Bavaria is an awe-inspiring region, from its incredibly beautiful lakes and castles to its medieval towns dotted with timber homes on cobblestoned streets . Our first stop after renting a car in Munich was Fussen. We stayed at Hartungs Hoteldorf, a beautiful hotel set on the lake in a nearby town. We arrived late but snuck in a nightcap at their Panaroma Bar before calling it a night. The next day was epic, starting off with a guided tour of the Hohenschwangau Castle. This was the residence of the Great King of Bavaria, Ludwig II and the tales of its past captivated both children. Next, we grabbed lunch and walked to the Marienbrucke bridge for an impressive view of the Neuschwanstein Castle and the waterfalls and lakes around it. Finally, it was our turn to enter the infamous Neuschwanstein Castle, which inspired Walt Disney’s Cinderella castle. It was easy to see the resemblance, and although the entire envisioned castle was never built due to the mysterious death of King Ludwig, it was absolutely magnificent. That evening, we enjoyed a sumptuous four-course meal at the hotel restaurant, and I tried cured deer for the first time; quite delicious.
The next day, we walked around the charming town of Fussen, the lech falls and then headed to the nearby forest adventure park for great views and cool play structures. After lunch, we drove the famous ‘Romantic Road’ to Rothenburg, stopping at Ausburg along the way. We strategically got to Rothenburg in the evening when the tour buses and crowds had left, which made for a particularly magical experience. We walked the quaint streets, dotted with colorful houses, and it felt as if we were in a fairytale. We dined at the main square while live music played. We experienced a small part of the night watchman tour before opting to venture out on our own to experience this charming town as the sun set. After capturing some great views, we returned to the hotel and enjoyed a bottle of wine after the kids are asleep.
We felt lucky to experience the sparse streets of Rothenburg early the next morning before the crowds set in, and had a chance to visit the museum to take in some of the city’s history. It was interesting to learn that several of London’s suburbs were inspired by this picturesque town. Next, we drove the rest of the ‘Romantic Road’ to Wurzburg where we toured the Residence grounds together before dropping Gaurav to the station to catch his flight back. We continued to stroll through the various sites, including the Marienkapelle and Fortress with sweeping views of the town. Finally, we enjoyed an amazing Italian meal by the river, before driving to Nuremberg for the evening.
Nuremberg, our base for the next three nights, was charming too with a very vast ‘Aldstatt’ or old town, comprised entirely of cobblestoned streets with no cars allowed. On the next day, we drove to Bamberg, another Bavarian town with canals, and were impressed by the rose garden adjacent to the palace, with impressive views of the town below. That evening, back in Nuremberg, we took a guided train tour of the town which gave us a solid dose of the town’s historical significance.
The next morning, we ventured to Playmobil Funpark in the outskirts of Nuremberg, a true treat for the kids. It was impressive to see how this park was designed to effectively avoid all the lines (and frustration) associated with major theme parks, but with (almost) all the fun. The kids had a bla from go-karting to peddle boats, to paddle rafting to countless play structures and bold slides – and I got to enjoy a pretty cool beer garden while I soaked it all in.
We kicked off the last day of the summer-long trip with a visit to the Imperial Castle of Nuremberg where we climbed to the top of the tower for some impressive view of the city. Next, we drove to Munich and hit the BMW museum where the kids learned about the history of BMW and it’s evolution including the vision for the future which included some impressive self driving cars. They also got to race virtually in a simulation experience that they both loved. After dropping the car off and checking in to the hotel, we headed straight to Hofbrauhaus, the infamous beer garden in Munich in memory of my father. It was arguably his favorite place in the world, and while it was too full for us to get a table, we enjoyed the live band and snagged a few pictures before settling in for an Italian dinner nearby. The service was incredible and we all already missed Italy! Last, we walked to Marienplatz to take in the activity, architecture and a last gelato before heading back to the hotel. This trip was definitely a once in a lifetime experience for me with the kids at this precious age, and I will forever be grateful for having had the opportunity to do it! Back to SF tomorrow and the start of new beginnings soon.