Monday, November 11, 2013

New Braunfels Volksmarch - Sun., Nov. 10

It's been a long couple of weeks...working six days with only Sunday off; so we made the most of it. First off, we slept in! Ahhh, so nice to feel refreshed again. Eyes feel brighter, steps feel lighter and mood is politer.

Our 45-minute drive to New Braunfels was uneventful, though there were some speed traps along the way in Schertz. Starting point for our 11K New Braunfels walk was at Faust [historic] Hotel. The day was overcast so the temperature stayed in the low 70s all afternoon, making for a comfortable walk.

New Braunfels is known for the Sophienburg Museum, fresh-water springs, Naegelin's Bakery, Landa Park, Schlitterbahn Water Park, tin roofs, the Founder's Oak Tree, beautiful old homes, and the Wurstfest in November. We saw all of those and more on our walk today.

When we exited the hotel, we made a wrong turn and went a block in the wrong direction. Our printed instructions left off the first couple of turns. (The first directions were on our walk envelope.) When I remembered that piece of trivia from the last time that Peri and I did the walk, we got ourselves straightened out and we were off.

Quite a few murals grace buildings in New Braunfels showcasing the history of the area and the town. The murals are so large it is hard to capture them in a photo as you can see below...

The first three photos are part of the Spass (fun) & Gemutlichkeit (fellowship) mural which spans the length of a restaurant/bakery wall. 

The next building we passed also had a huge mural, Founding - City of a Prince, depicting German settlers arriving in America.
Click to enlarge.
German immigrants headed for Galveston, Texas.
First public Christmas tree in Texas.
Historic downtown New Braunfels has a very old hardware store. When we walked past it and looked in, it looked like a museum with beautiful oak floors and wooden shelves. This store invites further exploration at a future date when we're not doing a 6.8 mile walk and spending time at Wurstfest.

Henne Hardward, built 1893.
As we walked through the neighborhoods on this cool November day, we were surprised to see the number of Halloween decorations still out.

What happens if you get too comfortable on your porch!

Monster spider webs, ewww!
At the Railroad Museum, we took a detour to check out some old trains cars.

Woodings Railcar - see photos below.
Used by the railroad to check tracks and ties...
...until a newer pickup-sized railcar was invented.
Coal-fired engine.
I played engineer and waved at Bob.
Do you know the use of the building below?

It's a Trackside Phone Box.

Our walk continued down the other side of the main street (San Antonio Street) until we came to a round-about, where we made a left-hand turn and headed for Landa Park and the Wurstfest.

Next to Gate #1 of the Wurstfest grounds.
German towns have mai baum (may poles) in which the history of the city is recorded with scenes. This is New Braunfels' mai baum.
Detail from part of the mai baum.
Wurstfest dress.
Landa Park Railroad.
Cypress tree roots and spring-fed creek.
The Founder's Oak.
A plaque in front of The Founder's Oak lists historical occurrences from the time the tree was a sapling in 1700 until 1986, the year of Texas's sesquicentennial (150th anniversary). The tree is now over 17' in diameter and over 300 years old! From the plaque I learned in 1866 a city ordinance was passed that prohibited flammable roofs resulting in New Braunfels being called "The City of Tin Roofs." 

Landa park is a lovely outdoor landscape filled with water, picnic tables, ducks, geese, egrets, deer, and an arboretum. 

A hint of fall color!

Cypress knees look like little critters at water's edge.
Gazebo makes a nice frame.
Resident geese settling in for a nap.
Stream from one of the park's springs.
A study in ripples...tree and water.
Aww, how cute is that?!
 A couple of pics from the arboretum...

I think this is sumac.
Mexican olive.
Mexican Bird of Paradise tree.
Landa Park Railroad making the rounds in the park.
Upon leaving Landa Park, we walked past the Wurstfest grounds, making our way to Gate #3 where we used our admission tickets from last week's Volksmarch. I will write a separate account of the Wurstfest in my next blog.

After spending time in the festival grounds, we continued our walk along the Comal River, shortest river in Texas at 2.5 miles. Even though it's November and the temperature was low 70s, some hardy folks were "toobing" the river. One man told us the river temperature is 72 degrees, which is very similar to the air temperature.

Comal River Cottages - wouldn't mind staying there!
Geese? Ducks?
Young buck in Prince Solms Park.
The following photo is a small diorama over the entrance to the Union Street Station Restaurant in New Braunfels.

Prickly pod.
 The Schlitterbahn Water Park is closed for the season, but it sure looks like fun for next summer!

Schlitterbahn Water Park, Bamboozle Bay.
Comal River Toobers.
Just a little bit of walk left in us, enough to get us through some neighborhoods and back to the Faust Hotel.

A gorgeous home that backs up to the Comal River.
The city founded by a German prince - New Braunfels. Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels statue stands in front of the New Braunfels Convention Center/Visitor's Bureau.

Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels statue.
With that, it was just a hop, skip and a jump to finish our 11k (6.8 mile) walk. A very satisfying day indeed.

You can read about our best Wurstfest experience in my next blog.

Travel Bug on walk-about.


  1. That looks like a very lovely and fun city. Growing up in a German city I just never thought of Texas as having any German to it, but in fact they settled just about all parts of the country. My great grandfather arrived in 1862.

    I think the ducks with red heads are Chinese ducks, but can't remember the exact name. Very nice pictures.

  2. It still amazes me that there's so much German history and settlements in Texas. I just wouldn't have imagined. Thanks to you, I'm now properly educated!


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