A Blog for Modern Traditionalists

Month: May 2013

Counting to 10

Counting to 10

Where have I been lately? I’ve been busy Counting to 10! As you might know, Billy and I create children’s videos for a living. Our brand is called Pancake Manor and it lives on YouTube. For our newest video, we decided to hit the streets […]

An Afternoon With Gnomes

An Afternoon With Gnomes

I’ve been wanting to try needle felting for a while now, so when my friend Tierre informed me that a) she was going to be teaching a class and b) the goal of the class was to needle felt a gnome, I knew I was […]

Vancouver to Munich, Bitte!

Vancouver to Munich, Bitte!

One of the reasons that I found myself in Vancouver last week was that I was invited to celebrate Lufthansa airline’s inaugural flight between Munich and Vancouver.

Lufthansa 3

Having landed just two hours earlier, this hardy crew managed to keep it all together at the reception in spite of the punishing time difference. “Makeup,” one of the ladies whispered.

By the way, let’s talk flight attendant fashion for moment, shall we? I love a uniform that’s vaguely retro, and I think Lufthansa does it well. Another airline that rocks the pillbox hat is Porter. Have you noticed some delightful fashion on the runway? (pun intended)

Lufthansa 2

Back to the reception. The Lufthansa folks were über-excited about the new nonstop service because, let’s face it, Germans love Canada. Especially Western Canada. If I may generalize even further: they love to traipse around the wilderness in BC and the Yukon.

What do we Canadians get out of it? A hassle-free route to bodacious Bavaria, that’s what! This is only the second direct flight Lufthansa offers between Canada and Munich (the other departs from Montreal), and it runs seasonally from May until early October.

Lufthansa 1

Speaking of October: in case you’re not aware, Munich is the setting for Oktoberfest, that perennial celebration of overflowing bosoms and beer. Between the live band, the busty barmaids and the pale sausages, the reception captured the spirit of Oktoberfest and made me lust for Germany, even though I was just there in November!


This photo was not taken at last week’s reception. It was taken at Oktoberfest – the real deal in Munich. And let me tell you: it’s one for the bucket list, even if you’re not looking to take a photo that looks like it may be segueing into an adult film.

Munich 1

I went there in ’09 to write a story for The Toronto Star. I’d already spent over a week wending my way through Germany by my lonesome and by that point I’d made up my mind that Germany was a traveller’s delight. I was very impressed with the language (not as difficult as you’d think!), the ice cream (I don’t know what they’re doing, but it seems to be ten times as creamy as ours) and the ease/safety of travelling there alone.

Then I experienced Oktoberfest in a dirndl and it turned a great trip into one of my top trips of all time.

Munich 2

The sheer scale of Oktoberfest, which dates back 200 years, blew my mind: I’d expected beer, but not 14 colossal beer tents full of it!

Munich Games

Also, I hadn’t banked on the fun fair element. In addition to the beer tents, there are hardcore rides and theme-park amusements like this maze of mirrors. A roller coaster, after a few litres of beer and a quarter chicken: what fun!

Munich Lederhosen

Not everyone is clad in traditional costume, but a fair percentage do bust out the folksy garb. As soon as I spotted the pretty German girls, I got hit with dirndl envy real bad. So I rushed out to a shop and got kitted out for just over $100 Canadian. I find the dirndl looks great on just about any shape, size or age. Of course, you may as well check the old “ahem, excuse me, my eyes are up here” scolding at the gates…

Munich Pretzel

…unless you’re saying “prost!” (a.k.a. “cheers”), because in that case it’s mandatory to make eye contact as your glasses clink. You can let your eyes wander when you clink your pretzels, though.

This year’s Oktoberfest runs from September 21 to October 6. Will you be there?