I walked around most of this afternoon. I went through the nearby mall. As with many things here it looks similar to such things in America, and then little differences start to make it look very different. For instance, though there is no smoking in the mall all the food vendors allow smoking, so the smell permeates there too. And in the middle of everything is a butchershop, filled with glistening pink porkstuffs.
All the clocks on churches and public buildings not only run, they keep correct time. And the church bells ring out the time punctually.
I saw the Japanese woman who wears subdued kimonos to each performance. She and her Japanese tour group were entering the neue schloss. She was in western clothing, though she still had her cane and carried a parasol. I wonder where some of the other regulars are today, like the woman who looks like a permanently startled partridge because she draws in her eyebrows so darkly and steeply that they look as if a boldfaced V has landed on the bridge of her nose. Does she do that every day, or only when she dresses up? I imagine a lot of people went on road trips or just relaxed. There is a sense of winding down. Gotterdammerung is tomorrow, and after that there is only one more performance on Monday, which I am not going to, another Tristan, so that the last notes to fill the hall at this year's festival will be the liebestod. By then I will be in Munich, where I hope I can find an internet cafe to continue updates. Many thanks to the Arvena Congress Hotel for its courteous service, its delicious bacon, and its lobby computer!
Already one of the bookstores downtown has removed all its Wagner items from the window, though there are still plenty to be had inside. The tea shop on the Maximilianstrasse is still offering teas called Siegfried's Dragonblood or Tristan, but I assume they do that year round. I imagine most outsiders who come to Bayreuth are drawn here by Wagner even if the festival is not in progress, just as during Boston winters I used to point out Fenway Park to wandering Red Sox fans who would stop and ask.
The apples are ripening red in the gardens I passed, and the overripe purple summer plums are falling on the pavement.