I am finally ready to tell you all about my Labor Day weekend adventure!

It started out kind of tricky. Some friends and I wanted to go to the winefest in Stuttgart and since we planned on drinking there, we decided the train would be the best way to travel! Stuttgart is about 2 hours away and we figured we could buy the 24 hour pass that’s good for up to 5 people and we’d be fine, right?!

Well…things are always more complicated than that.

I have grown to pretty much despise the train system here. Everyone always tells me how easy it is but I think it’s the most complicated and ridiculous thing in the world. I have taken the train about a weeks worth of hours it seems and I still can’t figure out the damn thing out. I have had pretty much every bad experience you can imagine. (my favorites include a drugged up homeless man and a couple making out behind me)

Back to the story though…so we quickly found out that my calculations were wrong. I had looked up train times without the knowledge that in order to use the pass, you could ONLY ride regional trains. It was going to take us 4 hours to get to Stuttgart. We decided against that immediately.

A friend of mine had mentioned that she was going to Bernkastel-Kues for the weekend to hang out at their winefest and since it was only about an hour away, we decided that sounded like a much better idea. I’m so glad we did!

It’s right on the Mosel River and the fest was in this valley lined up on either side of the river. There were gorgeous vineyards lining the hills and on top of the city there was a great big castle overlooking the entire fest.

It was a photographer’s dream! I am going to try not to overload you with pictures but I will definitely be posting them all on Facebook so you should add me as a friend if you haven’t already, and check them out there!

We started out the afternoon with some lunch and, naturally, some wine. This was our first stop and Kirsten got the “new wine” in the jug on the right. We thought this contraption for keeping the wine cool was kind of neat. 
This table had all kinds of meads. (which for those of you who don’t know, mead is “honey wine”) They are much sweeter but without the sugar! 
We moved to the other side of the Mosel River and walked through a great variety of venders. I love all the homemade items as well as the fooooooooood. 

Our favorite vender was a hippie looking guy who was giving out free cheese samples! We each test tasted a while and then ended up buying some and sitting down to enjoy a little snack…we actually headed back there a 2nd time after we were feeling buzzed and munchy!
While we were deciding on whether or not to drive to Bernkastel-Kues, I was perusing the interwebs for information on the festival and found a schedule for the day. I saw something about a parade but I didn’t notice what time it started. I have always assumed that parades are in the morning, so because we got there at lunch, I just figured we had missed it…but I was wrong!!! Again…and again, glad about it!
We walked right into it! I think it was the beginning also because we heard a band and just started walking towards it and found people lining the bridge across the river. We stopped and enjoyed it! I even ran across the street to climb a brick fence so I could get some better views!! 
I noticed a couple of things during the parade. First thing I want to address is the fact that instead of handing out candy like they do at pretty much EVERY OTHER PARADE, some of the people carry pitchers and pour wine into empty glasses of the people lining the street. say what?! YEAH. It was amazing. 
The other thing that amazed me were these crazy looking horns. My friends and I decided that they reminded us of something out of a Dr. Suess book!! 

We moved on after the parade died down and snacked some more. It’s so hard not to buy some of everything when you are at a German fest. The food is so scrumptious! 

…and of course, since we were drinking wine all day, we got a little silly.

This might be my favorite festival since being in Germany. I am so glad I got to enjoy it with great friends and I am so thankful for the wonderful photo opportunities!! The wine may be gone, but the memories will last a lifetime! 

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