If you’ve got a spare couple of weeks and you fancy getting off the beaten track and hitting the road, there can’t be many better European road trips than the Romantic Road through Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg in Germany. Named because of its original use by Roman soldiers as they marched through Europe, it’s a popular honeymoon destination by complete coincidence. The stunning scenery, beautiful castles, and interesting cities make it the ultimate road trip.
1. You’ll fall in love with the scenery
When you think of Germany, you might not think of tree-lined roads, great, towering castles, and beautiful river views, but with the Romantic Road, that’s exactly what you get. Located in southern Germany, it’s off the heavily beaten tourist track of the north, although it’s not surprising that it’s growing in popularity. The medieval cities, churches, and castles dotting the dramatic, hilly landscape make the route truly unique.
I can’t remember when I first learned about Hallstatt, but ever since I saw pictures of it, I knew I had to include it in my bucket list. It’s actually the main reason why I had to stop by Salzburg during my Eurotrip.
There’s no direct way of reaching Hallstatt. You’d have to take a train and/or bus, and ferry. If you have more time or on a tight budget, you can do that. But since I’m too lazy to commute, I just joined Panorama’s Hallstatt Tour for €55.
Our bus departed the Mirabellplatz bus terminal around 1:00pm.
We passed by many picturesque villages in Salzkammergut (Lake Area) like the one pictured above. One of which is St. Gilgen, which is the birthplace of Mozart’s mother.
Our guide also pointed out the Red Bull headquarters in Fuschl am See.
One of the downsides of traveling to Europe in autumn is that the weather can be unpredictable.
It was gloomy the whole time I was in Vienna as well as when I arrived in Salzburg.
My dorm mates said it rained the whole time the previous day, so I fervently wished that the skies would clear up the next day.
I guess Lady Luck was on my side because the sun was out the day I went to Salzburg’s Old Town (Altstadt).
My hostel was just a few hundred meters from Salzburg Hauptbahnhof, so I decided to just walk to Salzburg Old Town. Actually, when I was in Europe, I would walk to get to my destination whenever I can.
Before heading to the Old Town, I spent some time at Mirabell Gardens admiring the fall foliage.
It was drizzling when I arrived in Vienna, so I didn’t push through with my original plan of exploring downtown Vienna. I just went around the Westbahnhof area.
Next day’s agenda consist of only one thing: Schonbrunn Palace – the former imperial summer residence of the Habsburgs.
I inquired with the hostel’s front desk about the best way to get to Schonbrunn Palace and the receptionist said I could walk. I looked at the free map provided, and it looked like it was just down Mariahilfer Straße…and it was, only it was more than a 2-kilometer walk.
Ten minutes in, and I already regretted the decision.
But then shortly before reaching the palace, I passed by Auer-Welsbach Park, and was mesmerized with the beautiful fall colors. I spent a few minutes watching kids play football, and even tried to chase some squirrels. LOL
Fresh from a 17-hour journey (figuratively; I wish I could say that literally), I emerged from Staromestska Station and was greeted by the cool autumn wind. I can’t believe it. I’m finally in Prague. I’m finally in Europe!
I trudged the cobblestoned streets, luggage in tow, searching for my hostel. It didn’t take me long to find it as I easily spotted Tyn Church’s spires, so I knew the Old Town was close by.
I arrived at the hostel earlier than the official check-in time, so I left my luggage at the storage room first, and made my way through Old Town.
I was too excited to explore.
I meandered through Karlova’s alleys lined with restaurants and souvenir shops.
It didn’t take long for me to reach the Astronomical Clock where people flock for the hourly show. I decided to just check it out at a later time, and went straight to the center of Old Town Square.
The square is surrounded by beautiful buildings. Its center is filled with tourists, buskers and various street performers, and even Segway operators.