Several years ago, I was lucky enough to spend a summer vacation in Germany. That trip, plus my annual visits to every Oktoberfest in the Cincinnati area, have confirmed my belief that Germans know how to have fun.
In Germany, it's common to take a weekend hike. Sometimes a walk through the woods is a semi-organized "Volksmarch." Families, groups of friends, or individuals, young and old, follow a designated path on a non-competitive fitness walk. Sometimes patches or pins are offered as incentives to finish the walk, but for the most part the walk is as much about socializing as it is about exercise.
When I was near Munich, we went on such a Sunday walk. I remember the beautiful scenery, greeting others along the way, and hearing whistling and singing in the forest. But what I remember the most about this wonderful walk was what was at the end of the trail. After walking for several hours, we magically ended up at a quaint, outdoor cafe seemingly in the middle of nowhere. We had a delicious meal, wine and beer, and lingered for a bit with the locals. No one was in a hurry. No one worried about making the trek back home. Everyone just enjoyed the time spent with family and friends.
Now we have a chance to experience our own piece of German heritage at Findlay Market. The Biergarten opens this weekend and will continue throughout the summer. For those who live downtown, the Biergarten could be the end of your weekend walk. If you drive to Findlay Market, your stroll through the market house and farm shed might lead you to a cold beer. Either way, this Biergarten is the perfect spot to enjoy food and drink, and linger with the locals. Prost!