Halstenbeker Schützenfest, Bernie, wo biste denn?Pinneberg, Hamburg, Germany

‘Bernie, wo bist Du denn?’ Anna asked via message. We lived two doors down throughout our upbringing im ‘Hagenkamp’. I always make an effort to meet Anna. ‘Die S-Bahn ist mir vor der Nase weggefahren’, I just missed my ride and had to wait another 15 minutes for the train. 

‘Bernie, wo bist du denn? Thommy ist auch noch nicht hier!’ Biker, another fabulous friend, felt lonely on uncertain grounds? Not for much longer.

‘Bernie, wo bist Du denn?’ Ha ha, my phone hadn’t had that much traffic for a while. The Krüger Gang already noticed that I won’t make the 8:00 (pm) o’Clock deadline. ‘We’re in front of the tent to the right. But we’re not going in.’ Okay, see you soon, I hope’

Halstenbeker Schutzenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany
Krüger-gang @Halstenbeker Schutzenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany

I met up with Anna and had a good chat with her. She hasn’t been to the Schützenfest for years either and was happy to chat with friends we grew up with. We had dinner together a few weeks back and caught up on life. We’re both still very much alive, great to see. 

Halstenbeker Schützenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany
Good friends @Halstenbeker Schützenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany

Brother Bear Nobby had meanwhile arrived with partner in crime Sabine. He knows these grounds all too well. Or was it the other way around?

Halstenbeker Schutzenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany
Brother bear @Halstenbeker Schutzenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany

Sabine enjoyed some socializing in an unknown territory which is what I hoped for. Kay, my host brother, cycled to this event and did exactly what we all intended to do.

Halstenbeker Schutzenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany
Brotherhood @Halstenbeker Schutzenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany

Socializing with friends from school, sports club or anyone else one knew from somewhere. Who knew someone else?

Halstenbeker Schutzenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany
Another Jäger @Halstenbeker Schutzenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany

Plenty of beer and Jägermeister made the rounds and loosened the spirit, just fabulous. We finally caught up for a group photo of the three boys. Our first social gathering since I don’t know when.

Halstenbeker Schutzenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany
Fun all around @Halstenbeker Schutzenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany

A rarity in our family for sure. Can’t choose your family, so make the most of it when you can.

Halstenbeker Schutzenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany
??? @Halstenbeker Schutzenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany

Biker and Thommy had found each other meanwhile. Some things don’t change. Just good friends, what else do we need? 

Halstenbeker Schutzenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany
Happy faces @Halstenbeker Schutzenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany

Meanwhile, more and more familiar faces stopped by with a big smile and beer in hand. ‘Bernie, I haven’t seen you in ages! What are you up to?’ Well, this is a question I can’t answer as most people would answer. I live in Australia and spend my days kayaking on the ocean chasing big fish.

Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia
Longtail Tuna @Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia

Or watching whales breaching, or to submarine my kayak.

Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia
Whale of a time @Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia

Otherwise, I still enjoy Australian serenity with Troopy, my trusty 4WD, and have completed my drone license over there.

Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia
Mountaineering @Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia

I’ve been throughout Southern Africa, Madagascar and Mauritius included.

Kalahari Desert, Namibia, Africa
Camping @Kalahari Desert, Namibia, Africa

These were two different trips for 6 months each. All stories are written on my travel blog travelswithben. 

Lake Malawi, Malawi, Africa
Sunset @Lake Malawi, Malawi, Africa

Just like this one. There are just too many stories. And time was precious tonight.

I would have liked to spend so much more time with each individual friend as I circled the grounds. 

Halstenbeker Schutzenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany
Schlagerfest @Halstenbeker Schutzenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany

Saturday nights are traditionally ’Schlagernacht’ (mostly in German) for the slightly older generation, which is us now. But there was a hint of hesitation in the air. Some friends didn’t even venture into the popular tent. Covid is still on many people’s minds, and 15 Euro entry per person can add up quickly. Six years ago, I mostly stood alone whilst everyone was dancing. It really isn’t my kinda music. But, I didn’t see any of my friends on the dance floor this year. Plenty of movement around the barrel though. Some things did change.

Halstenbeker Schutzenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany
Movement @Halstenbeker Schutzenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany

Everyone knows the songs by heart, apart from myself. DJ Frank played groovy tunes to dance disco fox too. A whole lotta grooving within a surprisingly young audience. We are the oldest! Dancing to Schlager may even be more popular than drinking beer here. Whilst the foxes herded on the dance floor, a Wolf prowled the edges of the waterhole.

Halstenbeker Schutzenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany
Wer?Wolf? @Halstenbeker Schutzenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany

Micheal and I have been here many times before. He knows that they will all end up here sooner or later.

Halstenbeker Schutzenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany
Young wolves @Halstenbeker Schutzenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany

A hunting strategy that may or may not yield success. Wolfie and I are a dying breed, literally.

We both were taught bread, pastry, and cakes at ‘Bäcker Schlüter’. Boy, was that an apprenticeship.

Halstenbeker Schutzenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany
Schlüter Boys @Halstenbeker Schutzenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany

We constantly put shit on each other, only to be caught by Master Jürgen. All workers combined, from the kitchen to salesgirls.

Halstenbeker Schutzenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany
Quality Check @Halstenbeker Schutzenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany

Ffffaachvvvvverkkkkäufffferrinnnennn.

Halstenbeker Schutzenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany
Still smiling @Halstenbeker Schutzenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany

Like this one time, in bakers camp, we sent the apprentice out to collect leaves and branches for ‘Baumkuchen’. This ‘tree-cake’ is a German Christmas delicacy. I can still hear him yelling; ‘Bernd! In the freezer with me! Now!’ It was soundproof, they said.

Halstenbeker Schützenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany
Fun at work @Halstenbeker Schützenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany

I am proud to be your baking buddy, Wolfie. That’s all. 

Halstenbeker Schutzenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany
Another fabulous night @Halstenbeker Schutzenfest, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein,Hamburg, Germany

As security chased out the last drunken sheep, I had enough. I couldn’t even recognize anyone anymore and headed for the train station. My brothers, so I found out the next day, gathered at the filling station near the train stop for one last beer. Great form, brothers. 

One thought on “Halstenbeker Schützenfest, Bernie, wo biste denn?Pinneberg, Hamburg, Germany

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