Monday, July 23, 2012

Welcome to Bavaria

The title of my last post should actually have been “Little Germany” instead of “Little Switzerland,” because while the tourist lit variously refers to Leavenworth, WA, as “Swiss," and “Bavarian,” it’s actually designed to be a faux Bavarian Village.  Calling it “Switzerland” is a little like calling Minnesota “Canadian.”  Close but no cigar.
Leavenworth is full of restaurants (Sausage Garten, Waffle Haus, Uncle Uli’s Pub), nutcracker shops, and all things German.  We saw guys in Lederhosen and polka music (cue the accordians and tubas) was piped throughout the town.  
In addition to walking around town and stopping at a brew pub, we went to a winery, a fish hatchery and took a hike.

Petunias on display in Leavenworth, Washington.   Jim said if you are going for a certian look, you might as well go all the way.  And in Leavenworth, even the local Starbucks and Safway signs are in a German-looking typeface.
Another photo of downtown Leavenworth, WA.
Jim feeding the fish at the Leavenworth Fish hatchery.  They raise 1.2 million Chinook salmon each year and release then into local rivers; only about one percent of those make a trip back to spawn.  Of those that do, their eggs are harvested and fertilized, the babies raised and the fish released back into the rivers.
We also took a hike on the “Fourth of July Creek” trail in Icicle River Canyon.  We only did  3.5 miles, but the going was all up hill and we were tuckered. Afterwards, I read that it's the "snakiest" and steepest hike in the area.  Fortunately for us, the rattlers were in hiding. As you can see from the photo, there's been a forest fire on this trail within the last few years.