As great as Germany is for vegans, the love of sausage is alive and kicking. Never one to forgo an authentic German cultural experience, I tagged along to a sausage and wine market with my friends and oh, was a German cultural experience had.
It took place in Bad Dürkheim, which is a cute little spa town about a fifty-minute tram ride away from Mannheim. The journey is so easy, and it was so nice to watch out the window and see all the little German towns and villages that lie between Mannheim and Bad Dürkheim pass by.
It turns out that the event wasn’t just a wine and sausage market, it was like a mini German festival. There were people wandering around in Lederhosen and Dirndls, tons of trinkets emblazoned with German quotes, and enough Lebkuchen hearts to make Cupid cringe. Adorable.
The best stalls were the food stalls. Naturally there was a lot of Currywurst and Flammkuchen, both of which were apparently very good. There were also chips, a lifeline for vegans on any occasion in any part of the world. I bought a cone for €3.50. Whilst they didn’t quite match ice hockey stadium levels of greasy deliciousness, they were bigger than my head and there was an adorable chip figurine next to the stall which provided the perfect photo opportunity.
There was also wine. Lots and lots of wine. I didn’t try any of the alcohol, and thought my friends were drinking large glasses of cider. However, they got very merry and I realised that they were in fact essentially drinking pints of wine. It was such good value because for €6, you pretty much got the equivalent of a bottle of wine. No wonder the atmosphere was so good.
We ended up in a tent with a German band and lots of middle-aged Germans who had enjoyed a lot of the aforementioned wine. It was sort of like a wedding reception with lots of tipsy aunts and uncles and it was honestly more fun than any cool German party I’ve been to so far. The wine continued to flow, I ended up leading a German conga line around the tent, and my friend Paisley pretty much got adopted by a small group of really friendly Germans. It seems that language barriers don’t exist when you’ve been drinking wine all afternoon and a German Oompah band is playing Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive. I don’t think I’ll ever think back to that German tent without laughing.
The market is a summer thing, so this was the last weekend that it was held. I’m so glad I made the trip and urge any Erasmus Mannheimers to do the same next year. The photos will be good and the memories will be better.