There are roads that don’t just lead us from one place to another, there are routes that represent the journey itself; the Romantic Road is one of them. It is a journey through time, traditions, and through the everyday life of this German region that is Bavaria.
In theory, the Romantic Road has a direction; it starts in Würzburg, in the region of Franconia, and it ends in Füssen, in front of a wooden gate and right before a delightful sight of the Bavarian Alps. However, we are not bound to go along the route following this direction; we can also start from the end and go up northwards, a bit like we have done, also choosing some cities to visit and some stopovers.
The stopover place on our journey has been Lenggries, a holiday resort that has allowed us to break off our journey before reaching Füssen. One night at the DJH Youth Hostel Lenggries, a place with much green space available to our children, and then, the following day, departure for the very beautiful Neuschwanstein castle.
The white castle, which gave Walt Disney the inspiration for creating that of the Sleeping Beauty, is a must-see place along the Romantic Road, and the small town of Füssen is a little jewel set amid mountains and very beautiful lakes. You can’t miss out on the castle with decorated facades, in the town centre, the courtyard of the Benedictine monastery, and a trip along the lake. All before going back to the DJH Youth Hostel Füssen, a perfect base in Füssen, with a nice garden and a lot of space for relaxation.
Even if Munich is not really situated along the Romantic Road, you just can’t come to this area and not stay at least for one night in the city. The DJH Youth Hostel Munich Park is located almost in front of the Hellabrunn Zoo, a nice modern facility full of wide spaces for children both inside and outside the zoo area. On a summer day in Munich you really can’t miss out on the Englischer Garten with its large wooden pagoda and one of the nicest beer gardens in the city.
Along the Romantic Road, Dinkelsbühl is perhaps the town that has amazed us the most. The DJH Youth Hostel Dinkelsbühl is situated in an old timber-frame building, completely renovated, and it has comfortable rooms and wide well-equipped common areas. The outer courtyard and the tower are really beautiful; the latter overlooks the outer garden and the playground, and it kind of resembles the tower of Rapunzel, with its pointed roof. In the centre of the historic town you absolutely have to climb to the top of the church tower to admire the wonderful panorama of the town, with its many towers and its surrounding walls. The history museum of the town is also very interesting.
When you enter Rothenburg ob der Tauber you feel like you are taking one 500 year step back. That’s because of the magic atmosphere of the castle ruins, the towers, the timber-frame houses which much resemble those of fairy tales, so much so that always Walt Disney was inspired by them for the Pinocchio cartoon. The central square is magnificent, with its fountain wherein the beautiful surrounding buildings are reflected, as well as the shop next to it where the magic of Christmas is alive all through the year. In Rothenburg ob der Tauber the DJH Youth Hostel Rothenburg ob der Tauber is situated in a nice building in the historic centre where there once was a mill, a perfect starting point to visit the town.
The last stop along our Romantic Road has been Nuremberg. The DJH Youth Hostel Nuremberg is something special, it was originally part of the fortress of the town, and it was then renovated keeping its original style but equipping it with present-day furniture. Sleeping in the tower is a unique experience, you can really see the whole town through the windows!
From there we can easily move towards the historic centre, with its bridges, its central market and its Gothic churches. A must-see attraction is the Toy Museum, which allows the little ones to discover how their parents used to play, while at the same time it allows the grown-ups to feel a bit like children again.