Kiel is a northern German city located on the Baltic Sea. The Kiel Canal is the busiest artificial waterway in the world. As seems to be the way for us, we jagged our timing perfectly and were there for Kieler Woche (Kiel week). This is an annual sailing regatta that is held every year and has been since the 19th century. the sailing happens a fair way offshore and you can only see this if you head out on the water.

We had been here before as many years earlier my cousin Uwe had a sailing boat moored here and Jill and I had a lovely afternoon sailing on the Baltic Sea while sipping champagne and grazing on a charcuterie board. A pretty tough life really.

The Kiel week celebrations have turned the waterfront into a carnival style atmosphere, with the usual carnival stalls (but better). They were the same as the carni games that we have back home, with equally low chances of winning, but they were nicer, neater and cleaner. And the employees had all of their teeth and did not look grubby like they do back home.

And the food options were quite a bit different from the usual Australian version of carni-fare. Sausages and bratwurst aplenty, pretzels, potato cooked in any style you can imagine, churros and virtually every fruit – dipped in chocolate. And being Germany, there was more than your usual occurrence of pickled herring.

And bars, real bars, in a public venue, serving real beers, from glass receptacles. Not a plastic cup in sight and no drunken carry-on (although we did leave before it really kicked off so I cannot comment if it stayed this way).

But for the most part, the extended family just got together and hung out for the a nice sunny day by the water in Kiel.

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