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Short trip to western Lake Constance in fall!
19. March 2019
As mentioned in the previous post, a part of our short trip in fall was a detour to western Lake Constance. Lake Constance is a well-visited place. Nevertheless, we think it’s one of the most underrated destinations in Germany. Our time here was short. You could easily spend a week here without getting bored. Nevertheless, you’d surely like to know what to do with a short time here. Konstanz/Constance Constance is a really idyllic place. Many students, many families, many tourists, many… It’s a diverse city and Switzerdütsch is widely spread here. Of course, for a reason. Of course, we‘ve just been to the Lake and in the Old Town. Sitting at the Konzilhaus with a cup of coffee, enjoying the fall sun…There’s worse and our time was well spent. Konschtanz (as people around the area might also call the city) is famous for its Imperia Statue, which turns on its own axis within a few minutes. The statue caused controversy as it was female and scantily clad, which is something that’s just not done. The statue is supposed to make fun of the Council of Constance (1414-1418). The Pope is sitting on one of her hands while the emperor is sitting on the other. And while the mighty men acted like they were doing mighty things, the real winners of those years, were the whores of the city. As always actually. The pilgrimage church of Birnau The Birnau pilgrimage church was actually not on our radar. On our way to Meersburg, we were looking for a bathroom for my preggo blatter and a place less pretty than this would have been totally ok for that purpose. From far we saw this beautiful pink church which is close to the heavily trafficked B31. Down at the church one hardly notices the noise and the view over Lake Constance becomes even more astoundingly beautiful. The church is really beautiful inside as well as outside. This short detour should be done even without an annoying blatter. Meersburg Another gem at Lake Constance. Surrounded by vineyards lies beautiful Meersburg. The Old Town is beautiful with its half-timbered houses. It’s beautifully restored without the effect of being fake-old. The new palace has a beautiful garden with a café and a view over the lake. The region’s wines are delicious. There’s a good variety in the ‘Georg Hack, Haus der Weinhandlung’ wine store. Jan can confirm that and hopefully, me too soon! Booking.com...
Short trip to beautiful Württemberg and the Schwarzwald (Black Forest) in Fall!
16. March 2019
You know it. There’s a bank holiday in sight and you miraculously you can make an extended weekend out of it. But of course, you don’t know what to do with your precious time. Naturally, we have some ideas for you. For example, spending a few golden fall days in Southern Germany. Sounds kitschy and it is. But still a good idea. To be exact, we made a trip to Lake Constance, South West Germany (Swabia) and the Black Forest. While we visited South West Germany (Swabia) before, the Black Forest and Lake Constance were partly new to us. Especially the Black Forest was something I thought was totally for boring people. But it’s actually quite nice here and it’s worth visiting. The food, in particular, is really delicious here. But enough with the banter. In the following, we’ll show you what to see in this corner of Germania. Swabia Spaetzle and Swabian ravioli. being stingy, weird dialect. Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. The Kehrwoche. Hard-working. “Work hard, work hard, build a wee house” (Swabian saying) … Interesting how Swabians got their reputation and how funny and unimportant that is. What’s even more important was where we stayed overnight. Staying at Charly’s House in Tuttlingen We can absolutely recommend Charly’s House in Tuttlingen. It’s clean and comfy, location is central and offers breakfast if you want to. The hotel itself is a good base to explore the region. Of course, with a rental car, that you can book here. Furthermore, there’s a kebab man nearby (Diyar Kebab) who makes many people happy with his delicious meals. If you want ‘real’ dinner, go to Vinzenz Weinkeller. Exquisite cuisine and very good wine. Prices are decent considering the food being a bit more upscale. Tübingen Tübingen is home to one of Germany’s famous universities and famous for its beautiful Old Town. Also for the row of houses along the Neckar river. Tübingen is definitely worth a visit. Schloss Lichtenstein/Lichtenstein Castle What we really loved was Lichtenstein Castle in the Swabian Alps. The castle was built in the 19th century and belongs to the rural area of Reutlingen. It’s a very well visited castle. Entry fee is 2€ for the outside area which is a very moderate price. The view over the castle on the rock is picture perfect. Burg Hohenzollern/Hohenzollern Castle Hohenzollern Castle is one of Germany’s most famous castles. First versions or mentionings of the castle are from the 11th century. Its current form was built in the 19th century. All this information is unfortunately really unuseful when it comes to the question of whether to see the castle just from the outside or more. The famous view over the castle is actually from the Zellerhornwiese. If you want more, means seeing the inner court or the dorms, you have to take the shuttle from the parking and participate in a guided tour. This way there’s no chance to have a view at the castle. That’s why we decided on the first option. It takes a short walk from the parking spot at the Mariazell Church to enjoy this view. Donauquelle in Donaueschingen/Donau source in Donaueschingen As the name says it, it’s the Danube’s source which is located between the city church of Sankt Johann and the castle. It’s nice to look at and of course historically and geographically interesting. Schwarzwald/Black Forest As mentioned before, The Black Forest is a part of our beautiful country we successfully neglected in the past. Typically German so to say, While Chinese or American people do notice this part of Germany very well, it’s otherwise still mostly people from the area, spending their vacation here. (Which are still quite a lot, but you know what I mean.) The rest of Germany (at least people of our age) not that much. Titisee This lake is really called Titisee, and we think it’s hilarious. It’s a beautiful lake where you can spend some relaxing time. This place is all about tourism. Souvenir shops and restaurants everywhere. And many people. Really many, many people which we didn’t expect. But Maybe just because we underestimated the Black Forest area. Doesn’t matter. It’s a nice place. Triberg with its waterfall and the world’s largest Kuckucksuhr (cuckoo clock) Triberg is THE place in the Black Forrest and famous for its 163m high waterfall. It’s one of Germany’s largest waterfall. On the other side, Triberg is a cuckoo clock city. In Triberg you’ll find the biggest cuckoo clock in the world. Actually, in a place a little bit outside of the city in a beautiful valley. The cuckoo clock shop in Triberg is an attraction for itself. It’s hilarious to see what people are ready to pay for this stuff. Amazing! Baden-Baden Strictly speaking, Baden-Baden belongs to Baden and not Wurttemberg, but on our way home to Frankfurt, we thought it was a good idea to make a little stop here. Baden-Baden is a really quiet and really rich spa town. The city’s wealth derives from its thermal baths which attract people from everywhere since the 19th century. Baden-Baden is not really the place to be. It’s boring and I actually think, that’s what people in this town want. For a drink or a meal at the café of the Kurpark Trinkhalle, it’s worth a visit. Yes, it’s called Trinkhalle and shouldn’t be confused with the Trinkhallen of the Ruhr area. Booking.com...
12. March 2019
Madeira is not only all about green and the sea. The island’s sights are not limited to the coasts. The inland is equally beautiful offers scenic viewpoints and has a lot to offer especially for hiking fans. Madeira may be just a tiny island in the middle of the Atlantic. But its mountains reach far in the sky and this gives you the great and rare opportunity to see the clouds from above, (rare at least outside from a plane). Seriously, this is beautiful. Pico do Arieiro Pico do Arieiro is the third highest mountain of Madeira and the highest to be reached by car. Some meters below the summit there’s a parking lot and the start of a great hike to the two higher summits of Pico Ruivo and Pico das Torres. On clear days you can even see Ponta de São Lourenço from up there. But even if not, the view over the valleys and the clouds is worth the drive up here. For our small rental car, it was really a challenge, though. Tip: For your way up, we recommend you take the panoramic route. To get there, leave the VE6 in direction of Eira do Serrado and then turn right to take the steep road up. It’s less crowded and offers plenty of great viewpoints. Definitely worth the steep drive. Miradouros do Paredão One of those lesser known viewpoints on the panoramic route. Two views, to be precise. One covers the view over Funchal, the second is in direction of Curral das Freiras. Eira do Serrado As I just mentioned it: You’ll have the best view over Curral das Freiras from here. So, of course, plenty of buses take the narrow and steep road up here, too. Curral das Freiras The Valley of the Nuns is one of the most beautiful and impressive places on Madeira. Our opinion. The houses in this small town seem to be so small compared to the huge mountains surrounding it. We wondered whether the people were afraid of the mountains sometimes. We would be! Sitting in the Sabores do Curral restaurant in great afternoon light, enjoying great food and the splendid view – you can’t beat this. Ribeiro Frio Another great place in Madeira’s inland: Ribeiro Frio. It’s famous for its trouts and as a starting point of the Balcoes Hike, which takes just 30 minutes and is very easy. Actually, it’s not a hike but an easy walk. But the view is amazing and you wouldn’t expect it after walking through the woods. After your walk, go for lunch in the village and enjoy a trout. Of course, it’s quite touristic but delicious. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Or if you want us to add something to the list. More about Madeira here: Funchal and Southern Madeira! The North and East Coast of Madeira! Our Babymoon in Madeira! Booking.com...
The North and East Coast of Madeira!
10. March 2019
The advantages of a rental car are obvious. How else could you easily reach other parts of Madeira, without following a strict time plan? There aren’t any earth-shattering distances on the island. It’s still not easy without a rental to reach east and the northwest coast of the island. Which would be sad because the island’s landscape is diverse and like in a picture book. Without any exaggeration, Madeira’s nature reminds of some kind of Rivendell (Lord of the Rings). It’s blooming everywhere. Waterfalls along the streets and the coast are the cherry on the top. It reminded us a little bit of Norway. Our big city lungs were a little bit overstrained with all the fresh air. I should stop now! Ponta de São Lourenço This nature gem called Ponta de São Lourenço is located at the most eastern part of Madeira and reminded us strongly of Ireland. Also, a little bit of Brittany, but most of Ireland. Somehow a lot of parts of the island reminded us of certain other areas in Europe. The Atlantic Ocean shows a lot of talent forming stones and offshore islands. The most famous viewpoint is the Miradouro do Ponta do Rosto. Miradouro do Ponta do Rosto Santana The small community of Santana is located at the north coast of Madeira and famous for its thatched houses, which everyone must have seen before. They’re as cute at the inside as they look from outside. Some of them got restored recently and prettied up. Not far from the houses, there’s the restaurant Serra e Mar. There’s no huge variety on the menu but what they offered was delicious. Hiking up the mountain after lunch being six months pregnant was an effort I didn’t include in my plans. (It was actually just a little steeper hill, but still.) Porto Moniz Porto Moniz is located on the north west of Madeira and famous for its lava pools filled with seawater. Porto Moniz is really focused on tourism which is why there are lots of hotels and restaurants. We ate at the Restaurant Olhos d’Agua, as it’s supposed to be with a view. Miradouro da Santa That’s the name of the viewpoint throning over Porto Moniz. Our little rental car wasn’t very delighted by the steep ride up, but we ignored it successfully and got rewarded. Ribeira da Janela & Ilheus da Rib Ribeira da Janela is also in the northwest of the island and belongs to the Porto Moniz district. Here’s one of the famous photo spots of the island, called Ilheus da Rib. It ‘s a rock formation reminding of needles looking out of the water. It looks really pretty. Miradouro do Véu da Noiva As if all this wasn’t picture perfect enough, there’s another pretty corner with a Miradouro. This time the Véu da Noiva and we actually had the feeling it was unreal. We’ve really seen worse on this planet. For all those who think this is all too boring, just looking at nice things: You are very welcome to pack your hiking shoes and hike your jittery butts up to the many viewpoints of the island. Madeira and especially the north are perfect for it. More about Madeira here: Madeira’s inland! Funchal and Southern Madeira! Our Babymoon in Madeira! Booking.com...
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