London: Winter Wonderland and the Bavarian Village

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The Bavarian Village was the best part.

And now for the juicy bits. On one of my London days, I met Anke at dinner at Palmer’s Lodge Hostel and we started talking during her very long meal (she is a slow eater like me). We became friends and decided to spend the next day together. We visited Hyde Park, and couldn’t help wandering into Winter Wonderland, which is London’s winter festival.

I am tired of festivals and fairs–I feel like I’ve seen them all and they are so similar and I often leave unsurprised. But this was something altogether different and truly an unusual experience. Winter Wonderland was a whole new world for me, frequent visitor of New England fairs, which are rife with cattle and sheep and cotton candy and Italian Sausages and basic rides like the ferris wheel and pirate ship.

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Keeping warm in the Bavarian Village section!

The Bavarian Village was by far my favorite section because it was the most different and is very German. The village had a wishing-well-type structure with a fire inside to warm your hands, they sold Mulled Wine, Mead, and pretzels to name just a few. Oh, and the massive blow-up man and his little bird, a structure that was at least 30 feet in height and spoke. The only problem is that we went on the last day of the fair, a Sunday, which is Winter Wonderland is “Family Day” meaning you aren’t allowed to buy any alcohol! And yet the shopkeepers still had to stand in their stall. At the mead stall I shrieked, “MEAD!” and the woman politely let me know that she was not allowed to sell any because of Family Day. “But you can buy one of my non-alcoholic products,” she said. When I asked what she had, she said, “Apple juice with honey.” I sighed and turned away. Apple cider is not mead. But the fair was still fun. See photos below.

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I didn’t expect to visit Winter Wonderland (the winter fair) while in London, but my friend Anke (originally from Romania but now living in Germany), and I decided to explore together, and we wound up here. In the Bavarian Village section were all kinds of German traditions, but Anke swears that she’s never seen these “udder” condiments before! The best part is you actually have to squeeze the whole thing in order to get it to work.
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Pretzels are a big deal in Germany: pronounced “Pre-zeel” I think. Anke said I must try one of these, so I chose a cheesy onion pretzel, and it was very good. I squeezed on Mayonnaise, Mustard, and the occasional squirt of Ketchup, which Anke told me is how they make it in Germany–with sweet spices like Nutmeg and Cinnamon maybe? It’s hard to explain. I didn’t like it much though, because it was too strange.
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I wanted to get on this ride SO bad, but it cost a whole 6 pounds (almost $8) for a single run through and I couldn’t bare with the thought of spending that much on a single ride. So…I got some pictures instead.
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But jeez, this Daemonium ride looks so cool! It was like a giant haunted house just on the outside. Maybe someday I’ll see what it’s like inside too.
Giant Man and Bird
This big guy was a lot creepier than he looks. He was inflatable (I think) and both he and the bird talked, and his eyelids opened and closed, as did the bird’s beak. It was uncomfortable.

 


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