As you might already know, we as a family love travelling around Germany. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the UK’s stunning countryside and I’ve already been to many beautiful places since I’ve been living here. However, it’s often true that we never get around to visiting the interesting places right on our doorsteps. It’s almost like the further we travel away from home, the more exciting it seems to become. After all, many of us enjoy travelling to other countries, learning about different cultures and experiencing something unique. We then create special memories that last a lifetime as well as opening up our minds to something new.
Do you have a bucket-list of ‘must-see-places’?
When we moved to the UK in 2004, we travelled around the country quite a bit – enjoying the landscape and beautiful scenery. We’ve already been to Cornwall, Portsmouth, Bath, Brighton and Norfolk but there’s still so much more on our UK ‘must-see-bucket-list’. We’ve even explored closer to home – trying out the local tea rooms after a long walk or discovering the countryside with our dog. However, we always like to see our family and friends whenever we return to Germany and since we’ve been living in the UK, we certainly appreciate the German countryside more now than when we lived in Germany. I originally come from the North Rhine-Westphalia region; so whenever I’m there, I make it a point to discover something new each time.
Where to go in Germany
If we decide to go on holiday to Germany, the first thing we need to agree on is whether we go to the North or the South. We are huge lovers of the North Sea and all the little islands dotted around the north of Germany but at the same time, we love the South too.
Decisions, decisions, decisions
For our summer holiday last year, we really wanted to explore a region in the south of Germany – somewhere we’d never been for longer than one or two days. After much deliberation, we plumped for the Black Forest – famous for the cuckoo clock – and the area around Lake Constance.
Exploring the Glottertal Valley
The Black Forest is a wonderful region with its dense forests, soft rolling hills, beautiful meadows, lakes and streams. I immediately fell in love with the area as we drove through the stunning scenery to our traditional Black Forest hotel in Glottertal. The 3-star Schlossmühle Hotel isn’t what I’d call luxury by any means and some parts of the hotel needed updating but our room (the Wellness Suite) had been refurbished and was certainly comfortable and spacious.
The Mack-Gutmann family, who run the hotel, were always friendly and helpful when we were planning our trips. The hotel with its old mill is located by the Glotter River and we were fortunate to be able to sit on the terrace most days to enjoy a glass of wine or a beer.
Enjoying a walk in the fresh air
This part of Germany is particularly good if you like outdoor activities. We’re fortunate that our 7-year-old son is a very active, outdoorsy kind of child, so it wasn’t difficult to find plenty of things to do that we’d all enjoy.
The area has plenty of walking and cycling routes suitable for all levels – perfect for us as we love walking and cycling as a family. The route we chose started from the Schlossmühle Hotel and wound its way through the dense forests. There was something about the quietness and the clean fresh air that made our walk so relaxing. Why is it that boys seem to be innately attracted to sticks and stones? I do know that my rucksack was far heavier by the end of our walk than it was at the beginning! But at least our son enjoyed the day as much as we did.
Discover the University city of Freiburg
The historical city of Freiburg is only 14km from Glottertal, so when the weather wasn’t so good one day, we decided to drive there to see it for ourselves.
My husband is the kind of tourist who loves wandering around and just absorbing the city’s atmosphere. Of course, finding a nice restaurant for a meal is also high up on his list of priorities! On the other hand, I prefer planning ahead a little and finding out what the ‘must-see’ places are in advance. However, on this occasion, I decided to just go with the flow and I didn’t once get my phone out to check an app for a sightseeing tour! It actually felt quite good to be more spontaneous for a change!
With a population of just over 200,000, the city is the perfect size for getting around all the main sights on foot. There are also plenty of signs and city maps dotted around giving information on places of interest, particularly in the historical old town.
Here are some of the popular sights in Freiburg:
- Freiburg’s Minster with its magnificent 116m tower
- The Swabian Gate (Schwabentor), which is one of the two remaining city gates of the medieval wall
- Münster Square (Münsterplatz) is one of the city’s main attractions. Enjoy the bustling market or have a wander around and take in the famous Gothic architecture of all the historical 16th century buildings.
- The New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus) ironically dates back to 1539. In its past life, it was one of the university buildings. Nowadays, couples get married in its beautiful renaissance-style rooms
- Konviktstraße is a beautiful narrow, cobbled street full of historical houses and many antique, art and fashion shops
The federal state of Baden-Wurttemberg is also well-known for its cuisine. You’ll find plenty of wine and delicatessen shops around to buy the delicious, regional products. If you’re interested in Middle Age or Baroque art, why not visit the Augustiner Museum? It’s located in a former monastery and has a lovely café to stop off and have a drink or a bite to eat.
I’m currently creating my itinerary for the Black Forest, which I’m going to publish soon. So, watch this space!
Tschüss und bis bald
See you soon
NadjaRead more Entertainment parks in Germany #1 Black Forest family holiday – An authentic experience