21 July 2012: Day 3 – The Wedding

We awoke on the wedding morning to rain.  Persistent, steady, cold, icky rain.  Clouds draped the countryside, giving Koenigsee an eerie aura of fairytale beauty.  As much as we wanted to explore the area, we simply could not get up the energy to leave the warmth and dryness of our little apartment.  We had the whole evening ahead of festivities, and a month of cycling to endure, so why not enjoy a little relaxation for a few hours?  Now, sitting around and relaxing is hardly in my vocabulary – just ask anyone who’s been to Steamboat Spring’s Strawberry Hot Springs with me.  I’m a hot springs dip n’ go.  5 minutes tops.  So this was new for me!

We did feel sorry for Marius and Monja considering the weather – not only was it raining, but that rain was cold!  We were secretly very glad, however, that it wasn’t a riding day for us…

We attended the wedding ceremony in Schonau am Koenigsee’s Hubertskapelle, a small chapel in the village park.  Clearly, the wedding was an intimate affair, and while the ceremony was in German, all the guests were attentive and sang along heartily to the hymns when asked.  Thankfully German is pretty phonetic so even I could fumble my way through the songs, or at least hum along pretending.

Post-ceremony we were herded onto busses that drove us to the boat docks of Koenigsee itself.  We had a guide on the boat we taught us about the Koenigsee area (lake, natural park, history).  We learned that all boats accessing Koenigsee must be electric, and have been since 1909.  This means the water is, essentially, drinkable, and very clean and clear.  As we put-putted through the water across this 8 km-long lake, we caught glimpses of waterfalls and fjord-like granite walls rising straight out of the water.  Suddenly as we rounded a bend, the clouds began to lift and at long last the sun emerged, as if drawing a shy Koenigsee out of hiding to display her full glory.  Koenigsee is magical, romantic, and serene.

Upon arriving at the reception site at the other end of the lake, we entered the cocktail room where a Bavarian oom-pah band was playing, and German bier and pretzels sated our grumbling stomachs.  Kovas and I even managed to squeeze in a polka!  Oh, and I mustn’t forget the bottomless glasses of Veuve Clicquot champagne.  The wedding couple did a marvelous job of creating an intimate yet inclusive atmosphere.  They divided us into our table assignments with personalized lebkuchen hearts.  Those assignments doubled as our teams for playing a “How well do you know Marius and Monja?” game.  It may sound a bit cheesy, but it was a brilliant way to get the wedding guests interacting. That way, once at dinner, we were friends already.

Kovas and I were impressed not only by the classiness of the affair, but by the guests themselves.  We made fast friends with those sitting near us – it was almost as if we had known them for years!  It is testament to the nature of the hosts, we thought.

After a night of drinking, dancing, laughing, and singing, we all left the wedding together on the electric boats.  Once ashore, before we found our respective busses to take us home, our new friends Shae and Mark handed us a bottle of leftover Veuve Clicquot.  Shae couldn’t take it home on the plane with her, but for some reason we all thought it would be perfectly fine for us to lug this bottle of champagne across Austria and Italy to Rome in our panniers.  Not thinking clearly, Kovas and I accepted the gift and decided to find a nice spot along the road to enjoy it…sooner rather than later of course.

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