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GERMAN ROAD-TRIP

Thursday, 20 April 2017


I love Germany. It will always be one of those places I want to explore and travel to. Maybe it's because I have some German blood coursing through my veins, maybe it's because I've travelled there a fair amount already. Whatever it is, I simply cannot get enough of visiting this beautiful country. It was my dad's 50th in March, and Germany seemed like the perfect place for us to go and celebrate. My boyfriend and I didn't get to stay the whole week with everyone else, but we squeezed in a lot of adventuring in our four days there. In an attempt to inspire some of you to fall in love with this country too, here's a round up of our four-day German road-trip!

Kalterherberg


Kalterherberg was our first port of call on this trip. A little difficult to get to, Kalterherberg is a quiet little farming town right on the border of Germany and Belgium (literally, go down the wrong street and you cross the border). The easiest way to get to this sleepy town is by flying into one of Germany's main airports (think Düsseldorf or Cologne) and then hopping on the Autobahn. If driving is completely out of the question, it is possible to get here using public transport, but it's a bit more of a faff. You'll need to take the train pretty much as far as you can, and take a bus the rest of the way to Kalterherberg. There's a few bus stops in the town that tend to run on the hour, but that's about it.

Kalterherberg is perfect if you're looking for an active break away from...well pretty much everything! We did a loooot of hiking while we were here. Our main hike took us over 6km from Monschau to Kalterherberg...in the pitch black...after a long stay in one of the local bars...it was great fun, if not a tad on the spooky side. A word of warning for travelling here: you'll need to have a confident and competent grasp of the German language. I don't think we found a single person in Kalterherberg who spoke or understood a word of English. You can get by, but if you're looking to do more than hike through the vast woodlands and relax in your temporary home, you'll need to brush up on your German. 

One of my favourite spots we discovered here in Kalterherberg was a small bakery, Moss. A hit with the locals, this friendly and welcoming bakery has a lot on offer. From traditional German sweet treats, to hearty sandwiches and pies, you're sure to find something you love here. My personal favourite? Their Schoko Streuselbrötchen, a sweet bread scattered with chocolate chips. Teamed with a good coffee, this was the perfect way to recuperate after a busy day exploring in the cold German air. 



Monschau


Okay, this was one of the main reasons for staying in Kalterherberg, because it was so close to this absolutely stunning little village my family had fallen in love with. Words simply cannot do justice to the beauty of this town, so I'll let the pictures do the talking, but believe me when I say this is the perfect example of what Germany is all about. Monschau looks as though it had been taken straight out of a storybook, and a happy ending is guaranteed when visiting here. 

For the fitness fanatics, I'd recommend hiking up to the old watch tower ruins just behind the village (clearly signposted throughout). It's a fair hike, and takes you quite high through the rocky hills, so those not fond of heights may want to skip this one. But for those that brave it, the views from the top are a spectacular reward. There's not much to look at in terms of the ruins themselves, and you can't look around inside as the entrance has long since caved in, but it's a fantastic way to see the old village and a bit of its history. For those wanting a bit more of a relaxing visit, I'd definitely recommend the underground bar, Braukeller. It's the perfect cosy spot to relax after a long day of browsing the markets, with a close up view of the village's river.

Now if you do go to Monschau, there's somewhere you simply must pay a visit to: the year round Christmas shop. The Monschauer Weinachtshaus is three floors of Christmassy goodness! Perfect for closest Christmas elves like myself, and a must if you're travelling here. Monschau is known for its festive atmosphere, which is present year round, but it really goes all out in December with stalls brimming with knick-knacks and Glühwein, and snow blanketing everything, from the hills to the river. I'd love to visit in December, but I'd recommend going any time of year. It's fairly easy to get to, many busses and taxis run to and from the village, so accessibility shouldn't be a problem. The old roads and paths are cobbled though, so watch your step while out and about! The majority of people here speak English too, as it's fairly popular with tourists, so enjoying everything the village has to offer shouldn't be a problem. 



Cologne


The final stop on our trip was Cologne. We didn't get to spend much time here, but I got to check something off the bucket list by visiting the cathedral. I'd definitely recommend having a look around it if you're ever in Cologne. I've been told plenty of times how beautiful the cathedral is, and it certainly lived up to expectations. If you've got some time on your hands, you can pay for a guided tour of the interior as well. The cathedral is impossible to miss, come out of the train station and trust me, you'll see it.

For those wanting a slightly more...unique trip around the city, I'd hop on the little green and yellow train. Tours tend to run on the hour, and last for about the same amount of time. You'll get to see some of the highlights Cologne has to offer, guided by the locals who know the ins and outs of the city, and you'll be on a funky little train. What's not to love?

If you're looking for to grab some nice food while in the city, in a restaurant that's basically a blogger's dream, head on over to Café Reichard. With a view of the cathedral, this one's a little on the pricey side, but the food, staff and atmosphere are well worth the extra Euros.




So have I inspired you to take a trip to Germany? I certainly hope so. While I've included one of the country's most well-known cities, I hope I've peaked your interest in exploring some of the lesser-known gems Germany has to offer.

Have you found any gems off the beaten track on your travels? Let me know in the comments!



6 comments on "GERMAN ROAD-TRIP"
  1. I've wanted to visit German for as long as I can remember I'm hoping I'll eventually get to visit one day 💖 Great post 💖

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    1. Hopefully you do! It's a lovely country and not too expensive either! Thanks Kim xx

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  2. Germany has never been on my bucket list however you may have persueded me to change my mind! X
    Lola Mia // www.lolitabonita.co.uk

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    1. Hooray! I think Germany is soo underrated! Hope you give it a visit Lola xx

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  3. GIRL I LOVED THIS - Travel and write travel posts more! I really want to visit everywhere here so badly, and you know I love off the beaten track...a lot... :')

    sophieannetaylor.com

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    Replies
    1. I'll write more after exams, promise! Maybe we can take a few days in December and go to Monschau together ;) xx

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