Germany – The Romantic Road

The Romantic Road in Germany is a marketing construct really – loosely based on an old Roman trade route through the southern provinces, but resurrected in the 1950s to promote tourism in post war Germany.

It stretches approximately 350kms from Warzburg in northern Bavaria, through to Fussen down near the Austrian Alps. It links some of Germany’s most beautiful medieval towns and cities, and each day it attracts busloads of tourists from around the world.

Romantic Road.3At the southern end the road includes the fairy-tale castle of Neuschwanstein, said to be what Walt Disney based his Fantasyland Castle on –

Fussen Castle2

Fantasy Land2

In November I drove a couple of hundred kilometers along the Romantic Road. I ticked off some of the major towns, including Warzburg, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Dinkelsbuhl and Augsburg. I hope to go back in the next year or so and complete the journey.

I started at the northern top of the road – Warzburg – at the central markets which are nestled in beside the town’s dramatic cathedral. In the true Bavarian tradition my first meal was a Bratwurst sausage hotdog with locally made mustard, all for €2.

Warzburg cathedral

hot Dog Stand int

Menu board

Hot Dogs

I’ve had hotdogs in Harlem in New York, at Pinks on La Brea in Los Angeles, I’ve had a cab driver take me around the scariest parts of southside Chicago looking for the definitive American hotdog, and I’ve driven through Krakow in Poland looking for the definitive Polish hotdog (never found – they don’t eat hotdogs in Poland!) and yet this Warzburg hotdog has to be the best I’ve had. Probably because the Warzburg sausage was so damn good.

Suitably nourished for my trip south, having eaten my three favourite food groups – bread, mustard, and hotdog – I headed down to my next stop, Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

Trees

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is the kind of town you see on biscuit tin lids. Its perfect in every way. The old town lies within ancient walls, and is largely free of traffic. The buildings have been beautifully restored, and the town probably contains more Americans per square meter than Dodger Stadium.

Rothenburg door

Rothenburg is famous for its Schneeballes, or snowballs, which are rolled biscuits containing plum schnaps, deep-fried and dusted with confectioners’ sugar. They have a long shelf-life and are sold all over the town, often as souvenirs.

Snowball Snowballs

Suitably nourished from my Rothenburg snowballs, containing three of my favourite food groups – sugar, flour, and deep-fry – I then headed further south to Dinkelsbuhl.

Dinkelsbuhl is so romantic it’s the kind of place where you just want your buhls dinkelled.

bottles

Dinner in Dinkelsbuhl consisted of duck with grapes and croutons and sticks of roasted potatoes, followed by strudel, all washed down with Weissbeir.

Duck

Strudel

Weissbeir

Suitably nourished by my three favourite food groups – duck, strudel and weissbeir – I then headed further south to my last stop on the Romantic Road – Augsburg.

Augsburg was established by the Romans in 15BC because it was on a trade route through to Italy, but it’s perhaps most notable Wikipedia entry is that it was the home of the Messerschmitt aircraft factory, supplying German fighter planes during World War 2.

I didn’t see much of Augsburg because I headed straight to Dichtl’s.

Dichtl ext

Dichtl is a pastry joint I could live in. I would be prepared to take up German residency to live in Dichtl’s. I would hide in the bathrooms during the day and come out at night, like a rat. I would forage, and be prepared to forgo my other favourite food groups to embrace my new three favourite food groups – cake, cake, and cake.

white cake green cake

Red Cake.2

Red cake int.

Dichtl’s is also a fabulous chocolate shop – all hand made of course. And in November, they had all their Christmas stuff out…

Goldenengel Chocolate Christmas trees

Chocolate santas

I had to leave the Romantic Road. I was getting fat. Too many damn favourite food groups.

I’ll go back and complete the journey. I want to get to the Fantasyland castle. See if I can find Tinkerbell… there’s things we need to discuss. Like did she invent fairy floss?

Tinkerbell 2

101 thoughts on “Germany – The Romantic Road

  1. Am getting fat and sloshed just reading all this. You had a fabulous time… just imagine the pastries and Heurigen food in Vienna… should be on your next road trip. Prost!

  2. OMG Bill,

    This is cruel! I want to be there! How can I be salivating so?, it’s just a blog.

    I may never come home after the Portuguese Tour, there is so much to see and taste all along the continent. I may just stay in Europe and feast!!!!!

    You have whet my foodie appetite!

    Arlene

  3. Top post Bill!
    I’d like a delivery of all those gorgeous goodies now!
    Tinkerbell may have invented fairy floss, but I have it on good authority that she was definitely the co-inventor, with Peter, of ‘Pan’cakes! (groan, I know – but it was the best I could come up with at short notice!).
    Cheers and Hi everyone –
    Jenny

      1. Cheers Bill!
        Steve – an awesome post: I love that you said “I will learn to look more. I will look in Portugal”. That’s a mantra that I will use – thank you.
        Bill – an old thread of yours on Ivar’s Forum has been revived with several posts over the last day or so. It was listed in the Digest. It’s your “Letting Go …” thread. You might not be aware of the new activity. It makes such interesting reading given your opening post and then your last post in February. I mention this here in case anyone who’s on Ivar’s Forum wants to check it out.
        You could do a ‘hooly dooly’ of an update for Forum members!
        Cheers – Jenny

      2. Hi Steve –
        I’ve just returned from the Land of Nod and that first caffeine hit is kicking in!
        ‘Hope that you were able to find Bill’s Letting Go thread with Ingrid’s help. The first thing that made interesting reflection was that Bill planned to walk in September!
        I wonder if the whole PGS miracle would have happened if he had carried on with that first plan.
        Cheers – Jenny

  4. Bill,

    The only commonality of your trip to Germany and one of my own in years past is that they were both in Germany. You put a great new spin on the country. You point out stuff that I am not likely to see. I will learn to look more. I will look in Portugal.

    Steve

    1. Hi Steve –
      Being completely lost on that one … I didn’t explain myself well enough just now … I wonder if Bill HAD walked in September would any of us have found him on Ivar’s Forum, as I think the majority of us did, in the early months of this year. Maybe some of us would have, maybe some not.
      The whole PGS blog and forum is a kind of miracle in my view – the wonderful insights, humour and exchanges that Bill creates between us all, have me thinking in an entirely different and expanded way – and that’s a miracle for me.
      Cheers – Jenny

      1. Hi Jenny
        I didn’t know he originally planned on Sept. If he had done it then I wouldn’t have found his blog as I walked in August and Sept and did not look much at Ivars blog just befor or after the trp. Up until my Camino I read it every night at 10:01 PM as soon as posted. OHHH, I just had a thought. If he HAD walked in September he would have passed us. Every one did. Maybe we would have met. It would have been a pleasure. I am so enjoying all of the banter between us.
        Lynda

      2. Cheers Bill !
        I was in the middle of doing a reply to Steve – step by step – definitely the “Long Way”! Thanks for the shortcut! Thanks too for posting the update – and the comment to Beatrice – spot-on.
        BTW Arlene, Steve and I have been working ‘behind the scenes’ on yet another PGS tour – the “PGS England Swings” tour where we all pile into a red double-decker London bus and career all over the countryside, visiting movie/tv sites such as Downton Abbey and Pemberley (Pride and Prejudice) … I am pleased to inform that we are currently in negotiations with Colin Firth to do an encore performance of his famous Pemberley lake scene – hooly dooly!
        Cheers – Jenny

      3. Jenny,
        HOOLY DOOLY – you know I will join that tour also. I know Colin Farrell is Irish but could you guys manage a guest appearance by him maybe?

        I LOVE THIS PGS FAMILY. I haven’t traveled in a few years, because I didn’t want to travel alone. Now look at this, Portugues Camino tour, Cannes Film Festival Tour, Fatima Tour possibility, Sicilian Food Tour, England Swings, The US National Parks Harley Tour! Any other ideas?

        How about a Safari Tour? The possibilities are endless!!!

        Arlene

      4. Jenny you just crack me up!!

        Steve too – and Arlene – and Lynda – you guys!!!

        I like the Truckers Roadstop tour – that would be VERY cool.

        I’m hankering to do a big road trip across America. Last time I did that, from Santa Fe to LA, I was driving a big brand new white Lincoln town car. That’s all that Hertz had available in Albuquerque when I landed in at 5 minute to midnight from a trip from Sydney. I felt like a gangster, but it was such fun!!

        Bill

      5. Bill,
        LA meaning Los Angeles or Louisiana?
        Another tour possibility – Gangster Road Tour πŸ™‚
        Arlene

      6. Los Angeles –

        drove through New Mexico, Arizona, then into California.

        It was a great trip. Included the Grand Canyon 1hour before sunrise. Something I’ll never forget.

        Bill

      7. And while we’re in the US, we can all “get our kicks” on the PGS Route 66 Tour! Stones tunes blasting away for the duration of course!

      8. Lynda,
        All we need is for them to be spaced out. Then we will be able to save the necessary $$, after all we all are pilgrims and know how to live frugally.
        Arlene

      9. Wish I were going with you all to Portugal but after two months in Spain that can’t happen right now. I am starting to save right now for the next tour be it Route 66 or Sicily or somewhere in between.
        Lynda

      10. Lynda, sure do wish you were coming to Portugal also. But there will always be the next time. I’m sure we all would have a blast – Arlene

      11. Hi Arlene –
        I’m delighted to report that it’s a ‘done deal’ with Colin Farrell … he’s on board for the tour, and he’s shouting the first round of drinks!

      12. Bill,

        Thanks for the connections to your posts on Ivar’s blog on Letting Go. Those guys don’t like the idea of transparency do they. I personally used that forum to gather information, and found it useful for that. Other than that, I have no use for the forum. Steve

  5. Bill to pick up what Jenny said. I believe when you are on the forum, click on your own name or alerts, with the new “like” feature that is easy. Top right corner looking at your screen. I believe you will be able to then follow the thread. Cheers!

    1. Thanks Ingrid.

      I am a little reluctant to spend much time on Ivar’s forum I have to admit. The moderators are like Nazis – and some of the posters are really up themselves. I swapped emails with Ivar this morning in fact, telling him I thought his moderators were too extreme.

      Bill

      1. I haven’t read much of Ivar’s since I found you on there. Some of the people can get downright nasty and mean. A lot of people just starting to look for info for thrir Camino walk get very nasty replies to some questions. I like our happy little family.
        Lynda

      2. Hi Lynda –

        yes, I don’t understand that attitude.

        It’s as though they live for that forum, and they get their self-esteem from it. And that self-esteem is based on them being superior and others being lesser.

        Seems they need to walk more Caminos to me!!

        πŸ™‚

        Bill

      3. I’m not too churchy but doesn’t Ivar LIVE in Santiago. I would think all in Santiago would have the best attitude towards Pilgrims past, present and especially future!

      4. Hi Lynda –

        yes he does live in Santiago.

        One of his moderators took down a post of mine in which I mentioned I’d written a book.

        I didn’t even name the title. They said it was promotion.

        Ridiculous.

        Bill

      5. I agree with everyone re their comments on Ivar’s Forum, though it’s better now. Mid-year there were so many snarky posts – but it seems that those people now choose not to comment all that often.
        And amen to you Lynda for your comment that you like our happy little family – I do too.

  6. Hooly Dooly Jenny, you always come up with something hilarious!
    Ingrid, I’ve been to one of those heringer (sp) places. Had to crawl back to the hotel.!!
    Steve, I had 65 days in Spain and thought we walked slow enough not to miss anything, but know we missed a lot. Taking your time is important to savor every restaurant, farm, mountain, garden and doors (Bill that is a superb door!)
    Bill, can I have some of that food now please!! Your trip must have been wonderful. All that food and beer was a good way to wash out all the old SC stuff. 35 years ago I took a short trip through Germany and Austria on my way to Sorrento. Three things I remember about Germany (1) In the train stations Germans were drinking beer at 8am! 2) At the Hoffbrau Haus in Munich it took both hands to lift a stein of beer. 3) The Neuschwanstein Castle is absolutely fabulous. I was somewhat disappointed in the castles I visited along the Camino as there wasn’t much left. I walked straight uphill to km to a castle Villamayor de Monjardin in 90 degree heat only to find ruins that looked more like a bombed out old fortress. But for the moment it was my castle as no one else was there.
    Could I have those pastries now, please.
    MAYBE A FOOD TOUR NEXT YEAR?????
    Lynda

    1. Lynda,

      Isn’t Jenny a hoot?

      A food tour – now that would be something! We’d have to walk though to get the calories off each day!

      I am actually considering a food/walk/pilgrimage tour of Sicily. That would be very cool.

      Bill

      1. Bill,

        I am hoping that I will be included in the tour group if such a Sicilian food/walk/pilgrimage tour occurs.

        Arlene

      2. Bill – Great, I’m in! My mother-in-law (deceased husband’s Mom) is from Sicily and taught me how to cook. I’ve always wanted to go to Sicily – oh the food – mwaah – squisito!!!
        Arlene

      3. I went to Sicily many years ago, when I had a film invited to the Taormina Film Festival.

        It was fantastic, and the food was amazing.

        I then met up with a lady who has just come back from a walking tour of Sicily, and she had a great time. She’s given me the name of the tour guide they used – and I’ve got in the back of my mind that I wouldn’t mind doing a Sicily tour. I need to do more research into any pilgrimage aspect to it…

        Bill

      4. Bill,
        How about calling it a Food Pilgrimage? It could be a pilgrimage from one food destination to the next. I’m loving the idea.
        Arlene

      5. Bill,
        Is there anything I can to do to help cultivate that seed?
        I can try to convince Steve of his need to join the group πŸ™‚
        Arlene

      6. Steve,
        I get it – you don’t like to plan ahead. Sorry, but you know if there is a Sicilian tour, I will pester you!
        Arlene

    2. Heurigen Lynda, but who cares, it’s a lot of Lederhosen and Beerstein hoisting Waitresses in Dirndel, music and getting sloshed. You got to experience it at least once in a lifetime.

      That PGS Swing tour in England sounds wonderful… any dates yet. Aside from being a Downton Abbey fan, the possibility to do tea the english way again, would be marvelous. Please keep me posted.

      1. Absolutely Ingrid! High tea at Fortnums in London will be the first stop on the tour! (We’ll all be so jet-lagged from our respective flights that we’ll all be asleep by 7pm, so dinner on the first night will be out of the question!).

  7. Bill,
    In regards to the pilgrimage aspect of it… every town has few churches. All you’d hav to do is pick two tht are the farthest apart and walk from one to the other, making sure of course that every good food spot in between is partaken of.
    Lynda

      1. Steve
        Summer before last we took my granddaughter and niece to Crater of the Moons, Yellowstone, Crazy Horse, Grand Tetons, Mt Rushmore, etc. They had a blast doing the Junior Ranger program in each park. The sidecar idea sounds good. You could take Arlene and Dale could take me.

      2. Hey Lynda,
        The last time I was on a motorcycle was in Hawaii on the back of my son’s motorcycle. I was terrified! I’d definitely need the sidecar! But something tells me Steve wouldn’t fly with that idea, BBBBB’s have an image to uphold – right Steve?
        Believe it or not, the only National Park I’ve been to is the Grand Canyon, I’d love to see them all!
        Arlene

      3. With the National Monuments added in we could be gone for years! On the trip I was mentioning we also went to Devil’s Tower monument which was featured in Close Encounters of the Third Kind movie. We coukd eat at all the roadhouses and trucker’s places (getting this back on track about food!)
        Lynda

  8. Steve would you ride with us if we took little mopeds. More my speed. Rode them in Saint Martin a few years back. Terrified that I was doing 60 until I realized that was kilometers and I was only going about 36 MPH.

  9. Jenny, you have some kind of a tentative timeline? Just wondering, might play a role in participating and booking my tickets for 2014.

    1. Hi Ingrid – I think we’ll need to check this out with ‘The Boss’ – Bill – not Bruce Springsteen, though I think we could grab Bruce in between world tours to be our ‘muso’ on the US PGS tours!
      Where shall we do High Tea in London? Fortnums sure is overly-touristy – has been for years – I can do a recce when I’m there in February and in June next year.
      Cheers – Jenny

      1. Jenny, I will dig into my tea files and 2011 London tea tour research. I am friends with Jane Pettigrew (THE British and some say world authority on tea) and spend 1 and half day with her “doing tea”. The rest of the days I enjoyed afternoon teas in a variety of places. I have some time between Christmas and New Years to do so. We could pm or email. Ingrid

      2. Hi Ingrid – let’s email re afternoon teas and the CSJ. BTW – I will put in THE BEST, BEST, BEST RECOMMENDATION for you when I meet the CSJ’s Volunteer Co-Ordinator in February!
        Cheers – Jenny x

      3. Jenny, also, I might know a bit more how 2014 is shaping up for me regarding Camino etc. by the time you meet with the Confraternity of St. James in February. I might ask you to put in a good word for me, IF 2014 is a go. πŸ™‚

  10. Y’all
    I just looked at the map for Route 66. Los Angeles to Chicago! Some sights even were talking about all the food spots to stop at. Arlene, since that is more in your corner of the country, is there still much to see of interest. I know Bill was talking about Twin Peaks the other day from the tv show and movie. It’s not too far from me and almost every day you can still see Japanese tourists outside the restaurant taking pictures. Was wondering if they still promote stuff along Route 66.
    Lynda
    P.S Gonna be offline for a couple hours. Had the flu for two days and gotta go catch up on work

    1. Lynda,
      I really can’t answer about Route 66, I just know it runs through Arizona and is pretty nostalgic. I would love to do a little recce of it though. I should look into it, the Portuguese tour is early April.

      I don’t know what the winter is like on the Route but if I can squeeze in a driving week or so and find a travel companion before Camino, I’ll do it. If not before, it will have to wait until I return from Spain – remember I will be creating a mosaic mural in Ventosa after the Portuguese tour. I think that will take upwards of 3 months.

      Arlene

      1. Give some thought to what the winter is like from Albuquerque, NM to Chicago, IL and you will know enough about what winter is like to avoid it in the winter. You can check out the Arizona and California portion.

      2. Hey Steve,
        Might you be interested in a recce with me for this tour?, of course in the auto! Maybe after the New Year?
        Arlene

      3. Okay, let’s re-visit this off-line. We could possibly coax Bill into a Route 66 tour, we’ll recce the good food stops along the way so he can tie it into this roadie food blog.
        Hey Bill – sound like a good idea?

        Arlene

      4. Hi Arlene,

        Next year is a bit of an enigma for me right at this moment.

        I’m waiting for confirmation that my Indian movie is financed. If that happens, then I’ll be in India for a good deal of 2014. Then there’s the tour in April, which I’m quarantining.

        If the Indian movie doesn’t go, then I’ll be throwing myself into the financing of the PGS film – and hopefully shooting that this coming year. So I’m not making any plans really after Easter.

        Just don’t know how the year is going to unfold.

        If I was going to do a tour though, another one, then I’d look at doing the Sicily tour…

        Bill

    2. Excuse me. Arlene is a New Yorker who happens to be misplaced in Arizona. She can barely find the Grand Canyon. But she can relate to this. The best “English” tea I have ever had is at the Plaza hotel at 4:00 in the afternoon with the violins playing show tunes.

      1. Steve,
        You know me too well! I don’t even know if Route 66 runs through the snowy part of Arizona or not.
        But yes, the English tea in the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan, I’m familiar with that. But really, as most of the PGS family knows, I am not a stuffy New Yorker! I’m a fun loving girl from Long Island who just happened to live in Manhattan and now regrettably in Arizona.
        Arlene

  11. Can any of you tell me how to PM someone. Fran Hailey/drvnsmiln, asked me to Private message her and before I got to figure it out or answer her the old blog was shut down. How do you Pm her or anyone have her email?

  12. Because some of you love Jane Austen, it is her birthday today.
    Jane was born December 16, 1775 and bought her tea, btw, at Twinings in London. Twinings were it is located today, is not the original location, but it is not far, on a sidestreet, and recognized by a plague. Ingrid

  13. Hello all. Wow, some have been busy, creating magical tours. What about the good ole Aussie pub crawl? Might just have to be the Downunder Hooley Dooley Tour. Jenny, what do you think? Would definitely have to walk that one. Bill, the outback foodies guide could be incorporated. At least I wouldn’t have jet lag, but a headache instead. Steve, I once rode a Harley with a friend. What a blast.
    Have had head down as we come to the end of the academic year. Such a busy and demanding time. No time for anything else, but thankfully holidays after Friday. Woo hoo. A month to read, relax, blog, sleep. Oh, and a week at uni also.
    Maybe I could check out some great pubs in Sydney.
    Cheers and blessings to all.
    Anne 🍷 🍻 🍹

    1. Dear Anne –

      great to hear from you.

      It’s been wonderful getting to know you this year.

      Best wishes from Jennifer and me for Christmas and the New Year. I hope you have a good break, and that we get to meet sometime in the new year!

      Bill

    2. Now you’re thinking Anne! Great idea! We could start off with some shandies at some of the historic pubs in the Rocks!
      Enjoy your well-earned break over the holidays and we hope to see you in the New Year … the pilgs dinner is still on for 1 January at the pub … don’t know how many will turn up, given it’s the first day of the New Year, but I will be there – an auspicious start to my 2014 Camino Year!
      Cheers – Jenny

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