Being an American, Becoming a Franconian is meant to chronicle the adventures of moving from the US to Germany. At the outset it is obvious that regionality is paramount in Germany. So to start, a few words on my new region…
We are making our home in Forchheim, a small city between Bamberg and Nuremberg in the most northern part of the state of Bavaria. The region is Franconia. Probably the best known German state worldwide, Bavaria’s traditions include Lederhosen and the Oktoberfest. Franconia is a quiet, lesser known region of the state. If Bavaria is the family with ten kids then Franconia is the shy, out-of-town cousin, who only comes to visit in the summer.
I have come to know Franconia by way of an unexpected, international romance with a Franconian, who I met in Brazil, onboard a boat in a remote part of the Amazon River. That is an other story for another blog, but you can read about our love story here. I first visited Franconia about a year ago and could tell right away that it was a special place. Almost every city in the region has a river running through it and many of downtown buildings are still standing from medieval times. The woods are hilly, filled with tall trees and dotted with Bier Kellers. Bier Kellers are a purely Franconian treasure. Relics from the bygone days, the original kellers (cellars) were used to store beer during the hot summer months. Now they are small family owned respites from the heat nestled in the woods– places to relax for a beer, Bavarian food and a chat. Bier Keller season is every Franconian’s favorite season.
In order to honor both our homelands, we got married in the US and then choose to make our home together in Franconia. Please follow along for all the hits and misses that come with replanting oneself in a new country.