2nd October 2018
At home, you wake up, get ready for work and give a big sigh when you see the rain outside your bedroom window. However, whilst on the open road you can change plans as easily as the weather changes. That’s how we came to travel along the Romantic Road (Romantische Strabe) in Germany.
Having spent a wonderful week in Prague recently, the weather forecast for the Czech Republic was not looking too good, so we decided to head for a sunnier climate - a quick weather search and just 2 hours later we ended up in Germany.
Having covered much of this beautiful country in June of this year, we needed a new route to follow. Hazel suggested the ‘Romantic Road’ or, as all the signs say, ‘Romantische Strabe’.
The trip starts in Wurzburg on the River Main and spectacularly ends in the Bavarian Alps in Fussen. Just before you enter this unique town, you can visit the world-famous castle ‘Schloss Neuschwanstein’ and, legend has it, that the Disney castle is based on this amazing piece of architecture.
This scenic road covers over 400km and takes in 29 towns, villages and cities making it a ‘cruise ship’ experience whereby you get to hop off and on at different places that take your fancy. Wherever you decide to stop and explore, the route offers many places to park overnight at reasonable prices. In 8 days, we travelled the whole route, making it easily achievable on your annual holiday.
So what about the tour highlights?
Wurzburg: Here, there is a motorhome Stellplatz over-looking the charming River Main. This medieval city echoes the elegance and charisma of a fairy tale and a short walk (5 minutes) over the old bridge will see you in the hustle and bustle of the market place with excellent shopping and restaurants.
Be sure to sample the local wine as – being surrounded by vineyards – the choice is outstanding. Visiting ‘The Prince Bishop’s Residence’ (UNESCO World Heritage Monument) continues your fairy tale adventure and surrounded by wonderful gardens, it is one of Germany’s largest palaces. Along with the Cathedral, it is well worth a visit!
Tauberbischofsheim: With its 'Turmersturm Tower’ as the landmark, this is the main town of the Tauber valley. Marketed heavily in German as the ‘liebliches Taubertal’ (the lovely Tauber valley), this motto speaks volumes. Lovely is indeed the word to use for this delightful town.
Unfortunately, our two-night stay here was less than lovely as our older Yorkie - Lily - was taken poorly. Trying to find a Vet that was open on a Saturday was quite a feat and, with our lack of German, quite daunting.
However, a fellow motorhomer parked next to us kindly translated over the phone and helped us arrange the appointment with a local vet. After a fantastic consultation and a course of treatment, she is well on her way to recovery!
For those travelling with pets, we have had no difficulty with the vets and the price for treatment was very reasonable, so don't be afraid to venture abroad with your best friend! This experience also demonstrates what a great international community the motorhome family is…or perhaps they just wanted to look at a British built van!
Rothenburg ob der Tauber: Another delight of travelling in a motorhome is that you don’t know what adventure you’re going to embark on next. We were so lucky to arrive at this former free Imperial City just as the annual festival was in full swing.
As locals and historical groups try reviving the old atmosphere and re-establishing traditional professions, we felt welcomed into celebrating this pleasant festival which we might not have had the opportunity to see had we not taken this route.
Everything from old equipment to original fashion made it a fun experience and it was quite an honour being there to see a city celebrate its history and see people dressed as they would have been 100's of years ago.
Dinkelsbuhl: According to art historians, Dinkelsbuhl is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Germany. Dating back 800 years, this impressive walled town allows you to sit and take in the enchanting buildings over a coffee in one of the numerous cafes.
Dinkelsbuhl, like most towns, still has a 'Night Watchman', which is a guided tour and a great way to round off the day. At only 7Euros and a 500m stroll to the town gate, we stayed overnight in the StellPlatz. No electric was needed on this stop as the Autograph 79-4 is self-sufficient for ‘off grid’.
You will meet a number of different nationalities on this route, driving an array of different motorhomes, and during this road trip, you will get a cheerful wave from other motorhomes as you negotiate the journey.
While in Harburg, visiting the splendidly preserved castle and overlooking the Wornitz valley, an English couple from Somerset stopped to say hello and commented on the stylish Bailey - another ice breaker to start a conversation about motorhomes and travelling!
Schwangau: We arrived in Schwangau, the village of the ‘King’s Castles, surrounded by lakes. Home to both Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangu castles, you will need to book to visit due to it being such a popular tourist spot. As it is quite a hike to get to the castle, a cable car, bus or horse and carriage can transport you at an additional cost. However, The Tegelberg Mountain is an impressive 1,730 meters high, so you can imagine the view!
Our final stop was Fussen - the highest city in Bavaria. This gothic city is often overlooked by travellers as they continue onto other tourist destinations, but it offers plenty of things to do. The ‘gateway to Austria’ is over 700 years old and the traditional Bavarian food is a must try for any traveller passing through! Surrounded by lush green fields and with mountains close by, opportunities for exploring are endless.
Over several days with glorious weather, we slowly ticked off the places on the Romantic Road map (in English) free of charge from the Wurzburg tourist office. From rolling countryside with vineyards, to medieval towns with breath taking buildings, you can see why they call it the ‘Romantic road’.