Bavaria: Castles, Villages & Unwanted Beer

Schneeballen my way around Bavaria.

I’m sure I’m not alone in saying Bavaria is my favourite region of Germany. Maybe I would prefer to live in Berlin or spend Christmas in Dresden but as far as entire regions go, Bavaria has everything. There are castles for every taste and classic picturesque villages. Half-timbered houses are the norm, particularly in northern Bavaria but you’ll find all kinds of architecture, even a touch of Art Nouveau.

Bavaria is the most affluent region in Germany but also one of the most conservative. But it’s a huge region so everywhere has something different to offer. You can go to modern Munich or to a traditional mountain village. Or get away from everything with a mountain hike with alpine views spanning four countries.

Today on the blog I’ve shared what I think is the ideal Bavarian road trip itinerary. From Munich, you head south to ride the famous cable car then travel to all corners of Bavaria, taking in UNESCO old towns and historic cities. And yes, of course, you have to stop at Neuschwanstein Castle. As touristy as it is, you don’t want to miss it.

Read: Bavaria Road Trip


Driving for Schneeball

I’m not ashamed to say I travel for food. Should I be? Maybe I should be. I’m interested in history and culture and architecture and many other things too but getting to try the local cuisine is right up there for me. So when faced with choosing between a number of destinations, of course I picked the one where the specialty is deep-fried balls of dough, a specialty which has been around for 300 years.

Even now, when I look at this photo, I think of how delicious schneeball look. But yeah, they are not delicious at all. Like not even mildly tasty. They literally taste of nothing. I thought they might be like doughnuts or at the very least have a croissant-like texture. But no, they are hard as a rock. Kind of like a biscuit but a tasteless biscuit. I travelled more than 2 hours for this and I couldn’t even finish one. First world problems I know, but this is one of my biggest travel disappointments! Having said that, Rothenburg ob der Tauber is absolutely adorable. It’s well worth visiting if you’re in Germany but don’t bother with the schneeball.

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How Not to Drink Beer in Munich

I’ve never been a beer drinker but when in Rome and all that. Going to a Bavarian Biergarten is more than about drinking beer, it’s a cultural experience. Augustiner-Keller is the most famous beer garden in Munich so I went for the full cultural immersion and ordered one litre of beer. For a non-beer drinker, this would be tough at the best of times but I somehow managed to order a dark beer which I found even more difficult to drink. I’d like to blame this on the language barrier but the servers at Augustiner-Keller probably speak better English than me and yes, I had the English menu. So all I could do was pose and sip on this massive beer which I didn’t enjoy in the slightest. This really comes down to poor communication as I was too shy to ask about the different beers on offer. So I just scanned the menu and quickly picked one. Then I made myself suffer and drink it when I could have just left it. Looking at the menu now, I see one litre only sets you back €8.20. Is that not outrageously cheap?

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