Tag Archives: Franconia

Bavaria, Franconia, and Ingolstadt

sketch of pretzels

"Bavarian Pretzels", by Kerry McFall - watercolor, ink, colored pencil

Europe at last! Our friends live in Bavaria about an hour outside of Munich in a Corvallis-sized town called Ingolstadt. The first Bavarian state university was founded here. Beavers gnaw at trees along the Danube. The resemblance between home and here ends there. Bicyclists rarely wear helmets. Pedestrians of all ages (not just college students) cross the street at unexpected times and random spots, cars honk at them but rarely slow down. There are no bumper stickers. The town mascot is a creature that is obviously a griffin – well, maybe a dragon – but they call it a panther. Centuries of history unwind as we walk along cobbled streets. Duke Ludwig the Bearded built a New Church in 1418; he was succeeded by his son Ludwig the Rich, who apparently imprisoned his father to be sure he DID become “the Rich”. Museums abound, notably the “Alte Anatomie” medical museum, which served as inspiration for the Frankenstein tale. We had a delicious Pancake Soup with our lunch – what a fabulous way to use up leftover pancakes! – at an inn whose claim to fame was serving the local doctor who was the model for Frankenstein…

When we arrived yesterday, our host presented us with a traditional Bavarian midday feast of steaming white sausages drowned in honey mustard, fresh pretzels, and Hefeweizen beer – mmmm. The pretzels were gorgeous and golden, spread with real butter (there went my illusion of losing weight with all the walking). Sketching them was the logical choice for the day, given my jet lag.

As I worked on the sketch and tried to stay awake, Markus baked a fresh plum cake and tea for the four o clock traditional “snack”. The “eat dessert first” philosophy may have originated here! At the evening meal, (fresh salad, cheese, cold cuts, more pretzels, and bread) I was introduced to the region of Franconia via Franconian wine. Evidently Franconia (spelled Frankisher in German) is in north Bavaria – somehow we skipped that in 5th grade geography… but it’s pretty important out here… kind of like the Corvallis/Sweet Home relationship… It was a crisp Pinot Grigio-type and was quite good. We’ve been promised a different wine with this evening’s meal… I really like Bavaria so far!