Drinking in the Franconian wine country

Trip Start Oct 02, 2011
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Trip End Oct 27, 2011


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Flag of Germany  , Bavaria,
Sunday, October 23, 2011

How amazing, how luxurious to be able to drive to the Franconian countryside on a golden autumn day and do nothing but drink wine and walk the sloping hills!

It was blue and balmy as we set out for Ipsheim, in the wine country to the northwest of Nürnberg. We parked under some trees and headed for the vineyards.  Soon we passed a herd of unscheduled llamas, placidly munching fallen apples in their paddock.  

After drinking the local Grüner Silvaner we strolled among acres of vines, enjoying the views down the valley.  Most of the grapes had been picked, but occasional green clusters peeped out from under their sheltering leaves; it was impossible not to try them.  They were sweet and juicy.  Inevitably, they brought to mind the smaller copper-green grapes I'd eaten in Shalanki, no less sweet but a world apart.  I silently thanked my grandfather for, at the tender age of 16, walking down the dusty road out of Shalanki, which which ultimately resulted in my being in this vineyard,with an incredible sense of well-being on this golden day. 

What was he feeling as he left his village, possibly passing by the ancestor of the very vine that produced the grapes I'd eaten in Shalanki?  Was he excited thinking about how, if he actually made it to America, he would give himself and his future family a better life?  Or was he looking back, filled with sadness at leaving all he knew, realizing that he’d probably never see his relatives again?  Or maybe both.

No matter what you were thinking, grandfather, thank you for your heroic decision that allowed me to be in this place on this day, brimming with contentment and gratitude!

We drove back to Nürnberg for a Thai dinner, where we met up with Daniel, Hannah, and Felix, her boyfriend.  The food was delicious.

What a life!
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