Dates: Friday, September 5 - Sunday, September 15 2019
Occasion: Vacation!!! Visiting Maria :)
We had booked this trip for part of our honeymoon two years ago but then with the move to sf and the new job, we had to cancel it. So this is technically our belated honeymoon/2 year wedding anniversary trip.
Stay: Maria’s home in Stuttgart and apartment in Garmisch
Stuttgart - Grießweg 5, Jettingen 71131
Garmisch - Partnachstraße 32 or Von Brug Straße 11
7:40 - Munich Airport (Maria to pick us up)
Activities: hard core fight jet lag
Dinner: Grill out at Maria’s
Still hardcore fighting jetlag so we skipped our downtown Stuttgart itinerary. Instead we decided to do our Stuttgart castles today
Hohenzollern Castle: Privately owned and still used by the House of Hohenzollern- which we found out once we arrived, because the prince happened to be here today and was using it for friends and family- meaning the castle wasn’t open to the public :(. However the drive was still really pretty and we decided to instead go see the view of the castle you usually find on postcards - at Zeller horn. Zeller horn is on another mountain near by where you can park at the hotel and then hike for a short 20 minutes. However we took the wrong turn at the first fork (everyone go right, not left) and so it took us closer to an hour to find then clearing. However, I’d say it was still worth it.
Lichtenstein Castle: After Hohenzollern, we drove another 30 minutes to a nearby castle Lichtenstein. It’s way smaller and unfinished but it has beautiful views of the valley and the little cozy castle looks like a mini Disney tower.
Tübingen: Since we saved some time by not going into Hohenzollern, on the way back we were driving through Tübingen so we decided to park in this college town and walk around. This place is SO CUTE. I kept on singing Beauty and the Beast’s “Little townnn, it’s a quiet village…” in my head (even though I know we aren’t in France YET. They have a town square with cobbled roads and feels like you’re on a set of a movie. It doesn’t feel quite real. We picked up a crepe from a truck and ate on the steps of the fountain in the middle of the square before exploring the rest of the city. If you just walk east and towards the water, you cross the bridge and get the view of where all the popular photos are taken- with little boats/gondolas and colorful buildings on the side. The bridge also takes you to the middle strip in the middle of the water, which has a beautiful tunnel of trees and benches. So we just walked down the tunnel along the water, watching the boats go by and listening to the church bells. Probably my favorite part of the day. Sometimes the best things are unplanned :)
Maria let us take the car for the day so it was mainly Dennis and I just exploring on our own. I was a little nervous at first, but I’m glad we did it. Something about this trip I already appreciate is how not touristy everything is. It’s just a lot of small local towns and I don’t feel like I have to be on edge looking for pickpocketers at every moment like when I was in Europe last time. Other random thoughts, I don’t quite know what I expected Germany to was like, but I was surprised by how all the towns are laid out. Basically because of city zoning laws, you can’t build outside of city limits, you can clearly see each town and it’s border. So when you are driving around it’s farm, hill, trees, mountain, cow, town with cute church steeple, more farms, more farms, another small town with a church.
Woke up feeling SO SICK. So we skipped Esslingen which is suppose to feel a little like Tübingen so I didn’t feel so bad. Maria and Sean took us to the Army base to pick up some meds and check out the Christmas Ornaments (may have been the highlight of the day). Christmas here is a big deal, and I’m a little bummed now, wondering if we should have come later in the year. But the base has the shop year-round with gorgeous handmade & hand-painted ornaments so I bought a few of my favorites.
Pumpkin Festival at Ludwigsburg Residential Palace: It was gross and rainy outside but we wanted to still see the pumpkin festival and all the cool statues. The food was actually really good- pumpkin soup, pumpkin beer, almonds (which is a thing here) etc. The grounds were also really nice but wish the weather was more accommodating.
Monday (strasbOuRg + colmar)
Colmar and Strasbourg are part of the Alsace region of France, which inspired the little town in Beauty and the Beast. It is most know for its wine, storks, Christmas markets (again with Christmas! We should have come during Christmas)
Black Forest: To get to France we drove through the Black Forest which is home to Brother Grimm fairytales. So Hansel and Gretel are somewhere close by.
Colmar: Colmar is this cute little town that feels most like Beauty and the Beast. What I love most about it is the window decorations. It was rainy when we first got there but cleared up by the time we finished eating lunch. We walk to little Venice which has the best views of the small town and got some chocolate to take home.
Lunch: Monde de Cafe
Shop: cookies at….
Strasbourg: Spent way too much time at Colmar because it was so cute. But we had to stop by to view the Cathedral, which was so beautiful.
Left at 5am to head into Garmisch. I could not have expected the mountains to shoot up like that from nowhere. We actually drove into Austria to get into the town and the views were just unreal.
Since we hadn’t slept and we were so jet lagged, we slept for most of the morning and then walked around the town which feels like it could be on a post card.
Ate a traditional Bavarian dinner at Zum wildschütz, which was really good. We had the goulash of game dish, pork schnitzel, and the flat bread thing I can’t remember the name right now :)
Church of grainau
Thursday (Neuschwanstein Castle + innsbruck)