South of its mighty neighbor to the North, Munich (and even Augsburg) Kempten is home of the yearly Allgauer Festwoche, an unrelated precursor to Oktoberfest. But before we get ahead of ourselves(eating, drinking, dancing, drinking, etc) a bit about Kempten, which claims to be the oldest German city 18 AD, dating back to Roman times. For a town/city of less than 100k, it is quite progressive, although the "nightlife" from the local perspective is mainly pubs and only 2 clubs as of this writing. My recent stay in Kempten was with the locals, courtesy of my wonderful secretary whose childhood friend was my gracious host, and lucky me, I chose to visit during Festwoche...(nice segue, no?)
OK, if I could pick any festival to visit (Mardi Gras, Oktoberfest, St Patricks Day) at the origin of the party, I chose Festwoche. OK, I might be a bit biased because I have a few friends there, had an amazing time, and am honorary chairman of the 2008 Festwoche Tourism Committee, but you have to experience this little gem. First, it is very localized, not many tourists at all. In fact in my 2007 visit, I met only ONE native English speaker (phew), which is saying something in tourist crazed Europe. But really the Festwoche is about Kemtpen showing off its hospitality, its roots oh and its beer and dancing(in no preferencial order.) So come early, bring a few extra euros (beers not too expensive at 7 euros per large, but you lose count after the sun goes down).
"FESTWOCHEN, part II"
OK, I wasn't very shy on this trip, in fact a bit of a camera hog, but met lots of interesting (and pretty) locals. I owe it all to my friend Renee (in the SUNS shirt above) for introducing me around town. He was a host with no equal on that trip...he is supposed to come visit me in April 2008 for a return favor, but alas, a story yet untold...