Romantic Road Tour – D7 / Augsburg

Continuing our journey down the Romantic Road in Bavaria – we are constantly knocked out by the way the Germans embrace Christmas. They do it in the smallest and grandest ways – by decorating all their windows with lights or figures of Christmas – or how the councils erect huge Christmas trees in the town squares, and deck the streets out with angel lights…

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We stayed overnight in Augsburg, which is quite a large city with a bustling Christmas market. This morning though was Sunday, and things were quieter, so we headed off to one of Augsburg’s most famous attractions – the Fuggerei.

The Fuggerei is an enclave built in the sixteenth century by a wealthy merchant family – the Fuggers – who decided that they would build what was effectively the first socialised housing community.

It exists to this day – and still has residents living in it – small houses, all built the same, all operating off socialised principles.

fuggerei-walking-thru fugggerei-int-house

We then walked to lunch – to a brewery which is reputed to be one of the oldest in Germany – the Riegele Brewery built in 1386.

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Bruce had a beer tasting –

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It didn’t take him long…

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I had pork loin with home made dumplings, the pork from straw pigs – which means the pigs have rooted around in straw. This somehow makes the pork loin tastier. I can attest to this.

augsburg-brewery-lunch

The brewery restaurant had a woodland theme going in the mens’ toilets…

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Including a urinal embedded in a tree…

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Good for dogs I guess…

We stumbled back to the hotel after a lunch that lasted three hours… never have a Sunday lunch in a brewery if you’re in a hurry… and then in the evening we hit the streets again.

We went to our favourite chocolate shop in all of Germany – Dichtyl’s. This time of the year they specialise in making amazing Christmas choccies…

dichtl-shelves-of-choccies dichtly-christmas-trees

We wandered outside, and heard a choir start up singing and playing Christmas Carols. We walked down the street to find high up on a balcony a traditional German band, including trumpets and harp, playing songs, with an attendant choir.

Amazing, and beautiful beyond words.

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We were captivated…

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On the way back to the hotel we came across a small Christmas market cum merry-go-round…

merry-go-round-park

Sue wanted a ride on the merry go round but she wasn’t allowed because it was only for children. But she twigged that parents were allowed on to supervise their kids. So she appropriated some children, pretended to be their mother, and rode around on the merry go round, waving to us as she whizzed past…

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We had such fun.

This tour is turning out to be an extraordinary experience for us all… and in it being a small group we are able to take advantage of spontaneous happenings that would be more difficult with a larger group.

Each day is filled with moments of surprise and wonder. It’s sad to think that soon it will be coming to an end… but we have some magical stuff coming up in the next few days.

merry-go-round-lights santa-on-merry-go-round