I’m not sure what day this happened anymore but Ashley and I were looking at the week ahead for her English lesson. Scott is really into being prepared and looking ahead for the kids’ lessons (sigh) and I am trying very hard to be a team player. I am a procrastinator through and through and had a successful college career being a procrastinator so looking ahead is extremely foreign to me. Anyway, I was looking ahead and the next lesson was a lesson based on a travel journal! How cool is that? We are traveling! We had already planned to visit Lake Bled, an area we had learned about in one of her history lessons and so it seemed that the fact that one of the travel journal options was on our path into Wiesbaden seemed serendipitous. The German city on the list was Augsburg. We would make Augsburg our stopping point between Lake Bled and Wiesbaden, spending the morning exploring before we drove to Wiesbaden.
The Perlach Tower is on the left and the Town Hall on the right.
There are great views of the town from the top of the tower.
I learned some interesting things in Augsburg and not only about Augsburg. It is touted as the “Bavarian” city. It was on a list with London and Paris and Sydney and so I thought how lucky are we to be headed toward this German city on par with other city greats. I was so excited, how had we never heard about Augsburg? In the name of “looking ahead” and “being prepared” I spent some time with my friend Trip Advisor.
Augsburg has some cool things to see like the Fuggerei the oldest social housing development in the world. It was really interesting because it still operates today and it is beautiful. It seems like a great idea and something that should exist all over the world.
There were also your ornate, old European churches and a pretty town square. We didn’t spend much time there but the thing that I learned in Augsburg was that I had already spent three weeks in “quintessential” Bavaria. Oberammergau is perfect, pristine and unspoiled Bavaria.
Saint Anne’s Church built in 1321
We had a hard time finding a place to stay in Augsburg. The place that we stayed was just plain creepy and it was busy and we listened to motorcycles race up and down the streets all night long. It was a bit strange. We ate Spanish tapas in a bar where the food was excellent and the owners spoke only German. Augsburg has attractions but no character.
Part of an outdoor market in Augsburg
Granted, we spent the night in Augsburg and then three hours touring the highlights in the name of Ashley’s report but here we found no love at first sight like Oberammergau. That concerns me as we search for our next destination in November. How will we find Oberammergau in Spain or Italy? Any suggestions people? The lesson here again is know thyself and thy travel style. I think we are small town folks. We like hiking and being part of the community. We like the tiny bar with the nice bartender who gets slowly friendlier and eventually tells us to about fishing in Germany and that we should greet people by saying “Servus” in that area.
The best thing that came out of our night in Augsburg was the impromptu stop at Dachau. We were too late to go into the actual buildings but the memorial was open and we walked around, reading the signs and looking through the gates. We also drove around the outside perimeter walls that are still standing. It was chilling and I think hard for the kids to grasp the enormity of suffering that occurred at the hands of Hitler. There are very strict laws in Germany now pertaining to hate crimes and a heightened sense of awareness.
This was part of a sign at the entrance to the Memorial Site where 200,000 people from all over Europe were imprisoned.
We are not planners but maybe I need to become a researcher. I need to find those sweet little villages that fit us so well. We found this same thing to be true with Koblenz and the whole Rhine River experience. Koblenz is old and has some interesting history, but really it is a big city with a lot of tourism. We fell in love with the village of Alken (A Pop Quiz, German Police and Kind Village People) on the Mosel River which is near Koblenz and the Rhine, but nothing like it. Augsburg was yet another chapter in the book of “My Family Travel Style.” I know I am an inexperienced traveler, all I can do pay attention and try and improve my game.