“Geez, we thought you were going to miss the Zug.” Connie stated.
“Bags of time, its not stopped yet.” I grinned back as I brought the Schauff to a halt.
“‘S'all right for you.” Bern puffed onto the platform.
“You can argue on the train.” Anna suggested.
I got my beast on board then helped Bern with her mount.
It's not the longest ride in the world up to Ahrbruck, maybe fifteen kilometres, it's nearly that far from there to Adenau. Brid, Nena and Steff joined us on the way – Pia was travelling with her troupe, so there wasn't much chance to look at the scenery as we climbed the gorge.
I might be pretty fit but the Schauff is a great equalizer – it just doesn't do fast! There is talk of them reopening the railway all the way to Adenau but for now large chunks of the old line are in use as a cycle track. We tootled along, finally arriving in Adenau just turned half eleven.
“You okay Bern? You look a bit peaky.” I queried.
“Fine, fine, just need to catch my breath a bit.”
“So where is this Dorf Fest then?” Steffi enquired.
“Pia said it was on the Sportsplatz.” Nena supplied.
“Oh I know where that is,” I mentioned, “we go up the main road and turn off at the fire station.”
“We going straight up?” Connie asked.
“Hmm,” Brid put in, “according to this it doesn't start till thirteen.”
“In that case I want tea.” Bern stated.
“Good idea, we can go in Der Reitze , their Strudel is scrumptious!” Nena enthused.
“Huh!” Connie huffed.
“Well yours is pretty good too.”
“You eat enough of it!” Brid mentioned.
It wasn't far to the coffee shop, just off the main square in fact and we soon took over a couple of tables.
“Makes a change to be served.” Con observed.
“Yeah.” I agreed as the waitress headed our way.
This is one aspect of German life I lurv, getting a coffee and Kuchen and chatting, back in England there's nowhere to go in like this, well except like in Meadowhell. Nena was right; the strudel was good, better than Thesing's!
We needn't have worried about finding the venue, quite a few people seemed to be headed in the same general direction, mostly on foot and when we got to the Fire station a smiling Police officer was manning or is that personning, whatever, a road block. It wasn't far beyond to the sports ground, we parked our bikes up and headed on inside with the rest of the crowd.
There is a lot of this ‘Heimat' stuff hereabouts, like the Weinkönigin stuff and the Dorf fest is a regular part of life. They generally support some local charity or club or something, today is in aid of the ‘Adenau Freiwillig Feuerwehr', most smaller places have a volunteer force financed locally. Pretty much all the local clubs and groups get involved so Sporting Adenau are running a penalty competition, the ‘Muttergruppen' have a tombola and so on. The entertainment generally runs to some kind of live music – country and western is popular round here for some reason, and that's where Pia's group come in. Mum says they are like the village fetes that she used to go to like years ago, with a bit more to see and do!
“When's Pia on?” Steff enquired of Anna who had snagged a programme.
“Erm, first at two then later at five.”
“Time to hit the stalls then!” Connie suggested.
“So run it past me again.” Bern requested.
“It's sort of like, oh I don't know.” Brid gave up trying to explain Gardtanz to Bern again.
“Und nächste der Ahr All Star Guard!” the patchy PA system announced.
We had seats in the small stand, the entertainment was taking place on a temporary stage below us, I say below but I'm only talking like about two metres. Some military type music started up and the All Star's marched onto the stage.
“You have to be kidding me.” Bern almost giggled.
The dancers were all dressed in immaculate costumes that are a parody of a military uniform, short skirts, ankle boots and half a ton of makeup. The fact that they were all sporting blonde braids and fixed grins just added to the strange sight – strange that is if you've not seen Gardtanz before.
The routine wasn't exactly high octane even if some of the kicks and moves were quite impressive. I guess it has elements of the stuff you see in things like River Dance with some more military moves thrown in. they seemed to go down okay, I guess being local helps, the whole thing was only about fifteen minutes long and I'm still not sure which one was Pia.
“Heya P.” Steff greeted the Tanz clone who skipped over to us a few minutes later.
“You like?” she motioned to herself.
“Very, um guard like.” Connie allowed.
“I know it's terrible isn't it and this damn Perücke makes you so hot.”
“I still don't get it.” Bern mentioned to me in a whisper.
“Me neither.” I admitted.
“I thought it was you lot.” A voice, a male voice greeted us.
“Hi Marty,” Connie identified the newcomer, “what are you dressed for?”
“I play for Sporting, we're doing the penalty competition. Hey Bernie you're okay, I heard you had an accident.”
“I fell in the river and Gabs pulled me out.”
“Not just the Weinkönigin but a superhero too!”
Boy did I turn pink, no make that bright red.
Bern on the other hand was clearly flirting, not that Herr Preiser seemed to be taking much notice.
“Seeing you lot here saves me a job, the rents say I can have another party in the shed.”
“Kewl!” Anna enthused.
“The last one was well cool.” Nena agreed.
It was pretty good I must admit.
“There a theme this time?” Steff enquired.
“I was thinking like vampires or something.” He informed us.
“Bit lame.” Connie sighed. “All fangs and capes – and what can us girls go as?”
“Never thought of that.” Martin admitted.
“How about anime vampires, there's loads of girl vampires in them.” Bern suggested.
“Like sort of vampire Cosplay?” Brid asked.
“Brill! That's that sorted.”
“So when is this soiree?” Anna queried.
“Two weeks today, you coming Bernie.”
“If I'm still here.”
“You are leaving?” Mart suddenly seemed more interested.
“Sometime in the next few weeks I have to go back home.”
“You're coming back though?” Pia put in.
Whilst Bern's pregnancy was common knowledge the impending court case wasn't.
“I hope so, I like it here.”
“PREISER! Give us a hand.”
“I'd best go, see ya later.”
“Bye!” Bern mentioned.
“So what're we doing now?” I enquired.
“You've got to stay for our second show.” Pia prompted.
“We weren't planning to.” Steff admitted.
“Oh go on, it's our freestyle routine.” Pia pleaded.
I looked at Bern, Con looked at me – well you get the idea.
“Okay we'll stay but we'll have to get off straight after, we should just make the six fifteen train.” Anna advised.
“Thank you guys, I'll owe you one.”
“So what's so special then?” Con asked.
“It's the first time for my solo.” Pia enthused.
“Why didn't you say earlier?” Bridget added.
With time to kill we explored more of the booths and stalls, Marty had us all kicking footballs at the goal with varying degrees of success and we, I have to admit, sampled a few items from the various food and drink stalls. Well we didn't have any lunch.
The second session by the Ahr All Star Guard was as promised a bit more exciting. In fact a lot more, gone were the bizarre outfits and in came more contemporary dance clothing and what I guess you would call a series of modern ‘jazz' dance routines including our Pia's solo. Not that it's my thing but I think everyone enjoyed it.
We headed off to the bikes, loaded our various purchases and set off with a little urgency – at least its downhill to Ahrbruck!
“What's up Gab?” Connie asked.
“Puncture, I must be doomed this weekend.”
We were still over 5km from the train stop and it was ten to six.
“You guys go on, I'll catch you up.”
“I'll stay with you.” Bern offered.
“Nah I'll be okay, I do know how to do it you know.”
“No need to be like that.” Steff mentioned.
“I was just saying.”
“Come on, leave her to it.” Connie suggested.
“See you later.” Bern allowed.
“Sugar!” me and my big mouth. I repaired the first puncture and headed on down the road, it's quicker than the cycle track and I had a train to catch. The second puncture was explosive, no pinprick hole this time but a big rip that couldn't be repaired. I searched my bag for my Handy to no avail, oh bugger! No phone means I can't even ring Dad to fetch me, I guess I'll have to walk to the station. Hope the guys got the train.to be continued....
Maddy Bell 12.06.09 © 2009