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Thread: A five-day weekend through Germany's Romantic Road and Black Forest...

  1. #1
    Registered User travisgill's Avatar
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    A five-day weekend through Germany's Romantic Road and Black Forest...



    For many folks "adventure travel" means a long weekend. Thus was the case for my wife Chantil and I as we planned a five-day trip over the German Labor Day (or May Day) weekend.

    The Romantische Straße (Romantic Road) is a "themed route" of sorts that was created in the 1950s to help tourism of a post-war country. For many folks, the 350 kilometres (220 miles) are thought of as the "quintessentially Germany". Highlights of the Romantic Road's include the historic cities of Würzburg and Augsburg, along with the three medieval walled towns of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Dinkelsbühl and Nördlingen. The southern end finished off with the Neuschwanstein Castle at the foot of the Alps.

    For our return home, we chose to travel through the the Black Forest and a famous stretch of road know as the Schwarzwaldhochstraße, (Black Forest High Street). This is one of the oldest and best-known motorrad roads in Germany that winds through a mountain pass for 65 kilometers (40 miles) traveling from Freudenstadt to Baden-Baden.


    Our five-day loop through southern Germany.


    The mules are packed. Who's in for the adventure?
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  2. #2

    Nice!

    Thanks very much for posting....

    I have a route that includes the Schwarzwaldhochstraße for my first day of riding in Germany next month. From there I continue through Switzerland and to the Dolomites in Italy.

    Ian
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
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  3. #3
    Registered User travisgill's Avatar
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    Romantic Road, Germany 🇩🇪 Day 1 - Friday, 27 Apr 2018:


    Map of today's travels from Geilenkirchen to Würzburg.

    We've been looking forward to this trip for quite a while ever since we discovered it for ourselves after buying the National Geographic book 'Destinations of a Lifetime: 225 of the World's Most Amazing Places'.

    I was a bit worried that my mule would not be fixed in time but we were able to tighten the last bolt and go for a short test ride the day before we packed for this five-day weekend. Just in time!

    Today was mostly a autobahn (freeway) day as we took the fastest route from our home in Geilenkirchen to the north end of the Romantic Road to the city of Würzburg. Much of the A3 was slowed by construction and we experienced heavy traffic near Frankfurt. I had to laugh because I had just seen a YouTube video about how efficient and fast the German autobahns are compared to the USA. It seems no country has figured out gridlock. Fortunately, we were able to lane-split for much of the gridlocked sections.


    The A3 when its not gridlocked. Four lanes moving along with relative German efficiency. I've lived in Germany now for about 9 months and admire how traffic stays on the right side unless passing.


    We pulled off of the A3 in order to eat some lunch and fly the drone to capture the yellow fields. As you can see spring is in full swing with colorful flowers in spades.


    A typical small farming community town in Germany.


    Although riding on most dirt roads in Germany is forbidden we found this tiny stretch of road near where we pulled off. It's funny to me that a country who makes the most successful adventure motorcycle in the world can't even use it off-road in its own country.


    Last view of the fields before packing up and continuing along our route.

    It was late afternoon when we arrived to Würzburg. Our first exit dropped us into the street-art part of town. We parked the mules and walked around taking some pictures of the brightly-colored and unique art.


    Many European cities are know for their street art.




    Words to live by.


    This mural features an excellent rendition of a Japanese inspired Koi Fish


    Not sure what this mural means but I love the bright colors and thick black outlines.



    A short ride down the street brought us to the main section of Würzburg...


    ... and our first Romantic Road sign.


    We walked around and enjoyed the evening sun and elegant gardens of the Würzburg Residence. This is a UNESCO World Heritage site that we promised ourselves to learn more about the following day.


    The inside was closed but we still enjoyed the gardens and the statues located around the outside of the residence.



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    Registered User travisgill's Avatar
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    Well manicured gardens are available for the public to enjoy.










    St. Johannis Kirche ( St. Johannis Church) in Würzburg is the first church that the Evangelical Lutheran congregation built in 1895. This church was almost completely destroyed during an air raid on the city on 16 March 1945. Today only a part of the original steeple and the entrance portal are remaining.


    The present church was designed by Munich architect Reinhard Riemerschmid (1914-1996) then built and inaugurated in 1957.


    Much of the sculptures, artwork, and stained-glass had a modern element to it.


    A nearby park had a memorial to the young men who gave their lives during WWII.


    Translates to "The city is yours"


    A short ride along the Main River brought us to our campsite for the evening...


    ...at Kalfe Quelle.


    €15 later we had our little piece of grass next to the grazing rabbits...


    ... and a bright red kids slide!

    Tomorrow we will return to Würzburg Residence and officially start our adventure south via the Romantic Road...
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    My photo albums, yeah the old fashioned kind, are filled with many of these same images from my time there. 1982 found me stationed on an Army airfield about 15 kliks away. Thanks for sharing, hope it's a wonderful trip!

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  6. #6
    Rocky Bow BMW Riders #197 bogthebasher's Avatar
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    Nice job, thank you for sharing your trip with us.
    Ken Dittrick
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  7. #7
    Registered User travisgill's Avatar
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    Romantic Road, Germany 🇩🇪 Day 2 - Saturday, 28 Apr 2018:


    Map of our travels of the first section of the Romantic Road. Only about 120 km (75 miles) of the route covered today.

    The Würzburg Residence was our first stop of the morning. We arrived early enough that we enjoyed the interior at our own pace without any crowds.


    We purchased our tickets early enough in the morning that we had much of the residence to ourselves.


    The main entrance to this massive residence.


    Pictures don't do the ceiling justice. The Garden Hall fresco is so large I had to use a GoPro to capture it.


    The Garden Hall. This is just a small example of the masterful artwork that was painted by Johann Zick in 1750. Notice the actual crimson cloth used with a relief statue of a cherub crawling up it.


    The large area just below the staircase. This area leads upwards towards the magnificent fresco created by Venetian painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and is the largest fresco in the world.


    Just one of the beautiful sculptures with Tiepolo's fresco on the ceiling in the background.


    Chantil enjoying the view...


    On 16 March 1945, 225 Lancaster Bombers and 11 Mosquito Pathfinder planes of the RAF bombed Würzburg destroying much of the city including the residence.


    Due to the patience of skilled German artists and craftsman the residence was restored over the next 42 years at the cost of €20 million.

    After touring the Würzburg Residence we rode across the River Main and climbed the hill to the Marienberg Fortress.


    We enjoyed taking in the commanding views of surrounding Würzburg and the warm morning sunshine.


    Taking pictures and wondering when this door was made. Much of the Marienberg Fortress was built between the 13th and 18th centuries.


    Wonder how many animals were tied to this ring or who the craftsman was that made it?


    Incredible views of Würzburg from the commanding heights of the fortress.


    Old script written sign.


    Every turn had me wondering what life was like back when this was first built.


    More well-made doors and latches.


    A grocery-store bought lunch. Nearly every German grocer had a delicious bread section.


    After a short lunch we rode south along the Romantic Road towards Weikersheim


    The Romantic Road connects many small farm communities via its two lane road.


    We timed our visit through this area perfectly to enjoy the yellow bloom of the farm fields. This color only lasts for about a few weeks in spring.


    There was one particular section where we pulled over and launched the drone in order to capture the expanse and feeling of riding through this beautiful countryside.


    Its a great time of the year to see vibrant leaves filling the branches of leaf trees along with the evergreens.


    A nice abstract picture of riding along a beautiful stretch of road.


    I wish I could capture this feeling and bottle it so everyone in the world could experience it.


    We stopped in Weikersheim for a short while to take a break from riding the mules and enjoy the sunny day.


    Even the police station has a nice relaxing vibe about it.


    Just one of probably 30-40 riders we came across during today's ride.


    In general, the road is well marked but you do have to pay attention to the signs...


    ... especially in the towns with the narrow streets and various round-abouts.
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  8. #8
    Registered User travisgill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by topsarge View Post
    My photo albums, yeah the old fashioned kind, are filled with many of these same images from my time there. 1982 found me stationed on an Army airfield about 15 kliks away. Thanks for sharing, hope it's a wonderful trip!
    I would be curious to know your thoughts on how much (or how little) it's changed since 1982. More ride report days to follow...
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  9. #9
    Registered User travisgill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bogthebasher View Post
    Nice job, thank you for sharing your trip with us.
    For sure! More to follow as I finish editing pictures and my comments...
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  10. #10
    Registered User WalterK75's Avatar
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    There are some videos on YouTube about this route also.
    Walter

    "Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under."
    H. L. Mencken

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by travisgill View Post
    I would be curious to know your thoughts on how much (or how little) it's changed since 1982. More ride report days to follow...
    Looks like the day I arrived!

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

  12. #12
    Registered User travisgill's Avatar
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    Romantic Road, Germany 🇩🇪 Day 2 - Saturday, 28 Apr 2018 continued...


    You could tell we were entering the medieval section of the Romantic Road once we passed under the narrow gateway.


    Map of Rothenburg ob der Tauber (Red Fortress above the Tauber). This was our final stop of the afternoon. This well-preserved medieval old town was founded in 1170 but started as early as 950 in the Middle Ages.


    Another bricked archway as we approached the parking area just outside the walled area of the town.


    Love the half-timber style architecture.


    A view of the two main towers of the St. James church in the center of the town.


    A modern sculpture of St. James in front of his church.


    The St. James Church was built between 1311 and 1484.


    Here is an example of the building and shingle construction used through the town.


    Brightly colored buildings flank Roman style statues.




    Cobblestone street and tall buildings.


    We came across this unique bakery where we picked this strawberry flavored delicacy. I don't know what it was called but it was delicious.


    A relief map for the blind shows the prominence of the church within the center of the town...


    ...making it easy for the radioactive giant woman to find it!!






    Afterwards we went to the nearby park and captured these images of the town using the drone.



    It was getting later in the evening, so we made our way to a campsite in Schillingsfürst where we shared a large grass field with some bicycle campers. Before long we were nestled snugly in our sleeping bags and falling fast asleep…
    Last edited by travisgill; 05-21-2018 at 10:31 AM.
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  13. #13
    Great stuff! Thanks for posting. Can't wait until you get to the part that I plan to ride!

    Ian
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  14. #14
    Hey Chromehead ! bobs98's Avatar
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    Very nice Travis! Beautiful area and excellent photos. Thanks for sharing.
    Bob Smith
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    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
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    Ah, what a nice treat, on a long weekend. Now, to sit back with a freshly brewed coffee, scroll back up, and enjoy.

    Thanks Travis, as always.
    Last edited by Rinty; 05-21-2018 at 04:35 PM.
    Rinty

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