This is the long awaited sequel to European Family Vacation Pt 1: Bavarian Alps. We are out of the highlands and down in the lower Bavarian farm land. Our center of operations was the delightfully medieval town of Dinkelsbuhl. And this was a great place to base ourselves out of!! The town seems to come directly out of an old medieval story; its the type of town that the unknown hero would hail from prior to venturing forth on grand adventures. This would be fitting as Dinkelsbuhl is the final resting place of St. George the dragon-slayer. And while I firmly uphold that not all dragons were dasterdly, fire-breathing, livestock eating, village terrorizing beasts that folk have made them out to be; you have to admit being one of those knights going around bringing them down had a bit of adventure. Irregardless, the town is classic medieval beauty. (Though I have to mention that my wife just read this and said she would describe it as “quaint and colorful” not medieval at all.) It also plays the part fairly well by offering a nightly walk with the night watch man. This is a lovely experience, and if today’s replica is any indication, I now know where the original “beer crawl” took place. The night watch man would gather souls, young and old, and head out as the sun set. He would escort all to the nearest pub, blow his brass horn and sing a song over 500 years old. In response, or just to get him to stop singing, the pub would send out a large tankard of ale or two, which would be passed around the group (soda for those a bit younger) and when the drink was gone…it was on to the next pub…and the next…and the next…you get the point. The food in the town was good and there were some very nice bakeries and delicatessens too, and our little two bedroom apartment at the Hotel & Restaurant Eisenkrug, which was right downtown. The food they served was excellent, the beer perfectly dark and cold, and the basement’s Historischer GewÖlbekeller was fit for any respectable knight (and was very hard to get K to leave).
Beyond Dinkelsbuhl, we were able to take a slightly too long of a day trip to visit Burg Hohenzollern and Lichtenstein (the castle, not the country). While we were fearing that the trip would be too long (about two to three hours of straight driving in the morning) the visit to these two castles were worth it. K was in castle heaven at Burg Hohenzollern and the little armory museum at Lichtenstein made him one happy little knight wannabe.
And then we were back in Dinkelsbuhl, more amazing German food, a really nice playground just outside of the city walls, and a nice wheat beer to help fade away the road weariness.