Our time in Germany and Austria flew by in a whirlwind of activity.   The weather was nothing short of spectacular...which gave us lots of energy!  After a very (very!) cold and snowy Canadian winter, it was a treat to take our morning coffee on the sunny balcony of our holiday apartment, and eat lunch at an outdoor cafe in one of the nearby towns.

We began our trip in the usual way, with a visit to Hammerschmid trachten in Marquartstein, to choose from their overstock children's dirndls, (great savings!).   We  lucked-out and were also able to pick up some lovely ladies' dirndl blouses, linen jackets, and mieders...all at great prices. I do love a bargain - and best of all I love being able to pass our savings on to you!

A couple of days later we were in Salzburg at The Tracht & Country trade show, which was bigger and better than ever, with lots of new exhibitors and products.  We ordered some unique jewellery from one of the show "newbies" -  Happy4You of Munich; and some fab men's leather belts and buckles from Cassandra Accessories.  For home sewers we have a great selection of blingy dirndl hooks and buttons from Alpenwahn, which arrived in mid-April.  We also have loads of exciting new merchandise coming from our tried and true suppliers:  Hammerschmid,  Allwerk, Aumuhle, OS Trachten, Lusana, Pierre Marcel, to name a few.  

New to us this year...gorgeous dirndls from Hiebaum!  This Austrian company has been producing men's and ladies' tracht for decades, and we know you'll be impressed by the quality, workmanship and attention to detail in each and every dress. 

After our three hectic days at the show , we spent a day of R & R at Konigsee, about 30 minutes from our apartment.  There, we took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather to enjoy the popular boat cruise to St. Bartholeme - a lovely chapel adjacent to a historic hunting lodge, which is now an inn and restaurant.  We thoroughly enjoyed meandering along the walking trails, stopping  now and then to enjoy the beautiful scenery.  The bluebells were blooming, the birds were singing, the sun was shining...heaven!!

Our day off was followed on a rainy "Fat Tuesday"  by a liesurely drive through the countryside to Starnberg to call on another new-to-us jewellery supplier...Alpenflustern.  Watch the store for their great necklaces, earrings, and charivari which should be arriving early this summer.  We returned to our apartment in Anger via Bad Tolz, a beautiful picture-postcard town right out of a fairy-tale, and one of our favourites!   

The following day we we off to Gmunden, Austria to visit Allwerk's factory and warehouse, where we added a few items from their Spring collection to our order - namely  some exquisitely styled men's and ladies' linen jackets.  I would recommend including a stop in this beautiful city to anyone travelling in the area.  The old section of the city is right along the Traunsee, a clear blue mountain lake with beautiful mountain peaks on two sides...stunning!

The final week of our stay was spent in Oberpfalz, where we rented a holiday apartment in the tiny town of Birgland - a lovely country location central enough to allow us to take day-trips to Bayreuth, Bamberg and Nuremburg; three beautiful cities chock full of history, as well as amazing museums, galleries, palaces, cathedrals. 

We also visited our friends Else and Fritz Kummel, of Kummel Textil in Kitzingen, from whom we purchase Aumuhle men's trachten and dress shirts.  They took us on a wonderful tour of the local "hidden treasaures" - beautiful medieval walled villages and towns, where time seems to be standing still.  Original roads and structures, some dating back to the 12th century, can still be seen inside  the walls of these wonderful, pedestrian-friendly little jewels that dot the countryside.  Bonus...the entire area is literally overgrown with lush vineyards; offering both tastings and bottles for sale.  Going off the beaten path has its' rewards! 

All in all, it was a wonderful and productive trip this year.  I'm confident that you'll fall in love with all the wonderful new stock we purchased there.  Check the store often in the weeks ahead, as those big boxes will be arriving regularly for the next two or three months.  

A few photos of some of the places we visited...