that Spring has come into bloom, the Frühjahrslust has come (and saddly gone) in one weekend.  It was such comfortable sunny weather.  After walking around all the garden stands and “acquiring” a decent amount of organic herbs to plant in my balcony garden, we sat by a stone fountain, listened to giggling children, sipped espresso, and soaked in some rays.

I was really excited to find out that this great event comes twice a year – the second event is in September and is called Grüne Lust. Even if I don’t need any new plants for my garden, it is still so much fun to visit for the day and eat yummy food!

For lunch I had a vegan Spaghetti Bolognese with Carrot-Sunflower seed Pesto and a lemon-mint soda from a local restaurant catering at the festival.  Not to mention that I also thoroughly enjoyed freshly fried handmade potato chips and an vegan orange gelato….ahhh vegan food love!


Romantic Winter Wonderland – Wolfgangshof

Once the colorful leaves have fallen off the trees, Fall and winter can be really dreary.  I often look out the window of my apartment and sigh.  It looks cold outside, the sky is so gray that it’s just one big cloud, people move sluggishly up and down the streets – everyone’s summer sparkle has gone into hibernation.  A true winter will not hit us for another few months – just in time for Valentine’s day and Mardis Gras.  By then, Christmas will be long gone and we will all be eagerly awaiting Spring.  It’s hard to get into the Christmas spirit under these conditions.


A few weeks ago, a colleague mentioned “the most amazing” Christmas market he’s ever seen.  He drives quite a ways with his family there once a year – he’s a pretty skeptical guy – so this really means it must be awesome.  Now, I’m not really into the whole Christmas-kitsch that you can find at your typical Christmas markets, so usually I have to be dragged to go to one.  But, with such a great recommendation and desperately needing something to do to lighten up the it’s-not-even-winter-yet blues, we took a trip out to Franconia’s magical Wolfgangshof.


I stepped out of the car and was hit by a whiff of sweet sugar and roasting wood.  We made our way in through a decent crowd of people waiting to pay the €5 entrance fee, and we were welcomed by a true romantic rustic Christmas wonderland.  This place is just awesome.  I am already ready to pack my bags and move it – this is better than Christmas in the city!



There are clusters of tiny wooden sheds laden with beautiful handmade items nestled in between large red brick farm houses dating back 150 years.  Walking past the first set of artisans, we come upon a little wooden bakery house selling raw bread dough wrapped on tree branches.  A few steps away is a large open fire pit where you can roast your dough and eat it fresh off the stick…the smell of fire roasted bread is intoxicating.


A few steps further, next to a rustic, yet very noble house, we are greeted by a band of men playing wonderful Bavarian Christmas music on large Alpine wooden horns.  I close my eyes, and it feels like I am listening to a full ensemble orchestra – it’s amazing the sounds they can make.

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The smell of cinnamon and sugar hits my nose while enjoying the Alpine band, and I make my way (like a zombie) to a little house making Baumstrietzel…thin strips of dough wrapped on a wooden rolling pin, baked, and then coating in your favorite topping.  After securing my sweet treat (yes – vegan!), we made our way in between two large brick houses, and found even more tiny little wooden houses rustically decorated in evergreens.  Inside each house is an oven and a rustic seating arrangement where guests can huddle in away from the cold.



It is just so beautiful here that I am starting to cheer up and really get into the Christmas spirit!  Everywhere you walk, there is a large open fire and some tree stumps to sit on and enjoy the heat.  Now, the only thing missing is snow…




Red Apples & Golden Sunflowers

Let’s get some thing straight here – I am not an apple person.  I grew up in south Florida where apples were imported from those far away cold states.  They were always mushy, sandy, over ripe, and over waxed. I have to admit, they are a pretty fruit and come in so many shades and shapes, but when given the option between an apple or, let’s say, a mango, guava, raspberry, banana, orange, grapefruit, cherimoya, strawberry, blueberry…apple will always lose – always.  I just can’t get excited about them.




Here in Germany, apples are THE local fruit – everybody loves them, and no one seems to understand how they cannot be loved.  It seems to be a pretty important fruit around here.  So, when October rolls around, Fürth holds it’s yearly Apfelmarkt (Apple Market) – and it’s packed – shoulder to shoulder.  Everybody comes to see, taste, and smell the latest harvest.  Visitors chat up the local farmers about this years crop, and taste to compare flavors.


The smell of warm waffles sits heavy in the air, and swarms of lady bugs glide through the air savoring the last warm rays of the early Fall sun.I trek out every few years to enjoy the bounty of colors.  And, because, well, my kids love apples…I guess that’s what happens when you grow up here.





The white blossom covered trees have all basked in the summer sun and dropped their fruit to the earth.  The leaves are starting to turn – Fall is just a few weeks away – and we are left with an amazing colorful bounty of apples, plums, nuts, honey, and late summer flowers.