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3 Bavarian Towns Surrounded by Medieval Walls

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Germany certainly has no shortage of historic towns, practically unchanged since the Medieval times. And let’s admit it right now, many of us when traveling to Europe look for that authentic, historic feeling that will transport us back to a time that is long since gone. Many of us want to take a walk through a storybook town, that is beyond anything we have ever known.

But of all the picturesque, fairy tale towns in Germany, there are only three towns left still completely encircled by their Medieval walls all found in Bavaria. Luckily, all three are on the trail through Bavaria known as the “Romantischestrasse” (Romantic Road) which stretches from Würzburg to Füssen.

All relatively close together, they could easily be combined into a long weekend road trip if you’re as obsessed with half-timbered towns as I am.

The question now remains, which one should you visit if you’re short on time? Or which which one is less touristy but offers the same authentic feeling? Continue reading

A Beginners Guide to Oktoberfest, Munich Germany - California Globetrotter


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A Beginners Guide to Oktoberfest

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It’s a new year with lots of new adventures that lay ahead! Maybe people are getting out their Bucket Lists and checking which things to tick off this year! I’m sure most of you have always dreamed of going to the world’s largest street fair with all the beer imaginable!

Between late Spring and early Autumn, it usually implies that somewhere in Bavaria, a beer festival can be found. ‘Gemütlichkeit‘ is in full swing from Regensburg’s Dult to the world’s most famous beer festival: Munich’s Oktoberfest and beyond!

What is normally a simple oval meadow is turned into the world’s largest, boisterous beer drinking festival with stalls, marquees, funfair, loud music and tons of people. For two weeks every year this folks fest takes place at the feet of the Bavaria statue, the patron saint of Bavaria, or as the locals call it, the “Weisn”. Continue reading

The Splendor of the Munich Residenz & Why You Should Visit It - California Globetrotter


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The Splendor of the Munich Residenz and Why You Should Visit It

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Of all the times I had ever been to Munich, I had never much been interested in visiting the Munich Residenz. From the outside, it looked like a boring, plain building in the city center, no different from the other buildings. And then I was on Pinterest one day, you could call me a Pinaholic and I stumbled upon a picture that was so beautiful of the a room inside the Residenz. I pinned it for later and it soon got buried in my list of things to see and do in Germany.

Until one rainy day.

We had planned to go down to Munich for the day, but as the weather would have it, it was a day with torrential rain and a bit cold for a late Spring day (yes, this post is a bit late in coming). Well, I grew up traveling and never letting rain stop me from seeing what I want to see….Ok, maybe a little bit. It wasn’t the kind of day you wanted to do any sightseeing in Munich or sitting out at a biergarten.

So, we headed in doors for the day. To the Munich Residenz. And booooy, was I WRONG! Continue reading

Exploring Nuremberg's Christmas Market - California Globetrotter


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Exploring Nuremberg’s Christmas Market

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Of all the festive Christmas markets that fill every town center in every major city throughout Europe, Nuremberg‘s Christkindlmarkt is one of the most famous, along with Frankfurt, Dortmund, Dresden & Stuttgart. If ever there were one market you just HAD to visit, this would be the one!

Why you might ask?

Well, before I get into the specifics, first you need understand the fascination Europe and its visitors have for these exciting Christmas markets.

A Christmas Market, or Christkindlmarkt is a street market which is spread out throughout the town center, with stalls decorated in the Christmas fashion, selling knickknacks perfect for decorations or Christmas gifts lasting the entire four weeks of Advent. The very first of these began in Strasbourg, France in 1570.

The tempting aromas of roasting chestnuts, sweet gingerbread cookies (lebkuchen) and warm, cinnamony Glühwein (malted red wine) waft pleasantly through the crisp winter air. You are bundled up in your warmest winter jacket, with a festive Christmas scarf and the buzz of holiday shoppers “oohing” and “ahhhing” fills the air as they stroll up and down the market lanes. You warm your cold hands around a Christmas mug of Glühwein while strolling the cobbled-stoned market alleys.

Sound delightful yet? Got you in the mood for Christmas? Good! Now you’re ready to be introduced to Nuremberg’s Christmas Market.

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The Most Picturesque Half-Timbered Towns in Germany - California Globetrotter


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The Most Picturesque Half-Timbered Towns in Germany

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Let’s be honest. When you think about Germany, everyone pictures Germans wearing Lederhosen, drinking beer and eating bratwurst, magnificent fairy tale castles perched high above the towns people and beautiful landscapes. While this is partially true, there is certainly much much more to this wonderful country.

There are three types of dwellings most Germans reside in: Big cities like Berlin, Munich or Frankfurt. Villages out in the countryside with endless fields of crops. And then there’s half-timbered storybook towns that we imagine all of Germany must look like.

Unfortunately, these are a dying breed and only make up a small fraction of Germany. There are dozens of amazing small towns, especially along the Deutsche Fachwerkstraße –  “German Half – Timbered Houses Route”, leading from the river Elbe in northern Germany to Lake Constance in the south. Along this route, 98 towns have united to protect these historic half-timbered towns!

Here are some of the most hidden, half – timbered towns throughout Germany, some not on the Half-Timbered route, all worth a visit if you’re looking to truly learn about the history and architecture of this amazing country. If you make it to the end of this post, you’ll find an interactive map showing the towns! Continue reading

Schloss Hohenschwangau, Schangau, Bavaria, Germany - California Globetrotter


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Schloss Hohenschwangau

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When you think of romantic castles, fairy tale love stories and majestic scenery in Germany, your first thought is instinctively the Neuschwanstein Castle. Walt Disney immortalized this dreamy castle in all opening scenes of his movies and can be found at every single Disney amusement park.

Today, tourists flock to visit this magical castle, perched on a rocky cliff in the Alpine mountains which overlooks the small village of Schwangau. Upon arrival, many are amazed to find that just across the village is another castle. Schloss Hohenschwangau is easily over shadowed by the glory of Schloss Neuschwanstein and few make the time to visit both castles.

So why should you bother visiting this castle which hardly rivals the castle that fairy tales are made of?

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A Bavarian Thankgiving - Erntedankfest Bad Gögging - California Globetrotter


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A Bavarian “Thanksgiving” – Erntedankfest Bad Gögging

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Another harvest season has come and gone. The hops fields have been cleared, the rows of corn have been harvested, and the fields have begun to be plowed, prepping them for the approach of winter.

When you think about Thanksgiving, you traditionally think of it only as an American holiday celebrated to give thanks for another good harvest year. We carry on this tradition to remember the Pilgrims who gave thanks to the Native Americans for their help through a bitter, harsh winter. However, Thanksgiving isn’t just unique to America. Many countries around the world come together at the end of another successful harvest season to give their thanks in some form or another.

In the small Bavarian farm village of Bad Gögging, located between Regensburg and Ingolstadt, a festival known as “Erntedankfest” has taken place every year since 2006. The festival includes open air folks music with locals dancing to the tunes. Everyone wears their best, most traditional Lederhosen and Dirndl. Families and friends gather to celebrate, peruse the stalls adorned with hops selling traditional Bavarian goods. This one day festival is typically held on the last Sunday of every September.

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Your 7-Day Road trip Through Austria - California Globetrotter


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Your 7 Day Road Trip Through Austria

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Looking to road trip your way by car through Austria and hit all the best sites, but don’t know where to begin? Let me guide you through scenic landscapes, fairy-tale towns and interesting history. So, let’s begin shall we!?

What can you do with this itinerary?

  • Austrian history
  • Beautiful Libraries
  • Idyllic Medieval towns
  • Outdoor activities
  • Families and Solo Travel

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Chiemsee & Schloss Herrenchiemsee - Bavaria, Germany - California Globetrotter


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Bumbling around in Bamberg

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Unless you live in Germany or travel extensively throughout Germany, it’s highly likely that you haven’t heard of this adorable Bavarian town! More tourists looking to experience Germany head for Nuremberg, Munich or Berlin and while those are all great cities, you should consider visiting Bamberg for something little different. even though it isn’t connected with the Romantic Road that stretches from Würzburg to Füssen, it certainly is worth a quick peak if you’re checking out the route already!

After all, with a 1,000 years of history, excellent beer and a UNESCO World Heritage site title, it’s bound to offer something amazing, right?

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