We stayed several days in Karlsruhe because of its convenient location and also because of the beer festival going on there. We didn't actually spend much time in the city, mostly just evenings. This is the palace in the center of Karlsruhe. It's quite easy to find the center because the roads radiate out like spokes from here.
One easy day trip from Karlsruhe is EuropaPark, about an hour south. We were curious to visit a European theme park. EuropaPark has a giant silver ball in the center and a mouse for a mascot which I'm sure is coincidental. They also have Silver Star (the coaster shown here) and Blue Fire (next picture).
EuropaPark is themed into a dozen or more areas based on different countries in Europe. This is extremely loose theming. For instance we thought we'd have the option of Spanish food in the Spain-area or Dutch food in the Dutch-themed area, etc.. In reality, it's really just subtle variations on schnitzel and everyone eats at the creperie anyway.
Back in Karlsruhe there was a beer festival going on. Perhaps we mentioned that. The Bierboerse travels around Germany in the summer making stops for a weekend in each of 9 or 10 different cities. It's fairly similar to American beer festivals we've been to except that you actually deal in money at each tent. Along with sample glasses so you can try many different things there are more traditional larger steins. This is the Bayreuther tent where we found one of the best meads we've ever had.
There were probably 30-40 different breweries represented and a couple distributors selling an assortment of beers based on themes. The Grimbergen tent was another of our favorite hangouts.
The food was quite interesting as well. This giant wheel of meat was particularly fascinating. Possibly just because it is a giant wheel of meat. This looks better and better as you drink more sample beers. There is one flaw in this setup. The generic one-size-fits-all sandwich roll doesn't actually fit any of these items. The assorted sausages stick out by a ridiculous margin on each end and for the steaks it's barely even a useful handle. Despite that, we are now fans of the giant wheel o meat.
The worst thing you can find at a beer festival is a vendor selling make your own bag of gummies. For some reason we found we had to buy at least two of everything here so we could try them. On the walk back to the hotel we may have actually consumed our own body weight in gummies which is particularly not a good idea the night before your trans-Atlantic flight home.
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