Tuesday, November 3, 2009

An afternoon with Baron Funchausen

Day 2: New Braunfels (Part 1)

"Fabian," I said, "let's say I've only got one day to spend in this town. What is there to do here?"

"Well," replied Fabian, "We could check out the Natural Caverns, or we could stop by the city of Gruene, which is this old-timey kind of town that hasn't been updated in years. Oh, and Wurst Fest is going on right now. Do any of those sound appealing?"


Fabian is a saint. For starters, Fabian and his wife Erin (I would say 'his better half' but 'his better 99%' is more like it) were kind enough to put me up for an evening. On top of this, when I told Fabian I wanted to do everything he had mentioned all in one day, he hesitated, only for a moment. Then he jumped in with both feet.

The first stop (and also the fourth stop) of the day was Wurst Fest, a German festival held yearly in the city of New Braunfels. Normally, at this point I would engage the full breadth of my powers as a stale English major to describe Wurst Fest to the poor audience that decides to read this, but I trust in everyone's imagination to piece together what "Wurst Fest" would be. I'll only use the words "Meat-Tacular" and "Carnivore's Paradise". I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking.

We ate sausage. And ribs. And Sausage. And Fried Cheesecake. And lo- it was good.

Eager to get away from food (for the time being) we hit the road to continue on to Gruene.

According to billboards, Gruene has "gently been resisting change since 1879". We decided only to drive through the town, since parking appeared to be scarce, and it seemed that you could get a flavor for the town without too much pedestrian exploration. So, we drove through, took in the sights, and moved on. Regrettably, I took two thoughts away from Gruene: 1) The town reminded me of every house my grandfather has ever owned. I do not know if this is commentary about my grandfather, or Gruene. 2) Gruene does not make a great cup of coffee.

After deciding to take our leave, Fabian turned the car around. Next stop on our tour: a visit to underground caverns that were tens of thousands of years old. Also, a flea market, which arguably was also tens of thousands of years old.

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