Sunday, 26th May – Stuttgart to Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Todays trip took us from Stuttgart to the medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. The town of Ludwigsburg is conveniently located on the way and has one of the best examples of extant baroque architecture and extensive gardens in the Residential Palace.

We found a parking lot that was within walking distance and wandered through the Marktplatz towards the Palace.

The Ludwigsburg Palace contains a museum but we opted to instead spend our time looking through the Blühendes Barock (Botanical Gardens). Although there is an 9 euro entry fee, the gardens on the 32 hectare estate can take all day to walk through.

After seeing as much as we could with the time we had, we grabbed a coffee and some pastries from the Backerei Konditorei Cafe and then headed off to Rothenburg.

Since we’re using the backstreets more often than highways, we get to see a lot of small random towns on the way. These are often some of our most favourite finds.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a fascinating medieval walled city – the largest in Germany. Even just getting near the city makes you want to stop and take photos.

After battling the narrow cobbled streets full of wandering tourists, we checked in to our amazing hotel.

 

There was an amazing view from the room – we could see the village that we had driven past earlier.

Lunch was in the Bier Garten of the Hotel Reichsküchenmeister which was so good, we vowed to return for coffee and cake later in the day.

We then set off to walk around the Marktplatz and saw sights like the Town Hall and St James Church.

The town is much bigger than it seems and every turn you discover something new – for example, the White Tower or a wishing well.

In this walled city, the fortifications all around the old town are incredibly well preserved. People are able to walk along them and Keith was keen to explore, he then convinced Bec to give it a try. The views over the city are worth the fear of heights and small spaces.

Eventually we returned to the Bier Garten for coffee and cake. Since it was already Keith’s birthday in Australia he decided to celebrate with a piece of Black Forrest Cake which had his name all over it.

The day ended with a spectacular sunset which we were able to enjoy from the garden of our hotel located on a part of the city wall.

2019 European Adventure Germany

Saturday, 25th May – Tübingen to Stuttgart

This morning we took advantage of the big breakfast and late checkout provided, catching up with photos and blogs. We really enjoyed our stay at the Ibis Styles in Tübingen. It’s a relatively new hotel and they’ve done a great job with their menus and all the staff were just fantastic.

Our destination today was Stuttgart, however we’d heard about a Chocolate Museum in Waldenbuch – Ritter Sport. This chocolate company was established in 1912 and still remains as a family business, with net annual income noted as 482 million euros in 2017!

We were chased to Waldenbuch by a loud thunder and electrical storm which hit just as we pulled into the carpark. What a shame to be trapped at a chocolate factory until the worst of it had passed over!

After learning the German words for all the different chocolate, we made our way to Esslingen. With no real plan we enjoyed the short walk into the Marktplatz. The photos below show the Münster St. Paul on the right and Stadtkirche St. Dionys to the left.

Stadtkirche St. Dionys

Altes Rathaus

Some other interesting photos we took in the back streets walking back to the car.

Agnesbrücke and Schelztorturm

Frauenkirche

Whilst we dodged the storm in Esslingen unfortunately it caught up with us in Stuttgart. We did as much sightseeing as we could and then when the rain became too heavy we took refuge in a restaurant (Alte Kanzlei) and watched the storm whilst we had some dinner.

Schlossplatz and the New Palace

We walked down the major shopping district on Königstraße until we reached the Stiftskirche.

As we left the restaurant we managed to get a few photos of the Altes Schloss.

We then made our way to the UBahn at Charlottenplatz via the Flea Market at Karlsplatz.

2019 European Adventure Germany

Friday, 24th May – Strasbourg to Tübingen

This morning we left France crossing the Rhine River making our way into Germany through the Black Forest. The name Black Forest comes from the general dark colour of the numerous pine trees that grow in this region, as you can see from the photo below.

Our first stop today was at Rottenburg Am Neckar, we parked the car, walked across the bridge into the old town and had lunch at the local bakery.

Hohenzollern Castle was on our way to Tübingen. We enjoyed taking photos leading up to the castle, however we decided we didn’t have the time to park the car, get the shuttle bus and then wait in line to walk through the castle. Instead we enjoyed the view from afar and took a sneaky photo of the old castle gate.

Once we arrived in Tübingen we checked into our hotel and made the very short walk into the Old Town. The bridge, Eberhardsbrücke, offered the most amazing view of the Neckar River, where many locals had come out to enjoy the weather and watch the gondolas.

We made our way to the Marktplatz through the old town enjoying the atmosphere.

Tourists and locals alike were gathered around the Stiftskirche enjoying a drink or ice cream in what had turned into a  really warm day.

Around the Rathaus in the Marktplatz people were busy setting up for the night markets.

We really enjoyed Tübingen and is one of the highlights of our trip so far.

2019 European Adventure France Germany

Thursday, 21st August – Triberg to Zurich

Today our destination is Zurich, Switzerland but before leaving beautiful Triberg we went for a walk to check out their famous waterfall. It was incredible to be there so early with hardly anyone else around, so peaceful and so beautiful.

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Triberg is such a beautiful part of the world and a fitting end to our adventures in Germany, this was the last time we would touch this awesome country. However, we still had a great day ahead and left to drive through the Black Forest again.

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Keith was pretty disappointed yesterday that he hadn’t found anywhere to experience Black Forest cake in the Black Forest. Thankfully we came across a restaurant that boasted the best original Black Forest cake in the region, “I’ll be the judge of that” Keith said after ordering haha.

Judging by the silence, bulging eyes and full mouth gestures of happiness, I’d say he was impressed.

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Bucket item ticked we continued onto Zurich, we reached our hotel, checked in and grabbed a bus back into the city.

With no particular schedule or list of things to see we enjoyed just meandering about for once with no destination, we loved the surprise of just ‘finding’ everything. We were even lucky enough to find a group of musicians busking that were incredible.

Zurich is a really lovely city, beautiful buildings on the banks of the Limmat River.IMG_6659IMG_6665IMG_6686IMG_6687

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Unfortunately we were too late to visit inside the Great Church or Grossmunster but we enjoyed walking near the river and seeing it from the outside.IMG_6777 IMG_6769IMG_6696IMG_6718

The Opera House in Zurich is really impressive, it was destroyed by fire in 1890 and was rebuilt in incredible haste reopening in 1891.

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We may have indulged in some local Mövenpick ice cream before heading back to the hotel.

2014 European Adventure Germany Switzerland

Wednesday, 20th August – Neuschwanstein Castle to Triberg

The next stop on our trip was to an island called Lindau. Since we’re right in the middle of Europe nowhere near the coastline, it seems odd that there would be such a large island. It’s actually on a massive freshwater lake (Lake Constance) that is the border for Germany, Austria and Switzerland in that area.

We stopped to have some lunch in the medieval town centre (first written mention in the late 800’s) and to see the port which has a statue of a lion and Bavaria’s only lighthouse! It is exceptionally pretty and hard to believe it’s on a lake. There was a bit of a festival and gathering of some sort when we were there, so it had all it’s tourist airs and graces on.

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After our lunch (schnitzel of course), we headed off to the famous Black Forest. We were staying the night in a town called Triberg, home to the world’s largest cuckoo clock!

Driving through the Black Forest was amazing and the little town of Triberg (with only 5,000 locals) is very cute. The hotel we stayed at was fantastic and we enjoyed dinner at a very German restaurant.

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The only disappointment for Keith – he had yet to sample REAL Black Forest Cake.

2014 European Adventure Germany

Wednesday, 20th August – Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle

We left Munich this morning with our final destination being Triberg in the Black Forest. First though, Neuschwanstein Castle! The Castle is in Bavaria, Germany and is touted as the most photographed castle in the world. It sits above the village of Hohenschwangou and whilst it could easily be said that it’s a huge tourist magnet, we were soon to agree it’s absolutely not to be missed.

There are only three ways to get to the castle after parking your car below in the village (for a modest fee, of course) – walking, horse drawn carriage or a shuttle bus. Walking would have taken up too much time as it’s about an hour all uphill. We opted for the shuttle bus which was also cost a modest fee. The shuttle bus drops you off near the castle and you walk the rest via a bridge which has awesome views of the side of the castle.

The walk from the bus stop is through a forest, setting the fairy tale tone.

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The bridge itself, Marienbrucke, is made of metal and wooden planks. It was pretty packed with tourists when we went across it and Bec freaked out every time the boards moved. Of course, you can see why in the following pictures that show the drop from the bridge and how crowded it can get.

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We went to the castle around mid morning and the fog was still hanging around, obscuring the castle for the most part, but it makes for a more eerie picture.

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However, the same as almost all our days in Europe, the fog gave way to a beautiful day and the shots of the castle were awesome. We opted not to do the tour inside, which is offered for a modest fee, but enjoyed taking photos on the outside of the castle that was the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.

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In the shadow of Neuschwanstein is Hohenschwangou Castle. It’s much smaller and lower down the mountain, but also impressive. We didn’t visit it, but got some great shots!

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Once we had finished taking a million photos, we snapped the obligatory selfie and rode down the mountain in a horse drawn cart. Once we were off in the car, we stopped briefly to snap a couple of photos looking back at the awesome Castle.

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Next – Triberg and the Black Forest via Lindau.

2014 European Adventure Germany

Tuesday, 19th August – Salzburg to Munich

After a great day in Salzburg we left Austria and headed back into Germany to Munich. It was a short trip in comparison to most days only an hour and a half, so after getting to the hotel early we quickly worked out our itinerary. The German underground Metro is so awesome and by now we felt really comfortable using it to get to a number of destinations to see the most we could in one day.

First stop was the Bavaria Statue, a 19th century female statue, a massive structure 8.52 metres high weighing about 88 tons, it rests on a stone base which is 8.92 metres high. On the way we saw a couple of really cool things, a massive snail and the construction of the Octoberfest site for Munich.IMG_5909 IMG_5914IMG_5902

We got back on the Underground and headed to our next stop, the Angel of Peace statue which is very similar to the Victory Statue in Berlin. We had to walk through a very pretty park that was more like a forest to get there, then headed off to the Old Town.

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One of the first buildings we saw was the National Theatre or Opera House. It was pretty spectacular and a little out of place as it is now nestled in Munich’s version of ‘Rodeo Drive’.

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There are two town halls in Munich, the old (the white building), and the new, built in 1908. The New Town Hall has a very cool Glockenspiel which has 43 bells and 32 life-sized figures and every day it re-enacts two stories from the 16th century.

In the same platz (or square) there is a statue called ‘Mary’s Column’. It was erected in 1638 to celebrate the end of Swedish occupation – Keith was mostly interested in the four cherubs that were posed overcoming mythological beasts such as a dragon!

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St Peters Church in Munich, whilst not as impressive as some of the other churches we have seen, has a very interesting history. It has foundations that can be traced back as far as 1158 before the formation of Munich as a city.

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Whilst heading to the old town gates, we stumbled across what has to be the weirdest Church either of us has even seen, the Asam Church. The architecture and statues were very very odd.

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We visited the historical town Gates, Karlstor and Sendlinger Tor. It’s always pretty special to see the town gates preserved and imagine that this was how visitors entered the city.

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As with all of the European cities we have visited so far, we always see the most amazing buildings and statues that we couldn’t have planned. Often we come away feeling a bit ignorant of what we’ve seen and hope to one day do some research to understand more about them.

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After another big day we headed back to the hotel for a cold beer and some sleep .

2014 European Adventure Germany