I absolutely love May in Germany; it’s full of long weekends. On one such weekend that gave us four days in a row, we decided to drive to the south of Germany along the ‘Romantic Road’ till Neuschwanstein castle. Having seen enough of Pinterest pins about it, I already had a head full of fairy-tale like road trip imaginations.
We started our trip on Thursday morning after a nice breakfast at home. The first day we drove to a small old town in North of Bavaria called Bamberg, which is about 400 Km from Berlin. The old town is beautifully built on seven hills, further adorned by rivers and canals. It has a lot of medieval charm with Bamberger Dom, Klein Vending and an extremely old brewery called Altes Rathaus being the some of the main attractions.
After getting ourselves lunch and coffee here, we continued driving to our first hotel Landwehr-Bräu; just 7 Km away from Rothenburg.
We were lucky to find this hotel despite doing last moment booking when everything seemed booked out. Interestingly it was a private brewery and the hotel was a part of it. What better to visit Bavaria and stay at a place that produces some really good beer. After getting some rest, we had dinner in the hotel restaurant and I can just say that it was one of the best meals I had during the trip.
Next morning, we packed and left from there to drive further towards the castle; with Rothenburg ob der Tauber being our first stopover.
It was a great that we reached pretty early in the day as this town keeps getting more crowded as the day passes. The most striking architecture of this town would be the exposed timber houses or the half-timbered houses as they are called. It is a walled city founded in the 12th century. The wall, cobbled streets and the medieval charm reminded me a lot of Tuscan towns without gelato. I really enjoyed just strolling away from the touristy crowds and finding myself get surprised by some cute show windows, bakeries and shops selling Villeroy & Boch specials and more.
After grabbing some good apple crumble pie and coffee at Cafe einzigARTig (serving best of coffee and home decor inspiration) we went on to explore another town called Dinkelsbühl.
Another beautiful town but with a pretty strong character, Dinkelsbühl has something special that distinguishes it from the rest. As you walk inside the town, you see a tall church tower, small restaurants, compactly packed mid-century buildings and a handful of happy tourists.
Another 30 minutes away from here was Nördlingen, which we just crossed but unfortunately not stop. We literally crossed the town in car as parking was a major issue here and by now I was tired enough to not encourage parking kms outside the town. So we skipped.
We continued driving to our second hotel called Kloster Holzen made in an old monastery from 16th century. The hotel was very beautiful and maybe that’s why most of the weekends it is booked for weddings including the day we were there.Luckily, the loud music did not reach our room but I got badly allergic to the carpet in our room and we had to move rooms in the middle of the night. The cooperative staff made that seem like a hassle free process; even apologising the next morning. When we were leaving, the girl who helped with our check-out handed over a cute small honey jar to make up for the inconvenience. That was sweet!
Anyhow, around this hotel there are beautiful wood trails that one can do and just unwind. Like in the image below:
Next morning we left to drive straight to the Neuschwanstein Castle, which was a bit of a drive but one of the most beautiful ones I have ever seen. Romantic road is called that for a reason. You can literally romance nature with its pristine green, majestic alps making for a grand backdrop and side slopes that look like a smooth bed of yellow flowers.
I was so spoilt with the views on the way that the actual castle was not the best thing I saw in Bavaria. The tourists pouring in like rain, commercial setup do turn off a tiny bit but again somethings are touristy for a reason. The castle does remind of a Disney fairy tale; one with a streak of evil.
It looks most beautiful when you see it from far, with the castle sitting atop a hill, playing and teasing a bit with its magnificence. Out of natural curiosity, we trekked upto the castle and that took about 20 minutes. What I can suggest in addition to the castle is to definitely go to the Alpensee as that is seriously beautiful. The blue water was gleaming bright under the sun and looked so peaceful.
Although short, our visit to the castle was a lot of fun and inspiring of grandeur. We left from there to drive towards Augsburg, which was going to be our stay for the third day. The best goof-up that happened was getting lost a little bit and driving through some of the best flower fields of my life. The views on this side of the world are breathtaking and they leave you saying- Whoa!
Augsburg is a pretty big city and has a beautiful old town as well. I reached here pretty tired and indulged in a large helping of ice cream and strawberries at Cafe Goldener Erker followed by a pasta and asparagus soup at this nice small Italian restaurant, Al Teatro Ristorante. I can recommend both!
This was short sweet trip and the fourth day was all about driving back to Berlin, which took about 7 hours of time and 560 km distance approx as we got many traffic jams in between.
I definitely plan to go back to see more. Black forrest next time included! 🙂