On the road – The Allgäu

Esslingen-4-header

We finally decided on a trip for our holidays a week before we wanted to leave, so about four weeks ago. A friend was visiting and we were discussing our many options. And our friend, who lives in Bavaria, in the Allgäu, said that depending on were we were going we should come visit. This helped me to convice Michael to go on a road trip.

As promised we went to the Allgäu, about 70km east of Munich. But before, we helped Michael’s mum with some stuff, then took her car in exchange for ours for two weeks an headed to Darmstadt to have dinner with my parents and stayed there for a night. When we left the next day, it was already midday and rather cloudy. So we decided to tackle the 400km to the Allgäu and skip Heidelberg as a stop on the way south. But when we reached Stuttgart, which was about halfway between Darmstadt and our destination, we needed a break. But Stuttgart really doesn’t draw me in. I’ve been there but I wasn’t really keen to go again. So we drove on and followed the next brown sign (which are suppossed to mark interesting sights) and ended up in the town Esslingen. We had a short look around the castle and then went down to check out the old town center. It was quite nice but somehow a little boring and weird. We then tried to get something to eat, mind you, at 4 p.m. We might have had cake and coffee somewhere but getting something a little more hearty proved to be more than difficult. We finally found a bakery were we could at least get some proper sandwiches and were send off with a friendly “good night”, at 4 p.m.! Weird people there near Stuttgart, really weird…

Next stop was Rettenbach in the Allgäu. We stayed near Kempten in the middle of nowhere in the Panorama Hotel auf dem Auerberg. Here again it proved difficult to get something to eat. It was now nearing 9 p.m. and there was no restaurant or pub to be found that was still open and serving dinner. We drove about 30km overall just to finally get something to eat. The next day the weather was super bad, foggy, drizzling and no view of the Alps at all (and I’m pretty sure the view from our hotel would have been really nice). Because it was pretty close we went to Schloss Neuschwanstein. Yes this thing in the fog is the Disney Castle inspiration Neuschwanstein. We didn’t go up there for bad weather and only explored the village in the valley below the castle, took an outside look at Schloss Hohenschwangau the castle on the other side of the valley and got more familiar with the Bavarian rulers who build or restored the castles in the Museum der Bayerischen Könige. By then the weather was really bad (just judge by my face) and we decided it was time for a snack. As it was impossible to avoid the touristy crowds in Hohenschwangau and nearby Schwangau had nothing to offer we drove the 15km to Füssen, were we had a quick look around and found a nice snack. In the end we went back in Schwangau and there to the Kristalltherme. This thermal swimming pool with saunas and the like was just exactly what we need after so much cold drizzle.

When we came back we hardly made our way up the Auerberg. It snowed really heavily. No wonder near the Alps but not planned for us with only summer tires and travelling in October. We nearly didn’t make it all the way up and our friend U-turned and drove back home because he feared not to get back home anymore had he stayed with us for dinner. Therefor we were quite happy that they had cleared the street when we wanted to leave the next morning.

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