Here we are again. A new post and another apology for the delay between posts. One of these days I’m sure I will have more time on my hands, but that time isn’t now.
I’m going to go back in time a little bit to when Joel and I took a little road trip around the Black Forest in Germany and worked our way through Austria and round again. I've had a lot of people message me about this trip and wanting tips so hopefully this round up will be useful, if you want more detail you can always write a question in the comments. Anyway, where was I!? This trip was pre Engagement but only by a few weeks, in fact if I’m being really honest I thought there was a chance that it would be THE trip where he might get down on one knee and pop the big question. It turned out he had a far better plan up his sleeve… more on that another time.
We had been wanting to do a Germany/Austria road trip for ages so in classic J&M fashion we decided to take advantage of the Easter break and got straight to planning.
On these types of trips we each have our roles to play. I’m usually in charge of hotels and food meanwhile Joel handles the logistics. Once we nailed the towns we were stopping in finding fab hotels was a doddle, the food on the other hand was a whole other story. Let’s put it this way, Germany and Austria was not built with vegetarians in mind. Thank god Pizza is universal.
Joel absolutely nailed the logistics, we had 6 days and somehow we managed to cross in to 4 countries, experience all types of weather from glorious sunshine to downpours to snowfalls and everything in between and it was thoroughly brilliant.
Here is a little glimpse into what we got up to.
We flew into Stuttgart and drove to a town called Baden-Baden where we stayed the night at a charming little family run hotel.
The morning is where the driving really began. We took the beautifully picturesque drive from Baden-Baden to Offenburg where we couldn’t resist putting the drone in the air to see what was going on above all the trees.
We drove through the Black Forest to Freiburg stopping at picture perfect German towns along the way, my favourite being Gengenbach which was everything you could imagine the inside of a brothers Grimm novel would look like.
We also stopped in Schonach to see the worlds largest cuckoo clock and Triberg the home of the cuckoo clock and visited Reinertonishof, one of the oldest working farms in Germany before making our way to Frieberg.
In Frieberg we treated ourselves to a stay at the gorgeous Colombi hotel which was situated right in the centre of town. We arrived at the hotel pretty shattered from all the exploring so we got straight to trip advisor to see where we should go for dinner. We found x which had great reviews and thought we would try our luck and see if they had a table. As we didn’t have long in Frieberg we decided to walk as it wasn’t far and that way we could see some of the city. I’m so pleased we did because the restaurant was on one of the prettiest streets I’ve ever seen. We had a fab meal, probably the best meal of the trip and Joel loved the beer so much he actually ordered some as soon as we got home.
The next day we had a few hours before we had to head off, we (I) decided that we would take the walk to the top of Freiberg to see a panoramic view of the city. It was a lovely view but in hindsight we (I) wished we had just walked around the city rather than climb the hill as what we had seen the night before was nicer than the birds eye view of the city turned out to be. My bad! Nethertheless it was still nice to see it was just a shame we didn’t have more time to spend there. We were on a tight schedule so we got back in the car and headed towards Lindau which is a small town that stretches into Lake Constance, it was while we were in Lindau where we realised that we were only about 20 miles from Liechtenstein.
Bit of background. When you are mere months away from turning 30 and your 30 countries by 30 is hanging over you there was only one thing to do. I can’t say we would go back to Liechtenstein in a hurry but I am pleased to say that it tipped me comfortably in to the 30 countries I needed to complete my mission so that’s something. It also allowed us to enter Switzerland for a few minutes so within the space of a few hours we’d crossed 3 countries. Like I said we were on a tight schedule as we wanted to make it to Fussen before sunset. Fussen is famous for one thing and unlike Liechtenstein, it’s really very memorable place (sorry Liechtenstein) and that’s all thanks to the notable Neuschwanstein Castle. Remember how I said we didn’t exactly get on with the food in Germany? That’s because 9 times out of 10 the only thing we could eat on the menu was this…looks tasty huh? It is but for lunch and dinner 4 days straight? Pass me a vegetable!
We didn’t pre book tickets to the castle but only because we were staying at a hotel about 5 minutes away so we took the risk and decided that we wouldn’t need to and instead could quite easily miss the crowds by being one of the first in line to buy the on the day tickets. If you’re planning on turning up in the middle of the day then you must pre book or you’ll be waiting hours or may not even get in. We parked the car (there’s loads of parking) and once we bought our tickets (fortunately the plan worked perfectly) we slowly made our way up towards the castle. You can take a horse drawn carriage up which to be fair looked like fun but the walk wasn’t too bad and after all the carbs (lack of options!) we had been eating we thought we could use the walk. Top tip though, if you’re there early enough there’s actually a little parking at the top of the hill which did have space when we reached it. If you’re feeling lucky, check it out, it will save you a lot of time.
The castle was everything and more. By far and above the most incredible building I’ve ever seen in real life, in fact it’s so incredible it doesn’t feel real when you’re there, it really is like something out of a fairy tale. If you think it’s all about the outside, you’d be wrong, the inside is just as spectacular and if not even more fairytale like. Unfortunately photos are strictly forbidden so I can’t share it with you, you’ll just have to take my word for it and/or visit yourself!
Our time in Germany was over, it was time to see what Austria had to offer…