B A Y E R N & N E I G H B O U R H O O D
We have always enjoyed travelling in Germany. Not least in the very beautiful nature in the south of the country. Mountains, rivers, forests, villages and cities. All is a great pleasure to see and visit
And so are the people living there.
Therefore, we decided that our spring trip by car in 2010 should go there. Two cities we never visited before were on the top of our list: Nürnberg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
We decided to take a week off for the trip. And to do it quietly and with reasonable distances between our stops.
Our first stay was in the small and very pittoresque spa town of Bad Münstereifel. It has about 19.000 inhabitants. You find it in the Eifel region just east of Belgium, so it took us about 4 hours to get there. It is not far from Bonn, so when the German government had its seat there a number of politicians lived in Bad Münstereifel. Including the liberal Otto Graf Lambsdorff.
You can see more about the town here:
We stayed at an old, but very good and “hyggeligt” hotel in the very centre of town:
Orchheimerstrasse 19, D-53902 Bad Münstereifel
Tel. 0049 2253 92030
Life, also meaning good restaurants, were just outside and round the corner. In the evening we enjoyed a great meal in a very good Italian restaurant next door, called “Pane & Vino”. Afterwards we tried the very good local digestifs in the bar of our own hotel.
A lovely relaxing day – and very much arrived safely in holiday mode
The next day we headed east. Through the Eifel area, north of Koblenz at the Rhein and further on – most of the time driving on the excellent German Autobahnen. On the way we passed by Europe’s second largest airport nearFrankfurt. It was exceptionally quiet – due to the volcanic ashes from Iceland. But traffic was starting again. More impressive was a huge new building, which the airport is constructing on the other side of the motorway from the present buildings. It looks like a gigantic cruise ship. And it will be a modern shopping centre for millions of travelers. Just like normal cruise ships also are.
WERTHEIM am MAIN:
Near Würzburg we stopped in the town of Wertheim. It is the most northern town in Baden-Würtemberg, and it lies right where the river of Tauber joins the river Main. Many river cruise ships stop here.
Read more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wertheim_am_Main
Wertheim looks very nice with old, historical buildings, narrow streets, lots of shops and bars & restaurants. We decided to eat a Döner Kebab at a local Turkish café. Excellent. And a very nice owner.
We continued eastwards again and arrived soon as planned in Nürnberg. Great city in the northern part of Bavaria – or Freistaat Bayern, as they call themselves.
See details on this site:
A very historical city, which we had looked very much forward to discover. So we stayed two days and two nights. It was very cold in the beginning – actually 0 degrees in the morning. But during the day the temperature climbed up to 21 degrees
Our hotel was in the very centre of the Old City – die Altstadt. It is called Hotel am Josephsplatz:
Romantik Hotel am Josephsplatz,
Josephsplatz 30-32, D-90403 Nürnberg
Tel. 0049 911 214 470
It is a so-called Garni-Hotel meaning that you only can have breakfast there. No other meals. But it was an excellent hotel ( with Wi-Fi
), which we can strongly recommend.
After a stroll through the old town in bitter cold we “went Italian” once again at the Osteria PROVENZA in Hauptmarkt 6-8 ( www.provenza.de ). A huge, modern restaurant with the town hall ( and the tourist office ) just at the other side of the square. Also a restaurant with our best recommendations.
The next day was reserved for discovery of the rich – and often very cruel – history of Nürnberg. We started by getting excellent advice at the Tourist Office, where we also bought a 24-hour travel card for two to all public transportation in the city ( only 6,20 € ! ). From there we took Bus no. 36 to the Dukumentationszentrum Reichsparteigelände.
Nürnberg was during the Nazi period – especially during the 1930ies - made a special and very important city for the party and its activities. The annual Reichsparteitage took place here – with hundreds of thousands of people from all over the country. Much of it was inspired by the local, fanatic party leader Julius Streicher ( also the editor of the Nazi propaganda newspaper “Der Stürmer” ).
The Parteitage took place in a huge area to the south-east of the city. This area was all rebuild under the leadership of the Nazi architect Albert Speer. Among the models were the Pergamon alter and the Colosseum in Rome. Nothing was too big for Hitler and his criminal gang.
In this area the Dokumentationszentrum on the crimes of the Nazis has now been built. A very well planned and constructed information centre, where you are guided around in English or German with the help of earphones, which are included in the ticket. You really become very thoughtful and quiet, when you see all these criminal activities explained and illustrated
All the stones used to construct the huge buildings were made by KZ prisoners in the Concentration camps, in particular in Flossenbürg and Mauthausen. An extremely tough and deadly work, which cost lots of prisoners their life.
See more: www.museen.nuernberg.de
The Documentation Centre is inside the huge congress hall, which the Nazis never managed to finish. When the war started in 1939 they stopped further construction on the site.
Outside you can visit the huge area with space for the military and SS marches – surrounded by hundreds of thousand of spectators. The main parade area is called the Zeppelin Feld ( because it was before the Nazi area constructed for the landing of the Zeppelins ).
See more about the party rallies: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_party_rally_grounds
We actually visited the Zeppelin Feld and stood on the platform, where Hitler each year made his poisoned and aggressive speeches. I used the opportunity to be photographed with my thumb downwards as a sign of disgust !!
After the war the US military in Bavaria used the grounds for excersises and parades until 1995. Now they are often used for outdoor concerts and folk festivals. The slave prisoners haven’t worked totally in vain.
As everybody knows the final Allied Tribunal against the Nazi leaders also took place in Nürnberg in 1945-46. This was on purpose to really signal the disapproval of everything which Nazism stood for. The city was heavily destroyed by allied air bombardment during the war. But the Courthouse was still more or less intact. In addition it was huge and had a large prison linked to it. The Nazi leaders were condemned here, most of them to death. And they were also hanged in the prison here in October 1946. Their ashes were immediately thrown into a nearby river to avoid that any Nazi cult could profit from their graves.
We went to see the Courthouse outside the city centre. But it is closed for renovation until the end of the year. Then a new documentation centre on the Nuremburg Trials will open for the public.
If you want to know more about the Nuremburg Trials, you can read here:
Following this historical morning we enjoyed present day Nürnberg for the rest of the day. Especially the Neues Museum is impressive. It’s a museum for art and design.
Nürnberg is also a great shopping centre. Karstadt and others are all very attractive.
In the evening we wanted to eat good, local German – especially Franken – food and wine. And we did so in Germany’s oldest Weinstube from 1498: Goldenes Posthorn. Old, big, warm and very popular. Especially the famous Bärlauch Suppe ( in Danish: ramsløg ) was fantastic. Followed by local grilled dishes with mushrooms, etc. Uhmmmm
Sent down our “tasting alley” with excellent Frankenwein in Bocksbeutel bottles. Life makes real sense in such a situation
On Goldenes Posthorn:
( PS: Want to make Bärlauchsuppe? http://www.kochecke.at/kochrezept-baerlauchsuppe.html )
( PSS: Und Frankenwein dazu?
Filled with great impressions of all sorts we left Nürnberg the following day to discover more of the beautiful Bavarian landscape. The first target was the small and very charming wine village of Volkach. We have been there before. And we will come again. Really a lovely and joyful village – with half-timbered houses and wine producers everywhere:
Our favourite wine dealer is Max Müller, where we bought a reasonable number of Bocksbeutel bottles. You can also order wine from them over the Internet:
ROTHENBURG ob der TAUBER:
Next target on our trip was Rothenburg ob der Tauber:
A pearl of a small city. With old medieval city walls all around it. And with very steep and narrow streets with old undamaged houses. It has always been a very popular town to visit for tourists, also for Danes. We also saw a few.
Our hotel was Romantik Hotel Markusturm. A nice, old hotel built into the old city wall. More here:
Romantik Hotel Markustur
Rödergasse 1, D-91541 Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Tel. 0049 9861 94280
We were lucky to be in town at the same time as one of their many festivals. With music, markets, and superb weather.
In the evening we joined the local Night Watchman, who in medieval clothes and with old medieval weapons too showed us around the old city – introducing us in a very entertaining way to the horrors and very difficult “good old days” in Rothenburg.
The very special occasion during our stay in Rothenburg was that “my ladyship” turned 29 again
Of course, this had to be celebrated. In the evening before the great day we selected the best place in town – at the recommendation of helpful locals. It is called Restaurant Kloster-Stüble – a very historical place with excellent atmosphere and food & wine.
Here we enjoyed the very best Bärlauch Suppe on the whole trip – perhaps even the best ever
Next morning our hotel arranged a nice birthday breakfast with flowers and congratulations. And my local present that morning was “Rothenburger Schneeballen” – a special sort of cake, which is very actively promoted all over the town.
Our last stay on this spring tour took us to the city of Mainz in Rheinland-Pfaltz at the Rhein. A lovely city, which goes back to the Romans ( there are still big remains of the old Roman water line from outside the city ). And also the city of JohannGutenberg – the inventor of printing. An interesting Gutenberg Museum - very recommendable.
The city was in former times very much under French dominance ( its name in French is Mayence ). It is said that the reason why the streets signs on street parallel to the Rhein are blue and those on streets going towards the river are read is that it should help Napoleon’s drunken soldiers from getting lost
A special Danish angle to Mainz is that the Town Hall was made by the famous Danish architect Arne Jacobsen ( who also made the the hall in Aarhus, Denmark ).
Our hotel in Mainz was very pleasant and quiet – a part of a clinic – and placed near the centre in the green belt of Mainz – the former fortress area:
Hotel am Römerwall,
Römerwall 51-55, D-55131 Mainz
Tel. 0049 6131 2577
After a lovely walk in the botanical gardens and in the old city together with Liselotte’s German cousin Carl-Peter and his Karin we had dinner at a very nice and very intimate Weinstube called Zum Beichtstuhl ( in the “Confession Chair” ). Perhaps we needed it
It was great, anyhow.
And the night cap we enjoyed in another great place: Heiliggeist ( ”Holy Spirit” ) – an old hospital now turned into a huge, swinging wine bar:
So we ended our German tour in a rather religious mode – at least what the places were concerned
The way back towards Rixensart took us through lovely Hunsrück south of the Mosel river: http://www.hunsruecktouristik.de/
There we came across an old SS concentration camp SS Sonderlager Hinzert, which is now made a memorial:
Always a very sad and reflective experience. Those people should not have died and suffered in vain. This is definitely OUR task to ensure.
Talking about avoiding another disastrous European civil war like World War I and II it was very natural to go to Schengen on the way home. The small village at the Mosel in Luxembourg, where the borders between that country and Germany and France meet. And where European leaders in 1985 signed the agreement which give us all free movement without borders and border control. A key building stone of what is today’s peaceful and cooperating Europe.
On the Schengen agreement:
A fantastic spring trip came to an end! Altogether 1.550 km behind us. And an appetite for more visits to Bayern & its neighbourhoods in our mental bags!
It is all recommended to all of you!
Liselotte and Niels Jørgen Thøgersen
May 1, 2010
( dansk )
( English )
( dansk )