Today we are on the romantic road in Germany. It is a 400 km stretch that includes some of the best scenery, castles, and pretty towns of Germany according to our Backroads Germany book and the German tourist authority.
We started the day with a quick shop at the Aldi across the street, and then the commissary at the Army base for some American essentials. Ton told me her trick for learning the name of essential food items as we travel around, she picks up the shopping flyers from stores and matches the name of an item with the picture above it to learn the name of foods, I thought this was really smart.
During our touring of Bavaria we had passed the Ettel Abby twice and it really got our attention so it was our first stop for today. The Ettel Abby has been run by the St. Benedictine order at this site since the 1300’s. It is located on what was once the main trade route between Bavaria and Rome. The St. Benedictine order of monks expects that all of its’ Monasteries be self sufficient. The monks here chose to brew beer and make spirits to support themselves. They have been quite successful as their beer has been brewed on site for nearly 700 years. The Abby itself was rebuilt in the 1700’s and resembles a lot of the churches in this area with lots of elaborate art work on the ceiling of the chapel to draw your eyes toward heaven, and an overall more open and bright feel than the Gothic Cathedrals of Spain and France.
After checking out the Abby we checked out the store to try to help the monks by buying some of their beer or liquor. But after some soul searching we decided we already had enough beer and wine on board so we headed up the road to Augsburg.
Augsburg was founded by the Roman emperor Augustus in 15AD and is considered the third oldest city in Germany. Today it has a mostly very modern feel as it was very heavily damaged during WWII and nearly completely rebuilt.
We walked around the town for a couple of hours, the main square is quite nice. The town has a prosperous and confident air to it. The promenade thru the center of town had mostly name brand shops lining both sides of the road, which did not hold much interest for us.
We wandered over to the cathedral and it is more gothic than a lot of the cathedrals we have seen in this part of Germany. It was also ok but not particularly memorable. My take on Augsburg is that it looks like a really nice city to live in. But for a tourist on a one day stop it does not have a lot of wow moments.