Historic towns, pristine lakes, verdant landscape, jagged peaks, sausages, sauerkraut and beer…might be words I would use to describe Southern Germany. Our kids, on the other hand, might mention cuckoo clocks, a night watchman’s tour, cows, playgrounds, black forest cake and gummy bears. There is one thing we would both add to the list – and it was the main reason we planned a trip to Bavaria: Castles. Some of the best in the world and lots of them.
Once Upon a Time…
We flew to Munich and stayed our first night near the airport with plans to drive north the following day. In hindsight, after only an hour and a half flight, we probably should have just started driving that day and we would have had an extra night in charming Rothenburg, but dinner along a little canal in Erdinger turned out to be a pleasant surprise.
We set off the following day along the Romantic Road, towards Rothenburg. We stopped in Dinkelsbühl for lunch – a sweet little town, that was so quiet, we thought we must have been there on a holiday.
We stayed one night in Rothenburg and made sure to catch (at least part of) the Night watchman’s tour. The girls got tired and we had to bail out early, but the stories he told were fascinating and funny.
Rothenburg exudes cuteness around every corner. We stayed at Pension Pöschel, whose website doesn’t do it any justice. We had a comfortable room overlooking a lovely garden (there is only one family room with its own bathroom). The breakfast (pictured below) was wonderful.
There are fabulous windows for kids in Rothenburg. We did a lot of meandering along, looking at (familiar) Christmas decorations, cuckoo clocks, teddy bears and of course, sweets and pastries.
We would have liked to stay another day, but we were headed to the Black Forest in search of Gummy Bears. But first, we stopped in the rather-chic town of Baden-Baden for some Black Forest cake.
From there, we drove to Freiburg, where we would stay overnight. Freiburg lacked the charm we found in Rothenburg, however we did find the ever-anticipated gummy bears and the girls loved running their leaf boats down the unusual system of gutters (called Bächle) that run throughout the town’s center.
Once again,our Rick Steves book did not steer us wrong, as we were very happy with our accommodations. Hotel zur Sichelschmiede (pictured below) had a great restaurant overlooking the canal and was in, by far, the cutest part of town.
Leaving Freiburg, we hit a horrendous rain storm. We drove along what appeared to be, a beautiful stretch of road, just north of Lake Konstanz, but unfortunately we could hardly see through all the rain. We were headed to a hotel in Reutte, Austria where sun and castles awaited us…