Every year in September since we’ve lived here, just when you’re thinking all the Feste must be over and done with — at least until its time to haul out the Glühwein stands again — the main drag on our island closes down to vehicular traffic. Local restaurants and out-of-towners alike roll in their trailers, along with vintners from far and wide. The whole street becomes an upscale pub crawl.
It’s a convenient way to expose your inner œnophile to a variety of wines from all over if you live around here. No DD necessary, or hunting for a parking spot, and a quiet, clean place to pee is always just a few meters away back in our apartment.
You can spend an awful lot of time in line waiting for your wood-fired Flammkuchen to come out of the oven. At least, you thought you were in line. Until you noticed that native person outflanking you and plunking down her four Euros while you were unconsciously respecting everyone’s personal space bubbles.
The live music from the stage at the top of the street is usually terrible!
We look forward to it every year, and are happy when it’s over on Sunday night, too.
You know it’s Fall when the last weekend festival around Regensburg has come and gone. Stadtamhof is our island neighborhood just over the Steinerne Brücke from the historic Altstadt, and it hosts a wine festival every year at the close of the summer. The music is usually awful — this year was no exception. The food can be kind of hit-or-miss (this year seemed more of a hit — particularly the Flammkuchen). And Regensburg isn’t much of a wine region, so the winesellers are pitching domestic whites (and Federweißer) from real wine regions in Germany and imported reds from all over. On the first day, almost no one showed up because the weather was so foreboding. That made getting a seat and something to eat particularly easy. Today, the second and final day, it was packed. Which is fun at first, but quickly grows tiresome.
I got this information from TV Aktuell, the local TV station.
Our neighborhood grocery store closed last Monday, leaving our island in the Danube even more isolated. We’ve got no bus service due to the Protzenweiher Brücke being closed to traffic since it melted as a result of a barge collision a couple years ago. Up til now, Netto was very convenient and perhaps a reason why the citizens (not us) and inhabitants (us) have not yet revolted about the delayed bridge repairs and bus routes and transportation issues.
But I wonder if this was the last straw. One of the contributing factors when we decided to move here was the relative quiet — there’s really not a lot of car traffic around here, considering how close to the main drag we live, and all the businesses directly on it. But another major contributing factor was the availability of a supermarket, biomarkt, bakery, and butcher one 30-second walk out the front door of our building. Scratch the supermarket option, I guess.
Apparently, here’s what’s going on:
The owner of the building housing the Netto store needs to renovate the building (and this is obvious to anyone who walks by — it’s decrepit).
While the renovation is happening, no grocery store or anything else is going to be there.
The city of Regensburg pleaded with Netto to set up shop in another vacant building on the island and even offered to pay for a tent or something as a temporary shop, but Netto refused.
Renovation is scheduled to begin by March 2010.
Another grocery store — perhaps even Netto again — will set up shop in that building after the renovation is complete starting sometime in 2011.
So, this will be at least a year of hiking across the bridge back to the grocery stores we mostly used before we moved, unless they open up the Steinerne Brücke to bus traffic or fix the Protzenweiher Brücke and enable bus traffic via that route.
Here’s some local reaction. For the language enthusiasts, note the diversity of accents. It ranges from nearly hochdeutsch to pretty deep oberpfälzisch. Pretty representative of the various flavors of language we confront every day. Those of you who have visited Regensburg know what I’m talking about.