Hi there! Grab a comfy seat, maybe a glass of Riesling, and get ready to read! Some of our traveling members put their pens to paper in order to archive and reminisce on our wonderful adventure to Germany in September. Our trip, planned mostly by Marlene Fricker and Karen David, with LOTS of help from others, lasted from September 16th to the 26th. This gave us 10 days to soak up as much beauty as we could during our trip. We had 41 members travel overseas with us:
- Erin Buckley
- Tom Burnette
- Karen David
- Chris Deely
- Christopher Deely, Jr.
- Nichole Blank Deely
- Adam Dickmann
- Karina Fricker
- Marlene Fricker
- Werner Fricker III
- Bill Galgon
- Andrew Killian
- CarolAnn Killian
- CarolAnn Killian, MD
- Stephen Killian
- Janet Fricker Malofiy
- Mikaela Malofiy
- Sasha Malofiy
- Sasha Malofiy, Jr.
- Adam Martini
- Anna Martini
- Chrissy Martini
- Kathleen Martini
- Marie Martini
- Ray Martini
- Connie Reiter
- Joe Reiter
- John Reiter
- Karin Schulz
- Paul Schwalbe
- Madeline Ulrich
- Pat Walls
- Bob Walter
- Emma Walter
- Erik Walter
- Kim Walter
- Nick Walter
- Patty Walter
- Sofi Walter
- Eric Wilhelm
- Maria Wilhelm
The cities we visited are as follows: Munich, Erding, Würzburg, Trier, Nuremburg, Cochem, Kröv, and Dinkelsbühl. I won’t give too much of the details away, but please enjoy the pieces written by our members!
By Karina Fricker
DAY 1: Friday, September 16, 2022
Anytime you step onto a plane there is always a level of excitement along with more than a little anxiety, whether it’s the start of your vacation or simply flying back home. This time around the excitement was palpable as we were headed to the “Old World” with Germany as our destination.
In our group, when you are lugging 18+lbs. of Tracht (plus a hat) across the Atlantic Ocean it is customary to start your journey with some adult refreshments. True to form, that is exactly how we got started, taking over a small section of the Newark Airport international terminal and making sure Lufthansa and everyone else knew the United German Hungarians were on their way back to Germany again. Prosit!
After a long night of flying with half of the group not having gotten much sleep and the rest riding on second winds, we made it to Munich and then to our hotel in nearby Erding.
Or at least that was the plan. Alas, some technical foul up had us waiting a very long time for the bus so instead of stopping at the hotel we decided to have lunch at a local restaurant called Erdinger Weissbrau. I believe I heard someone in our party correctly say that the first beer you have in Germany is always one of the best beers you’ll have in Germany. The Helles that accompanied our lunch certainly hit the spot and from that point forward we could all finally relax and start enjoying ourselves.
Our accommodations that first night were at a place called Hotel Henry. In my opinion these overnights were among the best of our ten-day trip. Martin and his hotel staff were extremely friendly and always accommodating. The food there was delicious and the atmosphere both positive and inviting.
But our day didn’t end there. To cap off one of the longest days of our trip, we took the bus back to the city of Munich and ventured into the Augustiner Keller. The Gauverband Nordamerika was hosting a welcome dinner at this famous brew pub for all US Oktoberfest participants. We had a super evening of good food, drink and Gemütlichkeit with our friends and fellow travelers from across the United States. Fighting through travel exhaustion is a lot easier when the atmosphere is so right! Many thanks to Bob Hugel for putting such an enjoyable soiree together.
By Anna Martini
DAY 2: Saturday, September 17, 2022
On day 2 of the tour around Germany the group split up into 2 sections! Some went on a beer garden/city tour of Munich and the others went on a Trachten search tour around to a couple different stores that specialized in various items. I had the pleasure of doing some shopping and boy did we shop till we dropped!
The first store we went to was Schuh und Trachten Auer in Samerberg, Törwang. They specialized in Trachten shoes. Many of our women in the club were excited to purchase new flat shoes to be more comfortable while walking in the parade and in our upcoming festivities at the München Oktoberfest. The store even had a see-through area of their floor where you could see down into their shoe workshop! You could watch the shoemakers at work! Karen David had already purchased her flatter shoes but had not had a chance to break them in herself, so when she asked about breaking them in a little bit, the shoemaker said “Sure!” He was able to take them right down to his workshop and we could hear and see him hammering away at them, loosening up the leather for her right there and then. When he brought them back up, she said they fit like a glove. So, I learned a new trick! If you have a new pair of leather shoes you need broken in, you can just take them to your local shoemaker, and they can break them in for you.
Just as we were about to leave the store, I looked in the display case outside the shop and in the window, I saw the tiniest little pair of boys Trachten shoes! I ran back into the shop and said to the clerk “Ich brauche diese Babyschuhe im Fenster!” (I need those baby shoes in the window!) So, she said they were the only ones, and she took them right out of the display case for me and baby Erik. I couldn’t wait to get back to the group so I could try them on him. I have never even seen Trachten shoes so small! They will be a great item to pass down from generation to generation.
Next, we drove to Miesbach. I asked Marlene why the name Miesbach sounded familiar, and asked if we had ever been there before? She said “No, we’ve never been there, it sounds familiar because that’s the region where our club Tracht originates from!” Then I said, “OH, it’s like the Miesbacher shoes we wear!” Then it all clicked! The drive there was nice, and we got a beautiful taste of the mountains that were capped with gray smokey clouds all around them. We went to 2 stores in Miesbach, Trachten Eichermüller and Karl Jäger. In Trachten Eichermüller, one of our newer members Maria was able to get her very first Dirndl. It included a beautiful handmade skirt and bodice set with a blouse and an apron that the seamstress sewed to the correct length right then and there in her shop! The shop owners really go the extra mile for their customers here! The woman kept apologizing that she didn’t have more of a selection in stock as she said it was the end of their season, but all I could think in my head was “Dirndl season NEVER ENDS!!” The men with us were also able to find a plethora of new personal vests and shirts for their liking here. They had a nice selection of Juppe jackets as well. John Reiter made sure to get a new pair of Trachten socks at every store we went to so he could stock up. Lol! The Karl Jäger store was much higher end in terms of the Dirndl stock so it was way out of our price ranges, but the men found some other reasonable vests here as well!
Lastly, we went to Ängermaier in München Stadt!I don’t think I have ever seen so many people trying to buy Dirndls at once! That store was so packed! People were grabbing things off the rack left and right! I somehow managed to find a Dirndl and had to sneak into the bathroom to try it on since all the dressing rooms had lines five people long. One girl just stripped down in the corner to try on her outfit! I guess that’s what happens when Germany goes three years without an Oktoberfest. Everyone wants to be dressed and ready to party for the opening day tomorrow. After checking out we stopped for a coffee at Hotel Hahn and then met back up with the rest of the U.G.H. group for dinner in none other than the famous Hofbraühaus. Even though it was rainy and cold we still enjoyed a beer and camaraderie in their outdoor beer garden with friends galore!
By Sofi Walter
Those of us who wanted to tour the Munich Altstadt met after breakfast in the Hotel Henry lobby. It was a sunny, but chilly walk to the train station. Once we got to the train platform, we purchased our S-Bahn group tickets and some of us purchased beers at a stand near the platform. We arrived at Marienplatz, just in time to walk up to the Glockenspiel playing music. We stood in awe of the iconic square admiring the beauty of the neo-gothic building and flowers on display. After taking group photos, we walked over to the infamous Frauenkirche, a landmark of Munich with its two domed towers. Once we stepped inside, a few of us stepped into the Teufelstritt and then made our way over to the South Tower. We climbed a few flights of stairs and hopped on an elevator to the viewing platform at the top of the tower. Because there is a law that no building may be higher than the towers of the Frauenkirche, the views from the platform are unrivaled. There were windows all around and you could look in every direction seeing many of the Munich landmarks. We got excited when we spotted the Oktoberfest grounds that we would be attending the next day.
After a short walk practically next door, we stopped at St. Michael Church which is home to King Ludwig II’s crypt in the basement. He is the “swan king” who funded the building of Schloss Neuschwanstein in nearby Füssen. Upon exiting the church, a cold rain was beginning, and we all decided it was time for a meal and a beer. We found our way to nearby Wirtshauszum Straubinger. Our waiter Falk kept us entertained and laughing while we sipped on our Hacker-Pschorr Helle. I ordered a Schnitzel with potato salad that was delicious, and it looked like everyone had equally amazing meals. Some of us ordered an after-lunch Schnapps before we headed back out in the rain. The rain paused the sightseeing tour for a moment, and the ladies decided to head to the very busy Angermaier Dirndl shop to see what Dirndls we could find. Many of the ladies were very successful and found beautiful dresses and sweaters.
The rain finally cleared up at this point and we walked through Viktualienmarkt, a farmer’s market, and saw a live Edelweiss plant in a pot amongst other Bavarian specialties for sale. We viewed the Maibaum in the middle of the market and then carried on towards the Alterhof, the former imperial residence of Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor, to view the Affentürmchen(monkey tower). We turned the corner and entered Dallmayr, a well-known delicatessen. The smells inside of Wurst, fresh coffee, chocolate and Schnapps made us all hungry again. A few Landjaegers and Schnapps were purchased and enjoyed.
We then walked further towards Odeonsplatz, which is home to the most beautiful building in Munich, the Theatinerkirche. The yellow paint on this high-baroque church contrasts so beautifully against the sky whether it’s sunny or cloudy. On the other end of the Platz is the Feldhernnhalle, most known for a fatal gun battle which ended the march during Hitler’s 1923 Beer Hall Putsch. We crossed the street to a hidden gem in Munich, the Hofgarten of the Residenz. Once inside, the noise of the city is drowned out and it’s almost like you have stepped into another world. The walking paths are long and wide, and the gardens are well maintained. It began to rain yet again, so we made our way to the center of the garden to stand under the impressive Diana Pavilion to wait out the rain a bit.
Our dreams of a sunny afternoon by the Chinesischerturm and Seehaus Biergartens were squashed by the rainy and cold weather. Instead, we rerouted the tour to the world-famous Hofbrauhaus and sat in the courtyard to enjoy a Maß (or two) of beer. For dinner, I, and a few others, had a wonderful Goulash with Spaetzle that warmed us up. We then found our way to the train where we encountered many other Wiesn visitors who kept us entertained on the ride home back to our hotel where we were to rest up for the next day of our parade through Munich.
By Karin Schulz
DAY 3: Sunday, September 18, 2022
Sunday September 18th began with our bus departing from Erding and driving us to our parade line up spot in Munich. It was a cold and rainy morning and once we stepped off the bus we were in the elements. We marched with Gauverband Nordamerika, and we were number ten in the lineup which was a favorable one considering it was towards the beginning. We were lined up in a specific order. First was a Blaskapelle, then the Gauverband flag, then the flag of Original Enzian followed by its members. They marched together since this year is their club’s 100th anniversary. Followed by them were eight other club flags from our Gauverband including our German Hungarian flag. After the flags were all the women, then another Blaskapelle, then to round it out was all the men. We had over two hundred marchers from our Gauverband. Our club had about twenty people marching which included Werner Fricker III and myself who carried the flag. (Side note: our club had over 40 members attend Oktoberfest which was one of the most from any club from the Gauverband Nordamerika.)
During the parade lineup there was a light drizzle that was off and on again. However, luckily once the parade started the rain seemed to fully stop for the duration of it. As we were marching there were people lined up and down the streets and at some points it was five or six people deep. Certain spots of the parade had bleachers for people to sit in and these were reserved by people ahead of time. You could also see people many floors up in buildings looking out of their windows and standing on balconies watching.
About halfway through the parade the wind started to become a factor. For any ordinary person marching you would think nothing of this. However, when carrying the flag this can become an issue. Wind gusts would come randomly, and the flag basically turns into a sail, so you have to be aware at all times. Luckily, no club had a major issue with this. The parade ended with us marching directly into the Oktoberfest grounds and straight to the Oide Wiesn.
Once we finished our parade route we had tables reserved at the Oide Wiesn which is where we mostly stayed all day. There were a few of us who ventured out and explored other tents and we walked through Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbrau, Spaten, and a couple others.
In the evening some of our German Hungarian members went back to the hotel since it was a long day, but others decided to stay and go to other tents. John Reiter has long talked about going to one of the smaller tents since he has done research and thought this would be a fun time for our people. So, of all places he takes us to Hochreiters. When we arrived and walked in everyone was standing on benches and chairs, not one person was sitting down. The atmosphere in there was one big crazy party. Our people quickly found a corner table and immediately stood up on the benches. The band was fantastic and kept playing one party song after another. Our women were especially happy because they finally heard the song “bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao.”
For the couple hours we were at this tent I think it was a highlight of our trip. This was a great way to round out the day which overall was an awesome experience for our club and our people.
By Sasha Malofiy Jr.
DAY 4: Monday, September 19, 2022
Hotel Henry in Erding supplied another fantastic breakfast before we boarded the bus towards Munich. After Sunday’s festivities and many miles on our shoes (some still a little damp from all of the rain on Saturday) we returned to the Theresienwiese for another day of Oktoberfest-ing. We found some tables in the Oide Wiesn – Festzelt Tradition and promptly ordered an Augustiner Beer, poured from wooden barrels served in a 1-liter stone mug.
At 2:00 pm, we met outside the tent for a grand march with all of the representatives from Gauverband Nordamerika. A brass band led the way, with the women and then men neatly in line as we marched around the grounds and into the fest tent. We then performed the Massenplatter, the Gauverband Nordamerika’s “Gauplatter,” with all dancers from America.
As we did in 2014, we were hoping to perform at the Oide Wiesn in front of the local crowd. Because of some scheduling conflicts we were informed that our tentative time slot would now be later on Monday evening, long after our chartered bus would need to depart the grounds. We are very thankful for our Gau NA Officers, specifically Rudi Leschke and Matt LaCourse, who worked to find us a slot earlier in the day, but it was not meant to be. As we are known to do we found our own dance floor instead. Outside, right in front of the Tent entrance and in the background of the Ferris wheel we did a shortened acapella version of “Überall sind die Lad’n Zu.” Spectators quickly pulled out their cameras to catch the moment and asked for a few photos when we were finished. We then made sure to capture the Trip with a few group photos in front of the Ferris Wheel.
Our travelers then enjoyed our remaining time at The Wiesn. I made sure to get myself another beer and famous Roast Chicken Wiesnhendl while enjoying the wonderful brass band music from two live bands. (This was one of my highlights of the trip in case anyone was wondering.) Since it was our first nice weather day on the trip, The Gang took a stroll through the rest of the grounds, stopping in for a peak of a couple party tents. Hacker Festzelt Himmel uber Bayern and Ochsenbraterei gave us a taste to return, hopefully soon, and experience one of these parties. After picking up a snack or quick souvenir, we departed the grounds for Erding.
Being our last night in Hotel Henry, we did some quick packing, changed into “civies” and joined our friend’s downstairs. The wonderful staff was there to greet us in the restaurant. Some dinner and drinks soon turned into a few Schnapps and a sing along. Bill Galgon led the group with a Heimatklänge classic, “Drink Drink Medley” and then the Reiter brothers treated us all to a wonderful rendition of one of our favorite and most beautiful songs. Most of us call it simply the real “Edelweiss Lied,” but the traditional song some might know as Heino recorded it “ Blume der Berge.” Let’s just say it got a little dusty around the room by the end of the song.
By Werner Fricker III
Thoughts from my first trip abroad:
Europe is a special place to me. It’s special because I explored a lot of tours.
First, I went to many different cities. The cities I visited were Munich, Nuremberg, Cochem, Kröv, Trier and Dinkelsbühl. In Munich I went inside a castle that was beautiful and big. In Nuremburg I took tons of pictures of buildings I was inside including a huge church. I also visited the train museum, and I learned about trains and how they operate.
Secondly, I went to the World War II Museum. When I went there, I learned a lot of information about Europe during the time they were in World War II. I discovered that there were a lot of buildings ruined from explosions and bombings. For example, the Wurzburg Residence was nearly destroyed, but people worked to protect and restore it.
Lastly, it’s a special place to me because I got to enjoy it surrounded by my family and friends. I got a chance to watch my mom dance at the Oktoberfest event. I am in a kids dance group, and it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.
To sum it all up, Europe is a special place to me because I experienced and learned about a lot of things. And got to visit different cities, see my mom dance and have a wonderful time.
By Christopher Deely Jr.
“There is nothing like a German Hungarian trip
We have fun and party, until the very last sip,
Eating and dancing, a little romancing, seeing the sights, and catching the flights
Prost to you all for making it possible,
United We are unstoppable!”-By Bob Walter
Read Part II of this article: GH in Germany PART 2: Adventuring, Wining and Dining in the Mosel Region, and More!