The location where the Rhine and Moselle Rivers merge is known as the German Corner. It is also the location of the town of Koblenz, which is over two thousand years old with beautiful scenery, vineyards, churches, and castles. Across the Rhine River from the German Corner is Ehrenbreitstein, which is the second-largest preserved fortress in Europe. A cable car will take you from the town of Koblenz over the river to the top of the hill where the fortress resides. It is also a great place to get incredible views of the German Corner and the boats traversing the Rhine and Moselle Rivers.
The site was first named by Knights of the Teutonic Order and declared is considered a historic landmark. In 1891, Kaiser Wilhelm II dedicated a statue to his grandfather, Wilhelm I at the site. Although it was destroyed during World War II, a replica of the statue was erected in 1993 and dominates the park area. Seeing it from the hill across the river gives you some perspective on the size of the statue.
Many people come through the area on river boat cruises, but we took a train from Frankfurt to Koblenz and since it was autumn, the leaves were vibrant and colorful. Although there are plenty of reasons to visit Koblenz, including the Stolzenfels Castle as well as the fortress. We found the town to be very relaxing and we enjoyed strolling along the banks of the river and all around the German Corner.
Sausage is something that can be found throughout the world, but we definitely had plenty during our time living in Europe. We have a local butcher who prepares different styles of sausage based upon what is fresh and available during the time of year. We went to the butcher a couple of weeks ago and picked up some Polish sausage as well as a red pepper sausage. We decided to take the Polish sausage and combine with a sautéed peppers and onions. Even though we never had warm potato salad while in Germany, it is something that we enjoy and this was our first time making it at home. We used fingerling potatoes, which held up nicely and added a little color to the salad.
Sausage and Peppers
2 Polish Sausages
1/2 Red Pepper – roughly julienned
1/2 Yellow Pepper – roughly julienned
1/2 Red Onion – sliced
2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
Warm Potato Salad
1/2 lb Fingerling Potatoes
1/8 lb Bacon
1/3 Red Onion – chopped
1/2 Stalk Celery – chopped
1/4 tsp Flour
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 cup Water
1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
Cut the potatoes in half and add them to a pot with cold water and season with salt. Bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are tender, when a knife easily slips in and out of the potato. Drain the potatoes, place in a bowl, and set aside. In a skillet, cook the bacon until it is almost crispy and then place on a paper towel. If cooking an entire package of bacon, as we did, drain all but one tablespoon of the bacon fat. Add the flour, salt, and pepper and whisk until smooth in order to make a roux. Add the water and vinegar and continue to whisk until the liquid is slightly thick. Roughly chop the bacon and return it to the pan along with the onion and celery. Cook over medium-high heat until the vegetables are tender and translucent. Pour enough of the dressing over the potatoes and toss until the potatoes are coated (you might not need all of the dressing). Cover the potatoes to keep warm or place them in the oven on a low heat to keep warm.
In another skillet, heat one tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat and cook the sausage until fully cooked and the skin is caramelized. Remove the sausage and let rest. Add the other tablespoon of oil, the peppers, and the onion and cook the vegetables until slightly soft. Add the sausage back to the pan for a couple of minutes to heat them back up. Slice the sausage on a bias and serve with the peppers along with the warm potato salad. Serves two.
It is the 50th anniversary of the Denver Oktoberfest and we decided to go to the opening weekend of this popular event. The Oktoberfest festival takes place over two weekends and draws very large crowds enjoying German beer, food, and folk music. Many of the people who attend Oktoberfest dress in traditional German clothing making it even more festive. In addition to the beer and food, there are also a variety of games available to play, such as keg bowling.
There are several types of tickets that you can purchase at the event or in advance, but we’d definitely recommend purchasing tickets in advance as the lines can be quite long. Other than for crafts and merchandise, you must have tickets to get beer, food, and play certain games as cash is not accepted. We chose a ticket option that included a 34 oz souvenir mug with a couple of refills. We had both a hefeweisen and darker Oktoberfest from Spaten. It is definitely important to pace yourself in order not to overdrink and turn a good time into a bad time.
Obviously there is plenty of German food available including different types of bratwurst, currywurst, schnitzle, pretzels, latkes, and apple strudel. We had bratwurst with sauerkraut accompanied with potato pancakes, called latkes, one with sour cream and the other with apple sauce. Later we got a chicken, paprika schnitzel with spätzle as well as apple strudel. With drinking 68 ounces of beer, eating food was an absolute must. The food was really good and definitely reminded us of our time living in Germany.
One of the most popular games was the stein hoisting contest, where people attempt to hold two steins straight out for as long as possible. It was certainly popular for people to watch as well as to participate and having done it in the past, we know that it is extremely difficult. Keg bowling was another popular game with lots of people cheering on those who attempted to knock over kegs with another keg on wheels.
Different musicians play throughout the day, all of them playing festive German folk music. People dance and sing along with the various bands that play, obviously participating more and more as the beer continued to flow. In addition to the people dressing up in traditional clothing, there were also plenty of dogs dressed up as well. Going to the Denver Oktoberfest is certainly a fun experience that we would highly recommend. We had a wonderful time enjoying everything that the festival had to offer.