Monday, November 26, 2007

Krampus Run in Schladming

So a little more about Krampus parades in Austria. On Saturday Rob, Caitlin, Drake (from North Carolina) and I went to a Krampus run in Schladming. We took the train there and knew we'd have to come home on the Disco Bus. When we arrived in Schladming, we were surprised to discover that it cost €6 ($9) to get in. Once we got in, we got a pretty good spot near the end of the parade route. It was much more crowded than last week's parade in Stainach, and while there were more Krampuses in general, they weren't as varied and were much more brutal than the previous week.

Like any parade, the audience lines the streets. But there is always a barricade because otherwise Krampuses would rush into the crowd or the spectators would mess with them. And the one thing you don't want to do is mess with a drunken Krampus!

...especially if he's carrying a bundle of switches!...

...or breathing fire!But we had a lot of fun. We all got switched pretty good. We then hung out at a couple of bars until the Disco Bus came. More than 120 people were waiting for the 1:10 am bus, and when it arrived there was a huge crush of people, most of them drunk, who by God wanted to get on the bus. Once the crowd surged so forcefully I was thrown to the pavement and the bruise I have looks like I got hit with a softball. Needless to say, next time we're just going to rent a car!

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