On the Marktplatz 

Most days it’s an empty square. Lined with benches, it is a place to pause for five minutes on the way home, a concrete rectangle perfect for a kick around, and a pretty refuge for those with no where else to spend their days. Nothing special but nice none the less, like market squares found far and wide.

It’s watched over by the church, whose bells let us know where we are in time and whose towers twinkle playfully in the sunshine. Trees running along the left and the right offer shade in the summer for those who sit a while on the mossy, aging benches. Quiet, functional and unremarkable. Put your feet up and enjoy.

Come Saturday,  though, it comes alive. Stalls of life’s staples pop up, selling fruit and veg, bread and Bretzels, and cheese and wine. Locals mill about buying what they need for the week ahead. Seasonal, local, fresh.

Goods bought, and now there’s time for some indulgence in life’s little pleasures, while some come just for the extras this spot has to offer. People queue patiently at the little pink van as time and attention are poured into every cup that this unlikely coffee house offers. Opposite the caffeine stop stands a more relaxed option, with Sekt and wine waiting for those who deem it a respectable hour for bubbles. Glasses clink and spoons stir in sugar. The odd beer bottle top pops galantly open. 

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And no one goes hungry either. Those with a sweet tooth track down the muffins and cake. While the savoury eyed find the Crêpes, the Flammkucken, or the Empanadas; an international flavour fills the air at this local meeting point.

For it is a meeting point, a place where crossing paths with a familiar face is all but guaranteed. Families hang out, friends get together, coming and going from the trestle tables, the centre pieces framed by the dozen or more stalls. From children squealing to adults laughing, there’s a quiet volume to the place; noise, yes, but not the kind you can object to.

Come mid afternoon, the crowds disperse and the stalls pack away what’s left of their wares. The bright and animated chatter dies down and the stillness returns.  The Platz goes back to a simple concrete rectangle, bathing in the April sun and the blooming trees. And there it will wait for next weekend to offer, once again, and with comforting reliability,  some simple Saturday pleasures.

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