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21 February 2012

Take a bow, the night is over...

...this masquerade is getting older.

And now we say good-bye to the Fastnacht season.

Bring on the spring!

20 February 2012

Fackelumzug in Elzach

This is the very traditional (and quite popular) "Fackelumzug", or "Torch Parade", which takes place in the town of Elzach every year, the Sunday before Ash Wednesday.  All of the men in town dress as these Narren and parade through the dark streets with torches and pig bladders.  After they reach the end of their parade route, they back track to the town center and proceed to throw their torches into one, large, central bon fire.  The clip that follows is representative of this.

18 February 2012

A Very Snowy Schluchsee

Today I traveled just north of here to the Schluchsee.  Due to unforeseen difficulties with the trains, we first foraged to Titisee.  This lake is a huge tourist destination in warmer months, where most come to paddle boat or canoe on the lake (or do some extreme touristy shopping).  During the winter months it's not nearly as bustling, and most people visit to go cross country skiing or take a walk in the snowy woods.  We had just enough time between connections to walk out and gaze at the snow-covered lake, and then head back to the train station.

5 stops or so further up the tracks we arrived at Schluchsee.  It's a massive lake, about 15 miles around, and was completely frozen over.  Some of the ice around the edges had begun to melt, so we weren't expecting to find anyone like these two gents hiking out on the lake to do some ice fishing.

12 February 2012

Fastnacht ist hier!

Berliners, parades, confetti... a hint of Spring in the air.  Costumes and candy and chaos... it's that time of year again --> Fastnacht!