On Saturday we went to one of my favourite local spots in Bavaria, a tiny, picturesque village up in the hills with a farm, adjoining restaurant, and a 5-star bakery.
I’ve never heard of a 5-star bakery before and I’m not exactly sure why the Kasprowicz in Gut Kerschlach is one, except for the sign outside saying it is and the exceptionally good cakes.
But at least I can now say that I have been to a 5-star bakery, even if there weren’t any limos parked outside, high-class hookers hanging out at the counter or bread rolls lounging around in tuxedos smoking cigars.
To get to the village you have to drive to another small village in the south of Bavaria called Pahl, and walk 20 minutes or so along a trail through tall forests and rolling countryside with gorgeous Alpine views.
It’s very pretty to say the least.
Once more it’s great for kids, because there’s very little traffic up there, and you can tour the farm with its kids’ park and zoo, with moo moos, bunnies, baa baas and neeeee-ighs! (This is how I talk now I have a 16-month-old).
Now we all know how much kids love animals. And how much nicer it is to see them on an ‘eco’ farm, being treated all humanely and stuff. It was a lovely family outing, and our hearts were literally singing with joy as we skipped around in the sunshine like characters from a Disney movie, talking to the animals all Dr Dolittle like.
But sadly we were unable to find the oink oinks. The map showed their barn as being at the back of the farm. But they were nowhere to be found.
Max has just learnt how to make grunts like a pig. When you’re a parent and your child learns to make grunts like a pig, THIS IS ONE OF THE HIGLIGHTS OF YOUR YEAR. Therefore, we had to find those smelly noisy pink buggers as if our lives depended on it.
After ten minutes of frantic searching, we found what we thought was the pig area. Hooray! Max’s face lit up, and he started making his cute oink oink noises.
We all skipped over holding hands, with grins like the Cheshire Cat (not really but got to keep up the Disney-esque-ness of it all). We had found the pigs!
But instead of the pigs we actually found this….a sausage factory.
Are you having a laugh? Who puts a sausage factory on a farm for kids, right where the pigs are meant to be? That’s the wurst!
There wasn’t even an attempt to disguise the factory of horrors. There’s a whopping great big sign on the sausage factory announcing it’s a sausage factory, explaining to the children what happens to the animals inside. The way they break the news is quite hilarious. The sign is in German, but let me (or Google) translate.
“Kerschlach Factory. Here the animals that come from the farm and from partner companies are slaughtered in an animal friendly-way and are transformed into speciality sausages.”
“Transformed.” What a nice way of putting it.
It was a sad end to a beautiful day. We trundled off, heads bowed, looking and feeling grim. Damn those Germans for always being so brutally honest and direct. Practicality rules over everything here. Feelings don’t always count. That’s why there was a sausage factory on a farm for kids. That’s why my friend’s nan lives in a sheltered housing scheme for the elderly with great views of the cemetery over the road. That’s why people here still wear Crocs – in public.
Although I have to admit, I have enjoyed a German sausage or two in my time. They taste amazing. I guess there’s no point hiding the truth of what happens to most pigs in what is the land of sausages. In Britain I doubt this scenario would have existed, for fear of being insensitive and giving children nightmares. Not in Bavaria!
And at least, like whenever something doesn’t go to plan here, we can cheer up over five-star cake.