A Youthful Euro Tour – Part II

If you did not know already, our club spent last September gallivanting through Europe to Germany and Austria. The smiles in photographs and the words spoken when they returned led the Publicity and Editorial committee to do something a little different when covering this trip.

The following personal accounts have been written by the young people of our cultural group who were inspired to write and share with you the stories of their travels. Werner Fricker III, Danny Galgon, Anna Martini, Michelle Paul, Allysa Reiter and Sofi Walter have composed these pieces and they are truly a wonderful glimpse into their fun and fruitful experiences.


Known as the city found in the Sound of Music, we got to venture the gardens, shops, castles, museums, cafes and restaurants all throughout Salzburg during our three day stay there. Our first day was spent walking around the exquisite gardens, eating in local cafes, and looking out on the city of Salzburg from the highest peak in the city, the top of Fortress Hohensalzburg. The 11th century fortress complex gave a breathtaking view of the city, which we all enjoyed together before separating into smaller groups for shopping in the old-fashioned town or going out to eat to end the day.

The second day, we split into two groups and found our way to the top of Kehlsteinhaus, also known as Eagle’s Nest, in Germany. After venturing up the mountain to the retreat house, we sat down and had a nice lunch with a great view. Some explored the salt mines nearby that go back and forth between Germany and Austria, where they went underground to witness slides that took you between levels of the mines. By nighttime, we were back in Austria and had dinner with our whole large group at a biergarten called Augustinerbräu – Kloster Mülln. The buffet style dinner led to a late night of us chit chatting and bonding in the garden.

The third and final day in Salzburg was a free day to explore the city and do whatever your heart desired. Some of the only free time on the trip was spent on boat tours, shopping throughout the old fashioned city, and enjoying the last of the Austrian food and drinks. Most of us girls fell in love with the Austrian styled dirndls, and had bought one there. Some explored the Sound of Music tour and a please touch toy museum. Our last night for dinner was spent at another outside biergarten with great food, good drinks and life-long friends.

Allysa Reiter & Michelle Paul


The main stops of our Europe trip in the Fall of 2014 were planned based on our cultural passions; originally our participation in the celebrations of the Oktoberfest in Munich and then when we were provided with the opportunity to visit with our Banater Schwaben friends in Freiburg. We are very proud of cultural and dancing achievements, however the German Hungarians are also very well known for another passion, Soccer. 

Growing up, my favorite foreign team had always been and still is Bayern Munich (no Rolf, not Schalke). Back in July, the Bundesliga schedule was released and of course, with my luck, Bayern would be playing out of town during the time that we would spend in Munich. The “other” team in town, TSV 1860 München of the 2. Bundesliga was scheduled to play on Saturday, our free day. A week before we left the States, with much help from the staff at US Soccer, we were able to secure twelve tickets for their match against FC Ingolstadt. Other sections of the group would choose to spend the day touring nearby castles or shopping in Munich. 

On Saturday morning, the twelve of us left our hotel for the rainy walk to the train station. From there we took the S8 into the Marienplatz where we had planned to spend a quick time shopping and seeing the famous Glockenspiel. Looking to get out of the rain, a few of us remembered the nearby Ratskeller underneath the Marienplatz from our visit back in 2008. A quick beverage or two and it was time to make our way to the U6 train and head north to the Allianz Arena. The Allianz Arena was completed in time for the 2006 World Cup and has since been the home to both Clubs in Munich. At each stop along the 15-minute ride, more fans boarded the train dressed in the traditional Bavarian blue and white (colors of TSV 1860). At the Fröttmaning station, we followed the crowd to the historic Arena and made our way to ticket booth 19 and Frau Frisch as directed by our ticket connection. After some confusion, the twelve tickets were located in an envelope marked for the “US Men’s National Team” and it was time to head inside!

It was a quick stop for a beer and leberkase sandwich and we made our way to our seats. We were in the ninth row just behind the visitor’s bench with the smaller group of visiting fans from Ingolstadt singing loudly just a few sections to our right. Being the opening day of Oktoberfest, the home team was dressed in their Oktoberfest themed uniforms; with blue and white checkered shirts, brown shorts, and tan socks mimicking the traditional Bavarian lederhosen attire. The game began with a very quick pace and we were happy to see that each team had an American in their starting lineup, Bobby Wood for the home team and Alfredo Morales for the visitors. A local sitting nearby informed us that Ingolstadt entered the game at the top of the standings. Ingolstadt would score first with a head ball but soon after 1860 tied it with a very nice goal of their own. We could not help but root for the home team to add a late goal for the win, but the game would end in a 1-1 tie.

On a trip full of great experiences, this day was truly one that I will not soon forget. With our souvenir 1860 scarves, we made our way back to the heart of Munich by train once again. With meeting plans at the famous Hofbrauhaus, we politely declined the invitation to head to the Oktoberfest grounds from our new singing buddies on the train. After a quick demonstration of our Schuhplattler skills on the platform, we said goodbye.

The 12 consisted of Alex Blank, Brittany Brandecker, Mike Cramer, Chris Deely, Werner Fricker III, Bill Galgon, Dan Galgon, Phil Karasow, Sasha Malofiy, Anna Martini and John Reiter.

Werner Fricker III


For those of us who’ve grown up in the German American community, walking in a parade is like stepping into familiar territory. So when we were asked to march in the opening sequence of the world famous Munich Oktoberfest this past September, these things we already knew: we’d have to be dressed in our best Tracht and we’d have to smile and wave happily and endlessly. These are immutable parade truths after all and we wouldn’t want to have it any other way. What we didn’t realize was this was just the starting point for this international and over-the-top cultural extravaganza. To add just a sprinkling of paprika to this huge honor (we’re Schwowe after all) was the fact that this would be the first time the Gauverband von Nordamerika, or simply “the Americans” as we were called, were invited to take to the streets of the storied Bavarian city. 

Things began normally enough with an early morning gathering prior to setting off for downtown Munich to meet the rest of the parade participants. The actual parade route was six miles long and snaked through the heart of Munich, ending in the “Oide Wiesen” – the historic grounds of the Oktoberfest. The iconic and majestic city made for such a wonderful parade venue!

The best way I can explain what/who was included in the parade goes something like this:  If we you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to have a little part of every corner of the German speaking world in one area that would be the Munich Oktoberfest parade. Traditions ranged from unique and remote German/Austrian/Swiss customs to the well-known and much loved Bavarian cultural practices. Throw in some enthusiastic Americans and what you have is magic. As someone who appreciates the importance of history and tradition this was one of the most memorable parts of the parade, seeing living history strong and undiminished. The six-mile long route was a bit lengthy to be honest but the great memories of that experience are the only things we will long remember.

Also, making appearances in the parade were all the usual authentic staples of Germany’s best-known tradition: Colorful German beer wagons pulled by huge draft horses; sharp marching bands dressed in snappy attire; and so much more. What a wonderful sight it was to see! In the midst of it, all were Americans, our people, proudly participating and enjoying the moment. We fit right in and the crowd was most appreciative.  

Supporters of this great tradition did not disappoint this year either, despite calls for bad weather all day. Citizens from all over the globe mobbed the streets, packed balconies and window ledges. As we walked the route (in only perfect synchronization as you might expect!), I think I can speak for all US attendees in saying that it was truly humbling to be a part of such an important undertaking. As with all German and German American events, the route ended officially at a festival tent with beer as far as the eye could see. In this case, at one of the six-monster beer company tents adorning die “Oide Wiesen,” where celebrations would go on late into the night with camaraderie that could not be better. The rest as they say “will remain at the Oktoberfest.” Prosit!

Anna Martini

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