161. Cannstatter Wasen

Are you ready to join me for the Cannstatter Wasen in Stuttgart? It's considered to be the second largest beer festival, only behind the Munich Oktoberfest. And it's even the biggest fair if you define size by the number of carousels, rollercoasters and carney booths (is that offensive?!). It took place for the first time in 1818. Please put on your Lederhosen, and let's go.

First of all there are these huge beer tents, where you can get "Hähnchen" (roasted chicken), "Schweinshaxen" (pork hock), and of course beer, beer, beer and beer.
Since I live in a big wine-growing area, there are also some tents where wine is the regular drink.

Here are some "Hähnchen" and "Schweinshaxen".

In the tent you don't drink your beer silently. There's "Volksmusik" (terrible German folk music), and many people are dancing on the tables. If you look closely, you can see them dance on the table. And by the way, this picture was taken in the early afternoon. You should see it at night ...

If you don't like chicken or pork, you can also have "Kartoffelpuffer" (potato fritter with apple sauce), "Dampfnudeln" (yeast dumpling filled with prunes and served with lots of powdered sugar, ground poppy seeds and melted butter), "Maultaschen" (Swabian ravioli), or "Steckerlfisch" (smoked fish that gets smoked on a stick).

Of course there are many nontypical dishes like pizza, hamburger, corn-on-the-cob. One thing, that isn't typical for this area, but has been a part of the fair for a very long time is the French village.

In the French village you can get many French delicacies, like snails, tarte flambee, and much more. And of course wine. Unfortunately nobody joined me for a French kiss.

The blue thing in the next picture is the "Fruchtsäule", a wooden column decorated with fruit, 26 meters high and weighing 3.5 tons. Every few years, a new fruit column with a new design is established. It's a kind of Thanksgiving symbol.

These hearts made of gingerbread are also very typical. They have things like "I love you" written on them, and boys usually give them to their girlfriends as a proof of their love. However, right before I came out, I once have been forced to buy one of those for a friend, she insisted. If she knew ...

Every year there's this amazing silhouette artist who cuts pictures of people out of black paper. And he's really unbelievably fast, accurate and detailed.

And of course there are many carousels, rollercoaster and booths.

This year there's this Psycho again. It's one of the hounted houses on the fair. My friend Udo and I were in there some years ago, and we both were very scared and afraid, so we held each other very close. Suddenly we realized that everybody outside could see us through one of the windows. It was a very funny situation. Oh dear, we were such pansies.

Here's another device where you can mix the chicken and the beer in your stomach.

And another one.

If you haven't thrown up yet, you may want to consider this bungee-thingy where two people sit in this small sphere that is attached to two rubber bands, and gets shot in the air. I like those things, unfortunately it's very expensive. Alas, it's the only thing I haven't tried on this fair so far.

Some dinosaurs. As if they were still interesting ...

And a rollercoaster with a Bavarian cashier booth. Soooo cheesy. Well, it fits to the rest.

And the world's largest portable Ferris wheel.

Something where you get your face washed (if it's greasy after you had some chicken), after the ride was over they all were wet to the bones. And to dry your hair again, you also get some loops. I suppose more than you wanted.

Another "scary" hounted house.

Of course there's much more, but I see that you're already yawning. Ok, let's go home ...

Thanks for joining me.


Man, Rian, what an interesting walk through the fair ground! You are a wonderful reporter! I hope it is better in the end than Oktoberfest... It wasn't that much fun for me when I was there. And your comments did make have some laughs, so... it was a fine idea to post about the «Cannstatter Wasen» (Wiese?)!
Gratuliere, Rian! Vielen Dank für den schönen Ausflug!

Ric, freut mich, dass es dir der Ausflug zum Wasen gefallen hat.
It's better than the Oktoberfest indeed. The people here are less violent and it's not as hectic as in the Oktoberfest. It's more "gemütlich". And you're right, "Wasen" (pronounced more like "Wahsa") is Swabian and comes from "Wiese" (meadow).

Hmm, that Fruchtsäule bears a striking resemblance to a penis. A very blue, possibly pierced jewel encrusted penis, but that thing is definitely phallic :)

Looks like a fun time!

Larry, I guess you're right. I mean, it's a symbol of fertility. So any similarity with a penis might be subliminally intended. :-)

Since there are many families with children I suppose "fruit column" sounds less problematic than "biggest dick in town".

There are two gay evenings during the fair however, where an entire beer tent is reserved for gays, with drag shows and all that stuff. They would appreciate the "new name" for sure.

Such amazing pictures Rian, I felt like I was there! While the smoked fish doesn't look so appealing,the Kartoffelpuffer, Dampfnudeln and Maultaschen sound amazing! Send me some.. :)