Travel

Mystica Hamelon 2017

Festivals are a thing here in Germany. Festivals of food, beer, music, fire engines (yes, really!) . From March until the end of the Summer you can find something going on most weekends. I kicked off festival season this year with a visit to the historic town of Hameln, host of Mystica Hamelon 2017 . The  history and ambience of Hameln lends itself beautifully to this Middle Age themed festival.  This is, after all, a town that can trace its roots back to the 12th century and birthplace of the rather dark tale of the Pied Piper.

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The festival flows across the weekend, mainly in the form of a medieval market that spills out across the town. With a heady mix of food and drink stalls, artisans at work, games  and traders hawking their wares the market quickly becomes a feast for the senses. More colour comes in the form of the  outfits donned by the visitors and stall holders alike. No thrown- together, fancy dress-esque outfits here;  thought and funds had been invested into the weekends wardrobe. Animal hides, antlers and horns, clan tartans and colourful  fabrics caught the eye time and again. Even a couple wandering hand-in-hand dressed all in black and made up as Krampus style demons ,complete with elaborate horns.  I felt a bit underdressed in jeans and jumper. Should we make it next year, I’m definitely being brave and joining in a bit. Flowers in my hair and a faux fur gilet,at the least!

 

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Food is always a key part of any festival and its always interesting trying out new things. Stick-brot is cooked over an open fire and comes savoury or sweet. We plumped for savoury and it divided opinion. I wasn’t keen, personally, but I can say I’ve tried it. Just watching the stick mounted snacks being prepared and cooked over a wood fired oven was fun to see.

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I was very happy to come upon a stall selling a beautiful range of hides and skins. The stall holder was so knowledgeable and passionate about his goods and spent a while chatting about the difference between various products and the process of preparing them. Couldn’t resist picking up a beautiful sheepskin, something I’ve been after for a while. Its a great thing when you get to meet the makers and traders who are genuinely passionate about what they do and make. Its a nice step back in a world of online selling and ever reducing meaningful contact between buyer and seller. All of the goods on offer seemed to be of a high quality and many from independent makers.

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Given that one of the constant battles in my home concerns how much screen/tech time the children are allowed, it was a lovely to see the children enjoying the low tech fun on offer. Even the fairground -style rides were manual, although I did feel for the chaps who had to push it to start ! Also discovered was the excitement of ‘Maus Roulette’ which involves high stakes ( well, a whole Euro) on which  box the mouse will go into first. Worry not for the mouse, no spinning involved. img_3502-2

The evening celebrations were just beginning as we left, live music and drinks free flowing. It looked like good fun, if a little much for the younger children. The whole festival is colourful, vibrant and loud. Whimsical, a place to shake off everyday life and make merry. Much as I imagine the original  markets of old held on the same streets would have been. Its a neat twist that this historic city has managed to flip its history into a modern day festival that attracts such a diverse range of visitors. Mystica, and Hameln itself, have an appeal that is timeless. I look forward to next time.

 

Wifeofandtravels x

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