The Franconia region of Southern Germany is worth exploring, offering an array of travel experiences. For the outdoor sports enthusiasts, mountain hiking to the top is rewarded with 100 km landscape vistas.
If history is your passion, top recommendation is exploring the many historical cities of Wurzburg, Bamberg, Rothenburg, and Ansbach.
Wurzburg is a romantic picturesque city of 120.000 on the river Main with spectacular Catholiccathedrals.While walking over the Old Main Bridge with its lined with statues, I was reminded of an intimate Prague.
The Wurzburg Residence in the city center is a splendid example of German Baroque style. For eye sweeping views of the city, climb the hill where the Marienberg Fortress is located.
Bamberg is a smaller city of 70.000 centered around a hill on the banks of the river Regnitz. A large portion of the historic community is a UNESCO heritage site. City Hall sits on an island in the middle of the river. The 13thcentury religious monument, Bamberg Cathedral overlooks the city from the hilltop.
The animated city of Rothenburg, founded in 1535, is a living Disneyland of preserved history. Behind medievalwalls sits buildings resembling an American amusement park. I have no doubt the Universal Studios team was here. Walking along the cobble stone roads, looking into shops in the historic center made me feel a bit “touristic”.
Kathe Wohlfahrt’s Christmas shop is a “must go”. An Ikea type labyrinth of Christmas decorations of every shape, size, and color topped by a 4 meter high Christmas tree, then an equally high Christmas Pyramid. The store is enchanting while beyond kitsch, especially in July!
The best reason to visit Baroque city of Ansbach is the joy of the Ansbacher Garden. Simply Gorgeous! The Middle Evil is small, 40,000 inhabitants, but punches above its size with many beautiful monuments, start exploring from the Martin Luther Square.
Beer or Wine?
The Franconia area of Bavaria is split in two parts: Uppper Beer lands, Lower Wine lands. During the warm months there are many local festivals and tastings. A blessing but make sure you have a designated driver.
Ansbach and Bamberg are situated in Beer territory, look for Kellers serving .5 liter ceremic beer mugs.
Wurzburg and Rothenburg are located in Wine country along with the unique Bocksbeutel bottle.
Sidenote: I forgot my camera for part of the journey. Why? I was a bit hungover from the wine and beer tastings, so I for got to charge the battery. Even after the 600 meter hike, the first stop was a beer keller. When in ROME!