Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pumpkins In Ludwigsburg - Germany

I recently made the acquaintance of a group of like minded "Army Wives". They don't wear shirts that say "Don't confuse your rank with My Authority" or have tattoos with their husbands name and unit down their calves. Or carry purses in a pattern that I can only call camo tan. I mean, if that's your thing, more power to you. It just not my thing. And it's a thing you see a lot of on base. So meeting this new group women and their families has been my saving grace here. I was more than excited when they invited me on a drive down to Ludwigsburg, Germany for the annual Pumpkin Festival. Or Kürbisfestival. A whole festival. Just for pumpkins!

Ludwigsburg, Germany is about an hour south-east of Heidelberg. One of the great things about living here is that there are literally hundreds of unique villages with their own castle or schloss with their own specialties and bakeries and feel. Don't like where you are? Get in your car, drive 15 minutes and you will be in a completely different village. Love it!

The Pumpkin Festival takes place on the grounds of Ludwigsburg Castle. It's really more of a palace than a castle I would say.

It is gorgeous. And exactly the same pale gold color as my house that I left back in the States. It was love at first sight.

After meeting up with everyone out back, the women and I took hold of the situation. There was me with my four children. M.G. with her four children. M.A. with her four children. And then L.J. with her six children. We had more children assembled together than anywhere else in Germany. After looking at a couple of pumpkin sculptures, the children became more interested in racing up and down a muddy hill.

So not only did we have a large group of children that received stares and points. We now had a large group of muddy children. Much better.

The theme for the Pumpkin Festival was Switzerland. Every thing had a Swiss feel to it.

The Swiss Flag in pumpkins (photo courtesy of my children, hence why it is not centered).

And the beautiful Matterhorn. Rendered in the breathtaking medium of pumpkin.

We spent time looking at all the amazing things that can be made and shaped out of pumpkins. And trying to corral the gaggle of children with us.

The always handy Swiss Army Knife.

A gourd and pumpkin covered Swiss chalet with my son's cute little face sticking out the window.

And of course, what is a pumpkin festival without pumpkin food. When my children were told of the options pumpkin spaghetti, pumpkin soup, pumpkin quiche and pumpkin strudel, they wrinkled their noses at it. So I got one of each. They devoured them! So we went back for seconds. And then thirds.

Pumpkin spaghetti.

And might I just add that I did all my ordering in German. Eine Kürbisspaghetti bitte. Eine Kürbissuppe bitte. Danke. Dang, I'm good.

We walked around and took in the sights. It was a beautiful day in a beautiful place.
Here are some pictures of what we saw.

Another palatial estate across the street.

Castle grounds.

Half German children in an all German place.

Back of the castle.

A pumpkin witch, perhaps?

As the day ended the clouds moved in and the wind picked up signalling to us that it was time to go. We loaded our vans and large cars with tired and muddy children. I turned around one last time and got a picture of the town.

It was time to go home.


As I drove the hour back without the aid of my GPS, that word bounced around in my head.

Home. Home. Home.

Germany has always felt like it belonged to my husband. His parents grew up here. He spoke German. He vacationed here as a child. He spent two years in his early 20's here. His aunts, uncles and cousins all still live here. When we moved here three months ago, I felt like a tourist. I felt like I didn't belong. But after this day, I felt like there was a little part of Germany that was just for me. That I didn't have to experience Germany only through my husband. That I could go out, speak the language (not very well) and get along. I would never be mistaken for a native like my husband is. But I would manage. I would go out and stake my part of Germany. Or should I say, stake my part of home.


  1. Nice post! Loved looking through the photos, so interesting!

  2. Beautiful! That look like loads of fun :)

  3. Very impressive! I've never seen pumpkins displayed in such a creative way...super fun!


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