Bavarian cows, fairytale castles and great beer

(GERMANY – Part Two)

Bavarian home

The last few days of our trip to Germany were spent taking a boat excursion up the Rhine River with Ginger and boys and a road trip into Bavaria with Matt.

We set out on the river cruise from the point of departure in the town of Rudesheim.  The slow moving boat meandered up river past hilltop castles perched high above the neat rows of waterside villages.   The Rhine River cuts through some beautiful countryside and on just about every hilltop there is a castle.  Many have legends attached to them that are as interesting as their architecture.  One such castle is Burg Rheinstein.

Burg Rheinstein

During the Middle Ages, many of the castle lords exploited their prime locations on the river by charging exhorbidant taxes to ship traffic using the Rhine waterway.  For the unfortunate ones who couldn’t afford the tax, punishment was inevitable.   If you look closely, you can see a round iron “basket” precariously hanging from the front tower. The unfortunate “toll runner” would hang out there until someone could come up with the toll money he owed.  That is, unless he died of a heart attack first!

View of Rhine River from Burg Rheinfels castle

View from Burg Rheinfels

At St. Goar, we docked and disembarked to hike up the hill to Burg Rheinfels.  Built in 1245 as a collecting station it was the mightiest castle on the Rhine and a walk through its walls proves that claim.  The place was entirely self-sufficient in its day as up to 4,000 inhabitants could be found within its walls.  It is an impressive structure accentuated by tall towers, fortified buildings, prison walls, mine tunnels and a giant central courtyard.

On both sides of the river we passed sweet little villages that exuded German charm – each one with it’s steepled church, brightly painted row houses and names like Bingerbruck, Niederheimbach, Kaub and….


What kind of name is THAT?!

Rhine River Cruise with friends

The day ended with sunshine on the river and lots of smiles all around.

The next day we jumped in the car and as Matt expertly zipped down the Autobahn (“we’re not in Crete anymore, Toto”) into Bavaria, the countryside opened up into the picture postcard images of quintessential Germany.


Bavarian lawn ornaments

First stop was the beautiful Weiskirsche (White Church) nestled in the foothills of the Alps and located out in the rural countryside.  It is surrounded by quaint farmhouses, green fields, and gray-brown cows with big bells around their necks.  Despite it’s humble surroundings, it is an extremely ornate and pristine church.  The miracle of the “Scourged Savior” statue that shed tears in 1738 has made it a popular pilgrimage site for believers who come from all over the world.

Interior of Wieskirche

We stayed overnight in the quaint but lively town of Fussen where we checked out the Hohes Schloss (Fussen castle) and then finished the evening off with some much needed spirits of the land.

The boys and the beer (Fussen)

The next morning we got up early to make our way to the most famous of all castles in Germany – perhaps in all the world, thanks to Disney.

Fairytale castle - Neuschwanstein

It was a chilly, misty morning when we arrived at the small town at the base of the rugged hill.  The low, wet clouds and mist hanging around the mountain peaks and in the valleys partially obscured the view of the castle and only added to the mystery of this fairytale castle –   Mad King Ludwig’s Neuschwanstein.  We started our day with a tour of Ludwig’s childhood home – the equally impressive and more interesting Schloss Hohenschwangau.

Schloss Hohenschwangau

After learning of Ludwig’s bizarre and somewhat troubled past, we toured the castle that was Disney’s inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty Castle.  Perhaps the most interesting thing about the castle was its inhabitants.  You can learn more at this website:

Our short visit to Germany left us longing for more of this…

Sunset on alpine rooftops

and this…

Back street in Fussen

…and definitely this…

Brot! (German bread!)

Thanks to the Barkers for our wonderful visit to Germany!


About Melanie A Crane

Quote: "The best journeys ask questions that in the beginning you never thought to ask." (Anon) Here's my journey: Enjoying my short life on this earth one moment at a time by being intentional with God, family, traveling, cooking, gardening, Colorado living and all the perks that come with it, playing guitar, listening more and talking less. I've discovered that both cooking and travel can be messy at times but the risks can have some amazing results. The same goes for life lived with passion.
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80 Responses to Bavarian cows, fairytale castles and great beer

  1. lomas01 says:

    Thanks for this pictures. I need a Vacation.

  2. zenlifefrugal says:

    These are some great photos……

  3. wanderingseniors says:

    They need a LOVE button for these photos! Excellent photography. Gorgeous country. Wish I could go there and see it all in person, but at least I got to see it through your eyes. Thank you so very much.

  4. Great pictures, what beautiful areas I hadn’t seen some so thank you. Definitely adding some of those places to my list for my eventual trip there (: you look like you & your family had a great time!

  5. You went to all my favorite places…. Sigh. 🙂

  6. abichica says:

    Oh my gosh!! Your pictures are so awesome, so beautiful..This looks like a really fantastic place to visit.. 😀

  7. dressupforme says:

    Omg, I need a vacation! After I read this the first thing I did was browse the webpage of a travel agency! The fairytale castle picture was jaw-droping! So mysterious, i loved the atmosphere. May I book your company for my next holiday – looks like you knwo how to have a wonderful quality time! :)))

    Greetings from Lithuania!

  8. What a gorgeous place!

  9. valentinedee says:

    this was fantastic. Your pictures were like being there. Germany is stunning. We never get to think of it that way due to its stigma.

  10. Lovely photos – the church felt as tho we’d fallen into a box of white chocolates along with their wrappings! I loved the cattle, they looked more relaxed than usual. Did you get all ‘castled out’ after seeing so many or are you up for more?

  11. These pictures are awesome! Great post! This looked like a lot of fun! 🙂

  12. conniewalden says:

    I just love these photos you shared. Just beautiful. Maybe I’ll visit there someday…Thanks for sharing. Connie

  13. Elizabeth says:

    It’s amazing there!! Your pictures are wonderful! looks like it was a great time, thanks for sharing!

  14. restlessjo says:

    Never been to Bavaria, or indeed Germany, but it all looks very lovely. Thanks for taking me there and congrats on FP

  15. Sounds like a wonderful trip. The houses and castles are so charming and beautiful, not to mention that the brot looks amazing.

  16. frenchiemom4 says:

    We used to live down the road from that funny Assmanshausen town! Used to go there for afternoon ‘cake and coffee’ hour… good memories of a beautiful place with an unfortunate name!

  17. May says:

    That’s nice. Awesome job 🙂

  18. Beautiful gorgeous pictures!! Germany, home of my ancestors like I’ve never seen it before, thank you.

  19. Gosh, I’ve seen so many posts about Germany and they make me miss it so much!!! Thanks for sharing your wonderful pictures of the Bavarian countryside 🙂

  20. Brian says:

    Those pictures of the castles amaze me. I love the middle-ages and seeing these pictures awe me. Thank you for sharing. Plus the beer made me thirsty 🙂

    I just started a blog about bloggers and blogging tips. I have a section where I do a Q & A with bloggers. I would love to see your answers.


  21. Great Blog!! I visited Bavaria when I was in Jr.High. I was an Air Force brat so I got to see lots of places in Europe as a kid. Your photos brought back good memories. Thanks for posting the pic of Nueswanstein Castle, that was my favorite castle of all the ones I was fortunate to visit.

  22. natasiarose says:

    Awesome pics! Makes me want to visit!

  23. First of all, your photos are amazing!! Germany is just gorgeous!

    Secondly, “Assmannshausen” is the best name ever.


    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  24. Thomas says:

    What a great destination. Thanks for sharing.

  25. ralphmc says:

    Thank-you for sharing these wonderful memories, of the country I grew up in, and traveled many years when I was younger, sure makes me want to go back and visit again.

  26. Carlie Chew says:

    Beautiful pictures. I love your photos of the countryside. Congrats and thanks for sharing!

  27. knudsens says:

    If you liked Germany, you should go to Norway. Here you can find breathtaking scenery, cultural heritage from the Viking Age, and much more.

  28. An interesting post which makes me want to visit Bavaria as well as other parts of Germany. I like your historical details and the lovely photos. So far I’ve just been to berlin which is a great city to visit.

  29. How restful and lovely the countryside is. I loved your captions such as the picture of the cows in front of the house, which you labeled, Lawn ornaments. Charming.


  30. Julio Eiffelt R R says:

    Great Journey. I wish, i can go there on country side of German. Lovely 🙂

  31. Some lovely shots in your post. I cycled from Donaueschingen along the Danube (Donau in German) river last year and followed it 1400km to Budapest. The limestone valleys and beautiful little German towns were stunning, and very similar landscapes to your photo’s. Mostly cycling on flat as you follow the river too, great fun and unbelievably good food along the way! Thanks for taking me back 🙂

  32. leadinglight says:

    Beautiful Images. I need to get to Europe after Japan.

  33. Wow, all of these are so unbelievably beautiful!

  34. Great photos of a beautiful area. I’m intrigued by the geology in the background, too.

  35. basangsisiw says:

    Nicely taken photos! Hmm…been dreaming of Germany. 😉

  36. Jean says:

    Congrats. on being Freshly Pressed! We were in the Black Forest Region, southern Germany last year. It’s close to the French border.

    Some pics and what we did, since we are cyclists. My partner immigrated from this area as a boy but he still has family there. It’s a wonderful place and in Freiburg, there is a wine store that features local German wines from the wineries nearby. Great prices! Right by the central market square.

  37. Thank you for the wonderful post!

  38. Wonderful. You do have the art of taking your readers to fairly land (and Bavaria). Thanks for sharing.

  39. Heather Parks says:

    What beautiful photographs! I’m writing a novel that takes place in the Rhineland in the 1780’s, and your pictures are the next best thing to going there.

    Although now I just really really want to go there.

  40. Funny to see that many tourists go to the southern part of Germany when visting the country. Bavaria seems to be cool and a cliché at the same time. We also recommend Hamburg. (By the way: We have a video of a boat trip there.) – the transatlantic diablog

  41. travelrat says:

    Love the photographs!

    Last time I spent any length of time in Germany, I wasn’t really into photography, & must return soon to get some decent pictures.

    (Got some good ones of Crete in my blog, though!)

  42. wolke205 says:

    I m glad you liked it here, actually I live in Bavaria. Great post! 🙂

  43. Very nice to see country side. You are lucky.Enjoy culture of nature.

  44. bercton says:

    Beautiful photos! Congratulations

  45. letscriticize says:

    this is just one of the very good photos I’ve seen. your lucky that you witnessed this.

  46. Kalyan says:

    oh wow! beautiful 🙂

  47. I agree with the previous post. A Rhine cruise has just been added to my “must do” list

    Great Blog – Thanks

  48. Gorgeous photos! I desperately want to visit Germany and this post only serves to further my desire.

  49. Oh how I miss seeing Germany through a visitor’s eyes. Now that I’m living here I see all the other nonsense that drives an average person crazy! Thank you for the reminder that there is beauty all around us! 🙂

  50. I’ve also taken the boat trip on the Rhine, and the trip is literally strewn with old castles and burgs. I’ve been to Heidelberg once and visited the castle wich I loved. I’m from Norway but actually got married to my husband in Bodenheim wich lays nex to the Rhine river.
    My favourite German beertype is dunkel weissbier, super good!
    Great pictures, I long for Germany again. Good thing I’m going back in december for christmas markets in Meinz!
    Gruss gott!

  51. chefbill says:

    Beautiful pictures! Look’s like a wonderful place for a vacation! Did you get to try the beer soup?

  52. novakmar says:

    Покой,тишина, довольство, красота, уют, яркие краски ,благополучие. Особенно картина с коровами понравилась. Прямо как из сказки. Красивый домик и коровы на зеленых газонах .
    Я была в Германии. Очень-очень давно. Путь лежал через Берлин, Лейпциг. Получила удовольствие от просмотра.

  53. ephesus431 says:

    Great photos! Thanks for posting. Reminds me why I need to return to Bavaria! If you ever get to Munich, check out Andechser am Dom:
    Great beer and food. The beer is only sold there and at the monastery outside the city where it is made.

  54. Wonderful – I lived in Bavaria for a couple of years (I’m from the UK) and this has made me homesick!

  55. cassiecares says:

    These pictures are beautiful and make me miss Germany! I think the whole place looks like a fairy tale, not just the castles.

  56. underwhelmer says:

    Hurray Bayern! I’ve had the privilege to live here for the past three years. It’s great to see other people enjoy it too. 🙂 I’ve got to move back to the US in the next few months, but I’ll never forget my time here. Hope you enjoyed your dunkel hefe. Prost!

  57. Sam says:

    Beautiful photos!

  58. schlagblog says:

    I’ve been to many of these places! Bavaria is a magical place! Thanks for sharing and for bringing back some delightful memories!

  59. Your posts and pictures made me so happy! I’ve been to Bavaria and have seen much of what you posted and it brings back so many fun memories. I think Munich is one of the most amazing cities I’ve ever seen and I can’t wait to go back someday. Thanks for posting and sharing!

  60. Beautiful pics, scenery. The church is stunning.

  61. asoulwalker says:

    I always enjoy seeing photos and hearing stories of other peoples travels. Cheers.

  62. susielindau says:

    Having a last name like “Lindau” my husband has always wanted to take our family there for a vacation,. There is a Lindau, Germany! I was never too excited about going, but after seeing your photo essay, I would love to visit!!
    Thanks for sharing and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  63. sherlu33 says:

    Wow!…Germany is so beautiful. What lovely pics you have here. If I could ever afford to go to an enchanted place for a vacation, I’d love to go where you all did and see all the sites that you did here. Very nice webpage you’ve set up here too. I enjoyed it very much.
    Sincerely, Sherrie Vitello

  64. Dounia says:

    Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing and congrats on being freshly pressed!

  65. Littleskew says:

    Great pictures; the castles are amazing, especially the fairytale one

  66. florin says:

    Unbelivable places

  67. Ms. Kathleen says:

    Wow, Wow, Wow! My husband lived in Germany before we were married but his pictures did not do this place justice. I am putting this trip on my bucket list… Thank you!

  68. webideasnow says:

    Nice blog, love to watch again and again.

    Comment by

  69. Renee Rowell says:

    Beautiful pictures! I thoroughly the story of your Bavarian adventure.

    Thanks for sharing, & congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  70. Renee Rowell says:

    …ok, that would be “I thoroughly enjoyed the story”…LOL LOL…flying fingers!

  71. O'Short One says:

    I took the same river trip down the Rhine last year in July. You’re lucky to have had such great weather! It rained the entire time I was there visiting friends. Beautiful pictures. Germany is a wonderful place.

  72. Absolutely gorgeous photos!

  73. Sloth says:

    Awesome photos. I am looking forward to visiting Germany some day. Your pictures are holding me over until I get there!

  74. dojo says:

    Phew, amazing places and pictures. Our visits in Germany were just short stints in Dresden, Munich and Berlin, so we really need to take some time to check these amazing places out.

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