Mar 26, 2010


Monday 15th March - Day 36

Fredericksburg is the German capital of Texas. Lots of hun went to German seemingly. The 2000 US census recorded 47 million people claiming German heritage, the largest single ethnic group in the USA. And yet the apparent influence of German on the culture is very small. I guess two world wars helped undermine that. Fredericksburg is very small but it's still very German. The main street is also called Hauptstrasse. Not sure how the locals pronounce that but it's still very cute, if not a little weird, to see German architecture in the town. Sadly it's overrun with day trippers and chintzy gift shops. It's to Texas what Bowness-on-Windermere is to the Lake District.

To make matters worse the grand Bavarian Inn (pic above) was closed. Monday seems to be a day when a lot of things close in small tourist spots in America. At first it seemed dumb to us but then I guess Americans with their 3rd world vacation time allowances don't do long weekends. Still Tuesday would surely be a better day for a place to have it's day off wouldn't it? We ate at the Auslander Biergarten which at least served real German beer even if it didn't serve real German food. When it comes to serving up Euro grub its the cheese that lets America down. I'd say the only Europeans who would be happy with the quality of the cheese served in American restaurants would be the Dutch. (The perfunctory "belegen" signifier tells you all you need to know about the paucity of Dutch cheese culture.) God know Britain isn't France but our cheese choice is made to seem like the haut-est of cuisine compared to the almost ubiquitous limited options of American, Swiss or Provolone.

But I didn't come to slag off America. I cam to enjoy it. And even though I'm not sure if the tunes on itunes and AMG called Fredericksburg are about this town we were mostly here to kill a day before SXSW. And to salute the town because to Fredericksburg's enormnous credit the pact that was signed by the towns folk with the Comanche Indians in 1847 (known as the 1847 Meusebach-Comanche Treaty) is believed to be the sole pact between whites and Native Americans that has never been broken. Wow! That is shameful shit isn't it? European settlers really fucked American people up didn't they? So lets hear it for the damen und herren of Fredricksburg. Even if there is another unbroken pact with injuns those good folk of Fredericksburg deserve respect because their treaty was the only treaty made between private citizens and the Comanche, which was endorsed by the Federal government. It seems you can trust a Fredericksburger.

And finally the Ditzel motel that we stayed in was really sweet. It had chickens roaming round the front and back and we had the room next to reception so we could get a strong wifi feed. Which might not recommend the place to the business traveller but made it ever so appealing to us. Check this street view screen grab out.

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