That day, we again chose a distant destination.
Remember? We were going to visit the town of Frankenmuth on the first day, but it didn't fit into the program. But since we didn't want to miss it in any case, we set out again on this day. This meant a driving time of about 2 hours and 50 minutes.
Frankenmuth is known as Michigan's Little Bavaria because of the town's German heritage and architecture.
In 1845, German Lutheran missionaries came to convert the Chippewa Indians to Christianity. They were quite alarmed at the situation here, saying that "the poorest villages in Germany have castles in comparison…" Their attempts to convert the Indians failed because most Native Americans moved away within a few years.
Frankenmuth was a typical Midwestern town until 1950, but locals converted it into a little Bavaria. Three million visitors come each year to get a taste of the German world. It's also popular because more than 2 million residents have German ancestors. The city's name is a combination of two words. Franken refers to the Franconian region where the original settlers came from and the German word "Mut" (meaning courage). Thus, the name Frankenmuth means "courage of the Franconians."
Tourism and agriculture are the main sectors. Frankenmuth attracts tourists throughout the year with festivals and other events.
Most of the buildings are really "German": typical wooden houses!
The forecast for this day was rainy and cloudy but warm weather.
The weather was very cloudy when we arrived, but at least it wasn't raining! So we managed to explore the main attractions.
We left the car in a free parking lot, found a cafe, and then plunged into the German atmosphere.
We passed the typical German buildings mentioned above, and we saw what we thought was the most beautiful mural here. Takes up a massive wall and is painted with wonderful colors and gorgeous patterns. As we saw, it was made this year (2022).
We walked on one side of the street and agreed that we would come back on the other side so as not to miss anything.
We reached a hotel and restaurant called Bavarian Inn. We already discussed that we will definitely have lunch here today! 😀
But before that, Csibi said there is a covered bridge here: Zehnder's wooden bridge, built similarly to the Black Forest over the Cass River, in the middle of the city. In addition to the two-lane road, there are also two sidewalks.
We crossed these and then came upon a cozy little neighborhood that is a sort of shopping center.
You can see the covered wooden bridge from the bridge, and on the other side, you can see the sign „Willkommen“ (Welcome).
From there, we went back to the restaurant.
There was a menu outside, and we saw they had Wiener Schnitzel and Bratwurst, so we thought, of course, we'll order that. We sat down outside on the patio and were about to order when it turned out to be some kind of buffet where they only served simpler dishes; we just weren't in the right place.
We had to go to the restaurant inside the building.
Here we were welcomed by an authentic Bavarian atmosphere: the mood, the music, the decoration, and even the waiters' uniforms were absolutely German. 😄
We ordered! Fortunately, the Wiener Schnitzel came in a much smaller edition than is available in Austria or Germany. But since we generally don't eat pork and actually very rarely eat breaded meat, that wasn't a problem.
I really ordered this just for the feel of it, and Csibi asked for bratwurst.
And at the end, we also asked for a Strudel (German apple pie).
Everything was delicious, and we were full!
Now, while our minds are still on lunch, let me tell you a little about what kind of festivals await tourists who travel here:
Frankenmuth celebrated its first Oktoberfest in 1990. Oktoberfest here celebrates German culture, heritage, and love. Frankenmuth is the first Oktoberfest outside of Munich, approved by the state parliament and the city of Munich (1996). It starts here in September, just like in Germany. The world-famous Hofbräuhaus in Munich exported its beer to the United States for the first time in its history. Then there's the Frankenmuth Bavarian Festival! This is Michigan's largest Bavarian heritage festival. Since 1959, it has been an annual summer celebration of Bavarian culture and values. Frankenmuth SnowFest is the site of North America's largest snow sculpting event and also the location of the U.S. Collegiate National Ice Carving Championships. But there's also a three-day car show every year on the weekend after Labor Day, featuring over 2,500 classic cars. The Frankenmuth Dog Bowl is the world's largest Olympic-style dog festival. And usually held at the same time is Balloons Over Bavarian Inn, a hot air balloon competition.
But it's time to move on; come with us, we're going to a great place!
When we went outside, we saw that it was pouring rain.
But luckily, it stopped within a few minutes.
We had to walk back to the car, and there were things to see across the street as well.
It was thundering and lightning, but we were very thankful for the weather this time because we didn't get wet!!!
At least until we got to the next place.