Wittlich Pig Fest and Mosel Balloon Fiesta

Originally Written: August 29, 2016

Two weekends ago, before the temperature became too hot, Alex and I took the kids to a local park we’d heard was pretty cool.

It was castle themed! How fun is that? I loved it and had a fun time exploring the different nooks and crannies and discovering all the tiny details. (Isn’t that sheep in the picture above hilarious?) With the imagination I had as a kid, I would have had a field day playing in that castle. Hours of fun…

Landon, though, is a bit of scaredy cat. All the bridges and walkways were a little too high up for him, so Alex ended up having to go up and get him down after his second go. So, unfortunately, until Landon grows a few inches or gains a few years of courage, I think we’ll have to skip this park. Maybe by our last year here we’ll be able to return and enjoy it some more.

There was a lot going on in the Eifel region last weekend. Originally, Alex was going to take me to the chocolate museum for my birthday.

Because, hello, Alicia and chocolate. The date kind of spoke for itself.

However, GameCon was happening in the city during that time, and we didn’t really feel like battling the European version of an EA convention. Besides, the Mosel Balloon Fiesta was occurring and the description sounded really interesting to me.

At night, the balloons were going to put on what they called a “glow show” in which the they would be lit up and go into the sky and perform a number to music. As someone who loves a good nighttime show and fiddling around on the nice camera, that sounded like a good time.

The event was held near the city of Trier, and it was really easy for Alex and I to find. About 15 minutes away from our house, the autobahn exit was clearly marked and there were lots of posters guiding us to the event. Parking was interesting. Most people were parked parallel on the street, but even those spots were taken by the time we showed up at 5:30pm.

We ended up finding a somewhat empty lot about half a mile back and threw the kids in the stroller to make the trek to the front entrance.

The festival was really small, in my opinion. There were two food booths, a coffee station, a drink station, a sweets station, and I think that was it for food. Tables were set out in the middle of those booths for people to sit and eat, while a stage with live music was off to the side, as well as a free balloon booth. (Landon got himself an orange balloon there as well as button he got to color himself.)

Behind the food was a big open field with bouncy slides for the kids to play on. There were only about 4 contraptions set up, though, so each one had a long wait.

Past the field was where the main event was held. (With another bar set up.) It was a big airfield, and when Alex and I walked over there for the first time, there were some drones being flown around and skydivers floating back down to earth.

Alex and I had the chance to get our first German bratwurst from a festival along with some fresh pommes (french fries).

They were pretty good. I had mine with the spicy mustard that was available, and I found the bread to be quite tasty. I also loved the simplicity of it. Throw some meat in a bun, squirt a topping on it, and be able to easily hold it while you walk around.

Once we told Landon it was a “hot dog” even he ate most of his. And then, in true German fashion, he ate his share of fries with mayonnaise rather than ketchup.

After we ate, Alex took Landon to go play on the structures while I fed Evie, then we all headed back to air field to settle down and wait for the show. Unfortunately for us, the wind was too strong that evening so the show was cancelled. Such a shame, because I’m betting it would have been a beautiful sight. After we ate, Alex took Landon to go play on the structures while I fed Evie, then we all headed back to air field to settle down and wait for the show. Unfortunately for us, the wind was too strong that evening so the show was cancelled.

The following day (Sunday) we all got up and went to the Wittlich Pig Festival.

This is an annual event that happens every August. According to the village’s website, the history of pig fest came from an old story that claimed the town was being attacked and the gate guard couldn’t find the key to lock up the city gate’s door. Improvising, he stuck a turnip (or a carrot, stories vary) in the keyhole.

Well, along came a pig and ate the vegetable, leaving the gate unlocked and allowing the city to be sacked. After their defeat, the villagers were furious and slaughtered all the pigs out of spite. So, every year Wittlich roasts hundreds of pigs in memory of that event. Well, along came a pig and ate the vegetable, leaving the gate unlocked and allowing the city to be sacked.

Can I just say, I love the history of some of these happenings. As a kid, I loved the story of Paul Revere and the Boston Tea Party, but in comparison we don’t have nearly as many or as colorful of tales. The U.S. is such a baby country in terms of age, and so I get such a kick out of hearing what happened at a particular place A THOUSAND YEARS AGO.

Anyways, Alex and I made our way into the village (we had a harder time finding parking this time around) arriving right after everything opened at 11a.m.

We took Landon over to the carnival area that was set up and let him go on a kiddie coaster as well as let him ride a pony for the first time. And don’t worry, guys, carnivals here are just as silly as in the U.S.A. 3 Euros for a ride on that fine stallion.  10 for two turns on the kiddie coaster. (And people say Disney is expensive…)

Alex and I went back to the town center and bought some tokens for the roasted pig station. There were lots of food booths set up around town, but we figured we were at Pig Fest, we needed to have some pig.  I want to say it was 5 Euros per person, and we got a nice slab of meat sandwiched on a piece of bread. 

(Of course, Alex wished he could have kept the token and add it to his coin collection.) 

There was a LOT of meat given, to the point where I couldn’t finish my whole sandwich. I’m not really a big pork fan, and having had a brat the previous evening, I had really reached my fill, but I can say it was a good piece of meat with a good flavor. Alex didn’t even need any accompaniments, which is really rare for him. 

We also had to try a Nutella Crepe, because we passed by four different booths boasting them. 

As it turns out, they were just like a chocolate chip pancake.

Meh, worth trying once.

Alex and I washed it all down with a Cola Weizen, which was a cola mixed in with Bitburger beer. I don’t drinks sodas anymore, and I’m definitely not a beer drinker, so this was NOT my cup of tea. Especially when you take into consideration that Bitburger is one nasty beer.  But it was one of those instances where we had to say we tried it. 

And now I know I should stick to wine…

Some food photos: (If I felt funny taking food pics at Disney, that’s nothing to the looks I get taking shots here. The locals give me the funniest stares. I can only imagine what goes through their head when they see me.)

Overall, I enjoyed the Pig Fest. It wasn’t super crowded when we went, so I’m sure that played a factor. Plus, I appreciated how spread out it was. There was ample room to move around, the kids’ area was plenty separated from the drinking, and the event really showed of Wittlich’s beauty. I loved all the little shops and the streets of the village. So much that if for some insane reason we had to move somewhere else off base, I’d probably vote for there.

Author: Alicia W.

Hello, I am a military spouse and mother of two. Together, my family has lived in three countries and traveled to dozens more. Combining my love of adventure with my passion for writing, I hope my website helps others create their own "awfully big adventures."

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