Travel Magazine

Gallivanting Around Germany

By Katrina Torres @ExcursionistaPh

Germany is nowhere near the top of my must-visit list. In fact, when I first went to Europe, I just changed trains in Munich on my way to Zurich from Salzburg. For some reason, I felt like Germany was always bleak. Boy, I could never have been more wrong! Well, yes, it can be literally cold depending on when you go there, but there are also plenty of things that can spark joy. LOL Willkommen to the land of Oktoberfest, fairy tales, castles, and Christmas markets! But first, let me reminisce the few misadventures I encountered before I got there. The bus from Venice to Munich was delayed for an hour or so because several roads were closed due to the Venice marathon. When it finally arrived, I heaved a sigh of relief. FlixBus emailed me a day before that I was given a free seat reservation. Great! Lo and behold, the seat was at the rear of the bus. It was fine at first because no one was seated beside me. It was a long journey and the extra space would make it a bit more comfortable. Several stops later, the bus picked up more passengers and an elderly man sat beside me. Welp, there goes the extra space. When we got to the border, German police (who looks like a Calvin Klein model, by the way) got on our bus and checked every passenger’s document. Unfortunately, there’s an African guy that got questioned. I thought they were just being racist, but he didn’t have the proper documents when he was asked for it. He was escorted off the bus, and we left without him. Munich It was already past 10:00pm when I arrived at Munich. I was initially confused because I thought the hostel I booked was just across the bus station. It is, in fact, across the station…Munich Central train station that is! The walk wasn’t that bad, but then it started drizzling. I had to stop in front of a well-lit hotel because I couldn’t find the street where the hostel’s at. I reached for my phone inside my cross-body bag to use Google Maps, but I didn’t notice that the front pocket was open. Some of my stuff fell on the floor. I was already tired, hungry, and disheveled at this point. I stepped inside the hotel (at the risk of being turned away) to ask the receptionist if he knew the street I was looking for. Turns out it’s just the alley behind that hotel. I must have passed out as soon as I got to the dorm because the next thing I remember was waking up the next morning to a Russian lady in a negligee and thong doing yoga on the dorm’s floor. 😐 I quickly showered and went down to the buffet breakfast area. Then, I went to Hauptbahnhof. I was originally planning to go to Neuschwanstein Castle, but the train just left when I got there. The next one will arrive an hour after that, and the trip would take more than 2 hours one way. A return trip costs €58. Unlike my first trip to Europe, I definitely did not plan this one well. I checked Google and it seems the closest attraction was Marienplatz.  I decided to just join a walking tour so I can learn more about Munich’s history. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kat 🇵🇭 (@excursionista_net) View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kat 🇵🇭 (@excursionista_net) Every 11:00 am and 12:00 noon, people gather in Marienplatz to watch the Glockenspiel in the Neues Rathaus (New City Hall). With 43 bells and 32 life-sized figures, the carillon reenacts two important scenes in Munich’s history. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kat 🇵🇭 (@excursionista_net) Nuremberg Since my main mode of transport during this Europe trip was by bus, I had to move westward to reach my final stop, Amsterdam. But before I left Bavaria, I first explored its second largest city, Nuremberg. I based myself here for a few days with the intention of also going to Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Bamberg. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kat 🇵🇭 (@excursionista_net) View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kat 🇵🇭 (@excursionista_net) View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kat 🇵🇭 (@excursionista_net) Like most European cities, it also has a pedestrian-only portion in the old town where they hold the famous Christkindlesmarkt which is German’y largest Christmas market! View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kat 🇵🇭 (@excursionista_net) View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kat 🇵🇭 (@excursionista_net) Weissgerbergasse is my favorite spot in Nuremberg as it has the largest ensemble of old artisan houses. The name comes from tanners who lived here in the Middle Ages. They became affluent from leather making. The half-timbered historical town houses have since been converted to small restaurants, bars, cafes, or shops. Rothenburg ob der Tauber I bought a VGN all-day solo ticket from the Nuremberg train station because I was planning to go to both Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Bamberg that day. The lady said I could use it on ALL trains. So, I hopped on the next departing train bound for my first stop. According to Google Maps, I would need to make two line changes. When the inspector came, I showed the ticket and he said it wasn’t valid because IC trains are not included. I thought I was going to have to pay a fine! He asked where I was going, and I told him I need to change trains in Würzburg. He gave me back the ticket and said it’s okay. He told me to just make sure I get on the regional trains after. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kat 🇵🇭 (@excursionista_net) View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kat 🇵🇭 (@excursionista_net) View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kat 🇵🇭 (@excursionista_net) View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kat 🇵🇭 (@excursionista_net) Rothenburg ob der Tauber is probably the highlight of my trip to Germany. It is the most famous walled medieval town that looks like it’s straight out of a fairy tale! Actually, I think the idea of fairy tale towns originated here as it’s one of the towns that’s part of the Romantic Road. Heidelberg My last stop in Germany was Heidelberg. To be honest, I knew nothing about it. I just included it in my route as it was the closest to the border with France. Imagine my surprise when I learned that our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, spent some of his time here to learn about ophthalmology. It is a university town, so you can feel that it has a youthful vibe. I loved walking along Hauptstrasse which is one of the most beautiful and longest shopping street in Europe. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kat 🇵🇭 (@excursionista_net) View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kat 🇵🇭 (@excursionista_net) I ended my day by taking the funicular to Heidelberg Castle. It is a castle ruin overlooking the old town and Neckar River. It was actually Halloween when I was there and there were people in Victorian era costumes roaming the castle grounds. It was so cool (and eerie at the same time)! A week in Germany was definitely not enough. I can’t wait to explore more of its beautiful regions when the world opens up again!


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