Specializing in "Gemuetlichkeit
Nestled in a
cozy narrow valley at elevation of 1100 feet with surrounding wilderness of
rugged, majestic mountain ranges reaching 5,000-8,000 feet, lies a quaint
Bavarian Village. Snake-twisting rivers, deep azure lakes, crystal-clear
crashing waterfalls, lush green rolling hills dotted with flourishing
orchards alive with buzzing bees seeking sweet nectar provide the
magnificent backdrop for this active community.
Houses here display pointed peaks with large wooden over-hanging rooflines
on stucco/ timber combination structures. Main street finds hugging
gingerbread-style buildings on one side and beautiful park abundant with
variety of trees on the other. One finds scalloped trim on the rooflines,
intricate folk art cutouts on balconies, exterior wall murals, window boxes
and barrels with profusion of flowers everywhere!
Continuing along main street one discovers shops filled with nutcrackers,
dolls, beer steins, music boxes, candles, candy, cheese, toys, specialty
clothes, gifts, and collectibles to tempt shoppers. One can always find the
unusual exceptionally unique gift for that special person here. Restaurants,
cafes and side street "wurst-stands" offer German cuisine from sausage with
sauerkraut to finest dessert fruit filled pancakes delicately dusted with
powered sugar. Delicacies of every gastronomical desire are easily found and
enjoyed. Hungry visitors always find "Haxen oder Huhn," delicious goulash
accompanied by "Spaetzle oder Kartoffeln," at one of a variety of good local
restaurants specializing in"Gemuetlichkeit."
If you are lucky you might also spot the local German Bierwagen with its
four horse team going through the downtown area. The harness on the
bierwagen is all handmade in Sud-Tyrol, the German speaking part of Northern
Italy. You might also spot a small 200 year old German carriage pulled by
Haflinger horses going through their paces. The wonderful harness for these
horses come from the town of Wallgau in the heart of Bavaria and are
handmade. In the summer you can be assured of entertainment in the Gazebo in
the heart of the downtown. It may be a German group visiting, or a world
class yodeler and a visiting high school band. There's always a surprise for
the visitor to Leavenworth.
Depending upon season, one discovers skiing, sledding, skating, hiking, rock
climbing, camping, fishing, rafting, canoeing, bike riding, horseback
riding, bird watching, and generally thoroughly enjoying and appreciating
nature. There is possibly no greater spectacular burst of autumn color than
Tumwater Canyon in fall.
Sound like you are in Germany? This is Leavenworth, The Bavarian Village of
Washington! Situated in the heart of the state at the base of the eastern
slopes of Cascade Mountain Range, 118 miles east of Seattle, one can easily
drive to Leavenworth via Interstate 90 or U.S. Highway 2. Both routes guide
one through beautiful terrain and are exceptionally scenic. Mountains and
valleys of this area resemble parts of southern Germany so closely one feels
immediately transported abroad.
By Charlotte Kohnhorst