Lonely Planet Writer

Pathfinder pics: south Germany


Lonely Planet Pathfinder and travel blogger Abigail King recently visited the south of Germany. Here are her favourite Instagrams from the trip and some tips on how to enjoy a slice of traditional Germany.

‘South Germany has some obvious charms: the scenery and superstitions of the Black Forest, cute ‘n’ cobbled medieval cities and a knack for making us feel cultured when we tuck in to beer and pretzels. Yet a dip into the history books reveals the more unusual traditions from this part of the world.

With a heavy slant on industry, not to mention innovation (Karlsruhe claims the world’s first pedal-less bicycle), welcome to the region that turned an abandoned factory into a Unesco World Heritage site. As quick as you can say Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (that’s Black Forest gateau to you), tradition will have found you.’

Learn about the industrial heritage

A photo posted by Abi King (@insidetravellab) on

'To really feel like a tiny cog in a giant machine, head to the Völklingen Hütte. This vast former ironworks earned its Unesco World Heritage site status for demonstrating the dramatic impact the Industrial Revolution had on ordinary people. Today, science exhibits and art installations bring the place to life but there’s still empty space to explore.'

Go back to basics

A photo posted by Abi King (@insidetravellab) on

'Freiburg’s old town oozes with atmosphere, from flowers spilling from windowsills to microbreweries and wurstsalat (sausage salad) found in sunshine-filled squares (Freiburg is Germany’s warmest city.) One tradition for children is to buy and float painted wooden boats along the water channels that run among the medieval streets.'

Discover the French influence

A photo posted by Abi King (@insidetravellab) on

'As with much of European cartography, the borders here have shifted over time. Saarbrücken, for example, landed in France at the end of each World War and then returned to Germany following democratic referendums. The French legacy remains, however, through touches of language and buttery cuisine. They call it "saarvoir vivre".'

Make a toast

A photo posted by Abi King (@insidetravellab) on

'A sweet, small town deep in the Black Forest is responsible for one of the best known shapes in the world – the champagne bottle! Glassmakers in Buhlbach discovered that they could prevent the explosion of 'normal' shaped wine bottles by adding a deep indent to the base.'

Enjoy rustic cuisine

A photo posted by Abi King (@insidetravellab) on

'Despite its rustic appearance, Baiersbronn prides itself on gastronomy. You can hike to mountain huts to find gourmet potato salad and (my local favourite) maultaschen. According to legend, these ravioli-like parcels developed as a way for people to hide the fact that they were eating meat during Lent.'

Get a dirndl fitted

A photo posted by Abi King (@insidetravellab) on

'Often seen as an icon of the country to outsiders, the dirndl hails mainly from the south, especially in Bavaria, and across into Austria. Women wear the ensemble (bodice, blouse, skirt and apron) for traditional events and special occasions, such as weddings, christenings, funerals and so on. Most own just one, fitted especially for them.'

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