A Merry Little Christmas

I don’t think that there could be a much more festive travel destination than Bavaria, in the south of Germany. Excited to get out of the city and explore, J and I nervously navigated our little German hire car out of Munich and hit the highways, heading north.

First stop, Rothenburg. Parking outside the city wall of this medieval town, only increased the anticipation.

Before I tell you of all the ridiculously magical things to love about this little town let me set the scene. J likened it to a fairytale city, not dissimilar to the little streets of ‘Far Far Away’ in Shrek and he was spot on.

Walking down the cobbles into the centre of town we were amazed how every single shop not only had decorations in the window but also on the façade. The walls are lined with special fixtures to hold mini Christmas trees and strings of light.

With or without decorations, these adorable buildings are enough to send you snap crazy.

There were so many beautiful Christmas shops to get lost in, many with hidden rooms of candle fueled mobiles, filigree tree decorations and wooden nativity scenes.

The markets in the town square were particularly charming, selling regional goods and handmade gifts. I got a table runner for my Mum with scenes of the town elegantly embroidered on the ends.

Bells rang out at midday and we were reminded how hungry we were. Yet again, we were completely unable to resist the smell of freshly cooking bratwursts.

But afterwards, we wandered the streets in search for something sweet.

Intrigued by these layered pastry balls, we chose a few different flavours (hazelnut, marzipan and original) to try and were not disappointed! They are affectionately called schneeballen, which in English means snowball and they have been a specialty of Rothenburg for over 300 years.

We walked along the town wall and peered down onto the homes of the people of Rothenburg. Reluctantly we left this fairytale town.

Stop number 2, Nuremburg. With holiday traffic, we arrived just in time to see the sun set and see the city come to life.

The view was incredible from the Nuremburg Castle.

It was eerily quiet and peaceful.

Back down at street level was a different story. People from all directions were flocking to the world famous Nuremburg Christkindlesmarkt with its stripped rooftops, gluwein and iconic Angel (Christkind).

To take it all in, we ate at a little restaurant set on the edge of the market. The perfect spot to people watch and listen to the ethereal voices of the choir.

Exhausted, we headed off to the last stop of the day.

Stop number 3, Dinkelsbuhl.

We stayed the night in a 16th century mansion that was converted into the Hezelhof Hotel. I must admit we had a bit of a giggle about the names resemblance to a particular actor.

The building was enchanting and a true example of architecture from its time.

Once inside the incredibly spacious rooms, you could appreciate how the traditional features such as ceiling cornices, had been maintained whilst providing all the modern comforts of a 5 star hotel.

We fell soundly asleep to the calming church bells chiming.

In the morning, we threw the windows open and were greeted by the beautiful views of the main street of Dinkelsbuhl.

Breakfast at the hotel was quite a treat so we filled up on delicious German Christmas treats and delicate, aromatic loose-leaf tisanes.

Toasty warm and very full, it was time to head out for the day.

There were so many little treasures we stumbled across in this little known town somewhere along the Romantic Road and we can’t wait to return to Dinkelsbuhl.

Remember, that some of the greatest experiences and pleasures of travel are not found in the famous museums or large boulevards but in the places off the tourist beaten track.