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…


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.


Bruce had a beer tasting –


It didn’t take him long…


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.


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


Including a urinal embedded in a tree…


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.

christmas-choir-on-balcony-ws christmas-choir-on-balcony-cu

We were captivated…


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


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…


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

Romantic Road Tour – D4 / Rothenburg

Today was spent in the picture postcard town of Rothenburg – or, as our wonderful friend Texan Vedic Astrologer Extraordinaire Joni Patry calls it, a “gingerbread” town.


It was a free day for those on the tour to do whatever they wanted – including:

  • A walk along the top of the town’s ancient stone ramparts, which encircle Rothenburg.

stairs-to-ramparts ken-angie-and-jen-on-ramparts

  • A visit to the magnificent German Christmas Museum

ext-christmas-shop int-christmas-museum

  • Morning tea, which included a big slosh of Amaretto in our cappuccinos.


  • A visit to the magnificent Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas shop


  • A visit to the St. James Cathedral – an integral stop along the German Camino

angela-at-st-james-church ken-at-st-james-church bill-jen-by-st-james st-james-church

  • Lunch, of course. My meal was Wild Boar goulash with dumplings… with a Franconia Riesling.

It was a wonderful relaxing day, to be topped off by dinner at our favourite Bavarian tavern this evening.

Christmas is everywhere along the Romantic Road. And what better place to spend these pre-Christmas days than in a town like Rothenburg –


Romantic Road Tour – D3 / a chilly walk to Rothenburg ~

Today we woke up to snow in Wurzburg .

At least we thought it was snow. It might just have been thick frost everywhere. Whatever it was, it caked the van, and took about 20 minutes to get it off the front windscreen!


We drove out of town about 45 kms south along the Romantic Road to a small village, where I parked, then we headed off to walk the rest of the way into Rothenburg, a stretch of about 12kms.

It was chilly – about minus 3C – but it was breathtakingly beautiful. Later we would all agree that it was one of the most memorable walks any of us had ever done.


We didn’t see one other walker, and only one or two cars on a walk that would take us nearly four hours, what with stopping to  take photos, or to simply marvel at just how damn beautiful it was…

leaves three-figures-on-road shack

frozen-pond frozen-road

The cold didn’t bother us at all. We had a great time…


After a while we dropped down into a valley where it was warmer, passing a magnificent Bavarian country manor house –


Then we climbed up again and walked into Rothenburg, into the Christmas Markets…


Ken and I took a cab back to the village to retrieve the van, then we all had dinner at a gorgeous Bavarian tavern. One of our group had a half roast duck – I would have liked to have seen the whole duck because the half was HUGE…


And over dinner we high-fived to a remarkable day’s walking along a frozen Romantic Road.


Romantic Road Tour D1+D2 – Frankfurt to Würzburg ~

For the past 9 days Jennifer and I have been criss-crossing Bavaria finalising details for our Romantic Road tour.

We pride ourselves in handcrafting our tours, finding the very special out of the way places, whether they be restaurants serving the best regional food only the locals know, or the coolest hotels in the best locations, or discovering things to do that will translate into personal experiences that will make the tour something to truly remember.

As of Monday, we completed our “scout,” and we made our way north to Frankfurt to meet up with our group. It’s a small group on this one – we had some late minute cancellations – but that only makes it more fun, more convivial.

After early evening drinks we walked through minus zero temperatures through the Frankfurt Christmas markets then across a bridge and down some winding alleys until we came to a nondescript restaurant down a narrow lane – reputedly the best restaurant in Frankfurt serving genuine home-cooked Bavarian food.

It was magnificent.

Slabs of grilled pork on a huge mound of fried potatoes, sausages and sauerkraut like you’ve never tasted before, deep fried apple-rings with whipped cream that sounds disgusting, but it was glorious. All washed down either with sublime weissbier or local Frankonian white wines.

We walked 3kms back to the hotel, in temperatures which had dropped considerably from when we set out, thankful that we had ingested sufficient calories to keep our body heat up to survival level.

This morning I picked up a nine-seater Mercedes van, and we headed off south to the start of the Romantic Road – Wurzburg, some 120kms away. At 9:30am the temperature was -6.5 C. Yes that’s MINUS 6-point-five Celsius. I don’t know what that is in Fahrenheit, but I guess about 24F or so?

Bloody chilly.

There was snow on the ground and in the trees as we drove south – and it was so so beautiful.

We parked the van by the hotel, and immediately set off on foot to a magnificent fortress on a hill overlooking the town. The walk to the fortress took us across a medieval bridge just as a barge was going through a lock. The barge must have been nearly half a kilometre long!

The fortress was massive, and spectacular – and after visiting the museum inside we headed back into town to check in, before heading out again to visit the city’s palace, called the Residenz. It was like the Palace of Versailles inside – sorry no photography was allowed so I can’t show you pictures – but needless to say it was jaw-droppingly beautiful.

Pre-dinner drinks involved a Wurzburg tradition – of standing on the ancient stone bridge with a mug of hot German alcoholic apple cider, looking up at the fortress above the town, now shrouded in mist.

For dinner a week ago I had pre-arranged something special at the city’s top restaurant – Roast Goose cooked the traditional German Christmas way, with stuffing, red cabbage and huge dumplings. It was delicious!  For dessert we again had traditional Christmas fare of cinnamon infused hazelnut ice-cream with whipped cream and hot cherries.

We walked back to the hotel in the cold – not really feeling the cold though, but invigorated by the briskness of the air, and captivated by the Christmas spirit that surrounded us everywhere we looked, from the decorations in the shop fronts, to the lighted up  Christmas trees in the squares and outside churches, to the distant sound of Christmas carols wafting on the chilly night air. No one does Christmas better than the Germans.

It was a great way to start the tour…
(sorry for lack of pics – internet in hotel is sooooooo slow!)


The Romantic Road as Camino ~

For the past week or so, Jennifer and I have been traveling through the southern part of Germany, finalising details for our Romantic Road tour, which starts next week.

During this time too I’ve also been picking up visuals for my intuition film.

While scouting the route, we regularly came across signs for the Camino – the well known scallop shell marker showing the route to Santiago. In Germany they call it Jakobsweg –

It turns out that the Romantic Road route, which links a series of beautiful traditional towns and villages that followed an ancient trading route, was also a pilgrim route in parts, funnelling pilgrims through Germany into France, and then onto Santiago de Compostela.


On this tour we’ll be doing a combination of walking and driving, because the Romantic Road from Wurzburg (south of Frankfurt) to Fussen (south of Munich) is more than 350kms. But several of the walking stages we have planned are actually part of the Camino.

Once the tour starts I will blog regularly, with pictures, so keep tuned!


The Romantic Road, Bavaria