Friday, 2 August 2013

Franconia day three (part two)

I almost manage to get us lost on our way back to Forchheim station.

"You're like a pigeon, dad."

"Because of of my unerring sense of direction?"

"No, because you can't walk without waggling you head around." Cheeky bastard.

Michael and Tom and waiting for us - most importantly with their car - at Buttenheim station. Thankfully. It's 2.3 km from the station to the St Georgenbräu Keller according to Google Maps. Not that much of a walk, until you consider the heat and the fact that it's all uphill. We'll get our exercise for the day walking back down it. For some reason I think I won't care as much then.

The view from the St Georgenbräu Keller is as stunning as I remember it. Considering which, the occupancy rate is shockingly low. We have our choice of tables. While Michael and Tom dispose of the car, I get in four Kellerbiers.

The Keller is in a beautiful setting, St. Georgen is a cracking beer and the atmosphere oozes the required tranquility. But there's one thing that grates a little: fake barrels. I can live without Bayerischer Anstich. I prefer it, but don't require it. But there's something about fake barrels that really rankles. Why not just be honest about the method of dispense?

We're soon gabbing away about war and peace, love and money, beer and pubs, and things that go bang very loudly. I'm glad Lexie isn't around to hear about all the dangerous-sounding legal explosives.

I don't know if it's really the effect of the trees, but it again seems cooler in the Keller. Could be psychological. Or in my head. Or I could just be imagining it. The beer, that could be it, too.

Michael and Tom cycled to Kreuzberg yesterday. I was there two years ago for Himmelfahrt. Wacky, wacky, day. Not sure I'd want to cycle there, having done the journey by bus. As Michael says, the clue to the difficulty of the ride is in the "berg" part of the name.

"Would you fancy cycling around here, Andrew?"

"No. I only cycle where it's flat, like at home."

"That's not very adventurous."

"I don't see you cycling up any hills." That's a low blow. I'm very sensitive of my inability to ride a bike. I'd never live it down if my colleagues found out.

After a couple, we stroll the few metres down the hill to the Löwenbräu Keller. Not far, but enough to get my thirst going.

"Look Andrew, beer straight from the barrel just . . . "

". . . as god intended. I know, dad. You've aleady said that half a dozen times." I'm pretty sure this is only the third time, but I let it go.

Being at the bottom rather of the hill, there's not much a view from the Löwenbräu Keller. Mostly you can see trees stretching up the hill above you and tables stretching out around the trees beside you. It's still a serene spot, where families languidly snack and sip. I could get used to this pace.

Being in a round with a couple of other committed drinkers has certainly helped me pick up the drinking pace. The beer is slurping down almost as swiftly as the Wiesent cruises through Ebermannstadt.

We leave Michael and Tom in the Keller in the early evening, heading down the hill when the sun's sting has been drawn. It's still hot.

"Don't you wish we'd walked up the hill as well?"

"You know you don't mean that, dad."

Back in Ebermannstadt, I'm feeling a little peckish, so we drop by Resengörg. It's a challening 10 metre walk from our hotel. We just make it, after pausing for oxygen twice, en route. I get a few sausages, sauerkraut and a Dunkles*. Though, as you can see, it's not all that Dunkles a Dunkles:

Andrew has an Apfelschorle.

"Aren't you getting tired of those apple things?"

"Do you get tired of those beer things?"

Good point.

* Hetzelsdorfer Dunkles Vollbier

St. Georgenbräu Keller
Strasse zum Georgenbräukeller,
96155 Buttenheim

Löwenbräu Keller
Eremitage 3
96155 Buttenheim
Tel. 09545 / 50 93 46

Hotel-Gasthof Resengörg
Hauptstraße 36
91320 Ebermannstadt
Tel. 09194 / 73930
Fax 09194 / 739373

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