It has been months since I have last written here and life has gone on! A move is a move and the first weeks were spent with getting organized, settling in, finding out where to buy things and just trying to figure out how everything works in our new country. We had an amazing Dutch summer and thoroughly enjoyed it. The kids are really loving school and so that makes mama’s life a lot easier.
The kids had an Autumn break and even though there were some deadlines at home we decided to go ahead and take the week off and explore a bit of Europe. We decided to head to the Bavarian Alps to see the fall colors and sight see in the southern part of Germany. We decided to drive the Romantic Road and circle back to the Netherlands.
We have found that with a family it is quite a bit cheaper to travel with a car. As much as we would love to go on a train or bus with a family the economics just don’t work. It also gives us more freedom so we are able to see what we want to see. Having a car also gave us more freedom to book AirBnB’s or hotels that were a bit outside of the town or somewhere along the way.
We decided our first stop would be Wurzburg. This is the first stop along the Romantic Road. If you look up the Romantic Road many blogs will come up that have chronicled it well, so I will not do that here. We began with a long day from the Netherlands to Wurzburg, Germany to be able to start on our tour.
Our first day as tourists we drove along the road and spent most of the day in Rothenburg ob der Tauber. It is an iconic village that is a living museum, although not officially. The city is well preserved with medieval walls and roads and it is as if someone forgot about it for 600 years and we just stumbled upon it again. The town is currently well maintained and has beautiful homes, roads and an amazing city wall that can be walked on. The city wall is the best preserved complete wall from the medieval times, it circles the entire old city. It also has enchanting stores with medieval themes and my favorites, the Christmas stores. We all loved spending the day here and I would highly recommend this for a family with kids. Our kids had a blast!
We had to get a silly picture with the sign that says “Balloon Fahrten” which is clearly funny in English.
After spending about 6 hours in Rothenburg we decided to head to our next lodging. There are many, many other interesting cities along this route, but we knew that our children would probably be tired of seeing these older cities and decided to hit the main tourist spots. You have to choose your battles. The next place we headed was to the Neuschwanstein castle. This castle is very well known and shows up in movies and was the inspiration for Disney’s castle. It is opulent and imposing, clearly attaining the grandeur that its builder wanted. We stayed at a campsite near the castle at Camping Magdalena & Haus Sonnenlage. We have found many times campgrounds have rooms or villas available for one night rent for a cheaper price than you would find at a hotel. They also tend to be better for a larger family as they typically can accommodate more people better. We were able to get a great room at the campground that included breakfast. We made reservations for the castle in advance, which is highly recommended, and had our tour time booked. It is easy to find the ticket office, but there is a 30 min walk/hike up to the castle or you can pay for a horse and carriage or a bus to take you up. Any way you choose, you need to get there with plenty of time to spare. Since we lived in Nepal and went trekking all the time, we knew we had to hike up the hill. It is not very difficult with a slow incline and is paved. The kids enjoyed the walk and we reminisced about all our treks in Nepal. Once you get to the top, close to the castle, there are food vendors, shops and other stores available. We made it up on time and took some time to look around at the top once we got there.
The castle itself is beautiful and has a very interesting history. There are many other people out there who have written on it extensively, so if you would like to read about it there is plenty of material. We enjoyed going inside the castle (no pics allowed) and visited 8 of the finished rooms. Many of the rooms of the castle are not finished due to the Prince’s untimely death. It still is a marvel and one can only wonder what it would have been like finished.
We spent the rest of the day wandering around the town of Fussen and enjoyed this city. It is also a older German city which retains much of its charm. Whether its the cobblestone streets or the river running on the outside of town it was a great way to spend the second half of the day.
We thoroughly enjoyed the Bavarian Alps and in our opinion October was a great time to go! We continued on, but that will be in another post! Until later.