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German castles & medieval towns between Munich & Frankfurt

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Any normal person would Google Munich to Frankfurt and see that it only takes about 3 ½ hours depending on how fast you wish to drive on the autobahn! However we are NOT normal. We took one look at train prices and decided that hiring a car wouldn’t cost too much more.

By the way if you’re interested in traveling to Germany for a damn good deal, Great Value Vacations has some pretty amazing and affordable vacation packages to Berlin, Munich and Bavaria that start at $950 a person and include airfare, hotel and excursions. Check them out.

It may be small but this building on Trappensee Lake is classed as a castle!

It may be small but this building on Trappensee Lake is classed as a water castle!

We aren’t going to tell you our exact route, but after surviving Oktoberfest in Munich we basically did a giant zigzag in order to see as many castles and medieval towns as possible. So to save you doing so much driving, we have picked our favourite towns and castles. First of all ‘Ausfahrt’ is not a destination accessible from every off ramp! It means ‘Exit’! Another word of wisdom to keep in mind, is that the autobahns with speed limits do have speed cameras… and the flash is blinding!

Our favourite German castles between Munich and Frankfurt

Neuschwanstein Castle is there somewhere amongst all the fog!

Neuschwanstein Castle is there somewhere amongst all the fog!

We were crazy enough to visit Neuschwanstein Castle on a public holiday. This meant that along with all the Asian tourists, there was an awful lot of Germans. Plus even though we arrived by 11am, the soonest tickets we could buy were for the German tour at 2.30pm, as the tours in English were sold out until 4pm. So, if you don’t have German friends at hand to translate the tour for you, we recommend booking in advance online. The castle was amazing and the tour was certainly very interesting! Don’t worry I won’t spill the beans but the manmade Grotto room made my jaw drop!

Mespelbrunn Castle

Mespelbrunn Castle

Mespelbrunn Castle is located on a pond between Frankfurt and Wurzburg. Unfortunately we arrived 30 minutes after its closing time of 5pm, but it looked cool from behind the fence!

Lichtenstein Castle

Lichtenstein Castle

Lichtenstein Castle is located on a cliff top near Stuttgart and cost 6 euro per person for a tour in German, however they did give us a very informative written guide in English. This castle is small in comparison to Hohenzollern castle but the story behind it is extremely interesting. It was shelled by tanks in World War II, and today you can still see the cracked mirror from where a small fragment of a tank-grenade ricocheted!

Hohenzollern Castle

Hohenzollern Castle

Hohenzollern Castle is not too far from Lichtenstein Castle. It is located on a hill top near Hechingen and we really enjoyed the guided tour. Along with getting to wear GIANT slippers, make sure you explore the casemates and secret passages. One sign made me want to learn more, it read “Exactly where these steps lead to is unknown. Most likely, more casemates and secret passage ways are waiting to be discovered in the heart of the mountain”!

Heidelberg Castle

Heidelberg Castle

Heidelberg Castle was a lot larger than we expected! Unfortunately we had spent far too much time at the Auto & Technik Museum in Sinsheim, so did not have time to explore this castle. But if we get the chance we would definitely explore the town and its castle next time we are in Germany.

On our drive from Munich to Frankfurt we also loved:

Andechs Monastery

Andechs Monastery

The beer garden at Andechs Monastery was just like Oktoberfest but amongst trees and more family friendly. The beer was cheaper and the food was great, including the giant pork knuckle which Moss was unable to finish. It was also fun walking up multiple flights of stairs to the very top of the tower.

River surfing in Munich

River surfing in Munich

Rothenburg

Rothenburg

Three hours in Rothenburg was not enough for us to explore this amazing medieval town! We recommend getting your hands on a city map from the tourist information office. We really enjoyed Roder Gate, walking along the wall and exploring the 17th-century spital bastion, plus Moss lost me in the Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas shop for over half an hour, and I didn’t even buy anything!

Bamberg

Bamberg was a neat town with old buildings in the centre of the river and has a famous smoked beer which Moss just had to try!

Auto Technik Museum in Sinsheim

I’m not the hugest car or plane fanatic, but even I enjoyed the Auto & Technik Museum in Sinsheim. A highlight for me was getting to slide out of an aeroplane (from the museums roof)!

The worlds narrowest street

Don’t go out of your way to see it, but if you are passing through, the worlds narrowest street in Reutlingen is worth a photo

Frau Rauscher spitting statue Frankfurt

In Frankfurt, go to the old part of town for an apfelwein and to see the Frau Rauscher statue – just watch out, she spits about every 12 seconds!

Since May 2014, Rebecca has been wearing out her jandals. She loves anything that involves the ocean whether it be scuba diving, wakeboarding, jet skiing or more recently - sailing! Consider following her via RSS Feed, Twitter and Facebook.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Joy @MyTravelingJoys

    October 19, 2014 at 2:41 AM

    Fantastic photos! I’d love to visit some of these, but at least Nuremberg is on the list for December. 🙂

  2. Selma

    October 20, 2014 at 3:54 AM

    Germany certainly has a lot of castles … also, Bavarian architecture gets me every time!

    • Rebecca Barlow

      October 20, 2014 at 9:03 AM

      It sure does! At one point we managed to see 5 castles in one days driving, hard to believe!

  3. Kristy

    October 23, 2014 at 5:31 PM

    I love the first photo! It looks surreal to me. I hope I can visit it one day.

  4. Shaun

    March 10, 2015 at 10:04 PM

    Ive been to some of these. I loved the Technics museum. It was so cool. I left my camera at the shop counter and had to catch the train back there which took 4 hours. When I had the pictures printed I had a whole lot of the girls serving in the shop. Happy days.

    • Rebecca Barlow

      March 15, 2015 at 5:48 PM

      Hi Shaun, yes the Technics museum was very cool! Wow that’s a shame about your camera. Makes for a good story though and at least you got it back!

  5. Milena Yordanova

    February 23, 2016 at 5:19 PM

    It looks that you had a great time visiting these beautiful castles. 🙂 Hohenzollern Castle is on my list since a long time.

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Adventure Travel

Most Underrated Travel Destinations

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Everyone knows about Paris and Rome and London but there are so many other beautiful travel destinations that are amazingly underrated and they are cities on our list to visit again once the Coronavirus allows. The fact that so many beautiful countries go unexplored by travelers is a tragedy and we want to change that after Coronavirus. Not only because so many people are missing out on rich cultures and picturesque views, but also because a lot of these destinations tend to be a lot cheaper to travel to than popular cities. 

But what a lot of people don’t know is that there are gorgeous, underrated foreign cities one can visit for a fraction of the price of touristy European cities. Forbes recently published a collection of the ten most underrated destinations you should consider visiting. 

Here are a few of them to learn about while stuck at home due to Coronavirus:

Yerevan, Armenia

Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, is known for its magnificent sights of Mount Ararat, historical monasteries, and its many striking temple ruins. Armenian cuisine is other worldly with classic dishes like rabbit stew, sautéed eggplant rolls, and lamb tartare. 

Telč, Czechia

Telč is a colorful town with Italian influences in Czechia. It boasts of Baroque-Renaissance architecture and has a castle of its own with exciting tunnels and passageways that you can explore underneath the town.

Santiago, Chile

Santiago is the capital of Chile and features gorgeous architecture from the neoclassical era. There are towering cathedrals and, of course, plenty of quality Chilean wine. Plus, the city of Santiago is a great place to kick off your exploration of Chile’s wine country. 

Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Rotterdam is often ignored due to the popular neighboring city of Amsterdam, but it is a bastion of underground music and street art. The architecture is strikingly modern since the city was heavily bombed during World War II and thus had to be rebuilt from the ground up. The city is filled to the brim with amazing cuisine and museums.

Lagos, Nigeria

If you are looking for a big city destination, Lagos is a metropolis that has plenty to see and do so that you’ll never be bored. And whenever you need a break from the urban marketplaces, private beaches are just a short drive away.

Con Dao, Vietnam

Con Dao is a Southeast Asian island that makes an excellent beach destination with two resorts and tons of fascinating history. Once host to a brutal French prison, the island is also home to the tomb of the Vietnamese martyr Vo Thi Sau. 

Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

This is one of the oldest cities in Uruguay dating back to the 17th century. The city has a vibrantly decorated historic quarter and a three-century-old convent. It’s also only a short trip away from the bigger city of Montevideo.

A majority of Americans, when asked about traveling abroad, will likely shake their head and say they can’t afford such trips. Many people deal with multiple monthly bills, such as mortgage or rent, student loans, and title loans, which are all stress inducing. 

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Adventure Travel

3 Tips For A Luxury Camping Experience

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If you are used to travelling in style and staying in high end hotels, camping is probably your idea of hell. Why would you spend a week sitting in a freezing cold tent, hiding from the rain when you could be relaxing around the pool in a nice hotel? But camping gives you a completely different travel experience and if you do it right, it can be very rewarding. If you invest in the right equipment, you can enjoy all of the good things about camping without any of the downsides. If you follow these simple tips, you will have a comfortable experience and fall in love with camping.

Image From Pixabay CCO License

Buy The Right Tent

The tent is the most important thing if you want a comfortable camping experience. All of those horror stories you hear about leaking tents only happen because people buy cheap tents. If you invest in a good quality tent, it should hold up to the weather and keep you dry and warm.

When you are buying a tent, you need to check the hydrostatic head rating. This gives you an indication of how much rain the tent can stand up to before leaking. The higher the rating, the less likely your tent is to leak. It is also important to consider the size of the tent and how easy it is to put up, especially if you are planning a road trip. You need to make sure that it fits into the car easily, and you also want to avoid anything that is too complicated to put up. However, be careful with pop-up tents because most of them will not stand up to the rain.

If you want the ultimate comfortable camping experience, you should consider a camper trailer instead. There are some great camper trailers that come with all of the same facilities that you would find in a basic hotel, so you can camp in comfort. If you really hate the idea of camping, this is the best option.

Get A Good Quality Sleeping Bag

If you are worried about being freezing cold at night while you are camping, you need to get a good quality sleeping bag. A cheap one will not be comfortable and it won’t keep you warm, so you need to make sure that you buy a good thermal one. Sleeping directly on the floor will be uncomfortable as well, so you should invest in a sleeping mat as well. If you are willing to spend a little more on good sleeping equipment, you will be nice and comfortable while camping.

Pack Good Food

The food is another big issue for people when they go camping, but there is no need to live on beans all week. You can get some great dehydrated camping food packs so, as long as you take a small camping stove, you can still eat proper meals. If you pack a coolbox and freeze some food before you go, it should last a while so you can have barbecues as well. As long as you plan ahead, there’s no reason why you can’t eat well while you are camping.

Camping doesn’t have to be the nightmare experience that you think it does. If you follow these simple tips, you can have a luxury camping experience and enjoy all of the benefits of the great outdoors.

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Adventure Travel

Tips for Planning Your Uluru Tour

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Located in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, the magnificent sandstone of Ayers Rock or Uluru stands tall at 1,142 feet above ground. The natural formation is widely known for being one of the most sacred places to the indigineous peoples in Australia. At the same time, it is also popular for attracting tourists from all over the world to the land down under.

If you want to visit Uluru in order to pay tribute to this wonder of nature, then doing so through the right tour is in your best interest. It’s not only because Uluru is located at least a few hours from civilization, but it also because such a tour allows you to enjoy the picturesque sights that come along the way within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

So what sights are there to see along the way and what other general tours suggestions you should keep in mind while visiting Uluru? To help you answer these and some other important questions, here are 5 top tips to keep in mind while visiting Uluru.

Don’t Climb the Monolith

First things first, while it is legal to climb atop Uluru, it is recommended that you do not attempt such an action in order to show your respect to the indigenous peoples.

It is a pretty easy rule to follow when you pay attention to the emotions of the indigenous tribes who have recommended time and again for people to not climb Uluru.

But that doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy the natural beauty that Uluru has to offer. In fact, you are encouraged to visit the sandstone and take in its natural glory by standing right beside the formation. That’s why 4WD tour is highly recommended. The tour guides would be able to tell you what you can and can not do.

Visit During Sunset

Ask anyone who has visited Uluru about the best time to see the formation, and you will instantly get the answer as “sunset.”

It’s because Uluru is not an ordinary monolith, but one that is formed through arkosic sandstone. This allows the rock to actually change its color according to the position of the sun. As a result, you can expect the formation to sport a different color depending upon what time of day you reach it.

At sunset, Uluru projects an amber glow that is surreal to take in, especially when you are seeing the formation in person for the very first time. That’s why, it is recommended that you time your trip in a way that allows you to experience this magnificent sight.

3. Take Your Time to Plan the Trip

Perhaps the best way to visit Uluru is through the nearby town of Alice Springs, which has various amenities and accommodation options for tourists who are making their way to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

The drive from Alice Springs to Uluru can take around 5 hours, which is why it is recommended that you arrive at least a day before you are planning to tour Uluru.

This way, you can reach the national park while feeling fresh and rested. This also gives you time to plan longer trips to the park in order to enjoy all that it has to offer.

4. Take in the Sight of the Rock Art

Uluru is not just a wonder to look at by itself, but it also holds several little pieces of wonderful art within it.

The caves at the bottom of the formation hold several pieces of rock art that can only be found at Uluru. If you love learning about other cultures through their art, then this will be a must visit.

Just make sure that you take the time to learn about this art through a local tour guide or via the information provided within these exhibits. This ensures that you have an immersive and informative experience which you can remember for a long time.

5. Don’t Forget the Natural Attractions Around the Rock

Enjoying the breathtaking sight of Uluru sounds rewarding enough for a trip to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. But it’s not all that you can do during a tour of Uluru.

From seeing the red kangaroos and other marsupials to spending some time with the camels, and from seeing the one of a kind formations of Kata Tjuta to taking a walk by the Valley of the Winds, there’s so much to see and do around Uluru.

That is why, it is recommended that you take your time at the park and put aside at least two days to enjoy all of the unique activities that the area has to offer. It would give you a well-deserved break from the hustle and bustle of daily life while also allowing you to make the most out of your long journey to the sandstone.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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