The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Moving On … Or Not

This week of our holiday was meant to be a tour up the Romantic Road, visiting some of the towns and walking bits of the footpath on the way. That plan was scuppered when I realised that I’d left the guide book at home, so we found ourselves in the right area, but without any information as to where to walk and what to see.

We’ve been perfectly happy in Füssen, and could happily fill up the rest of the holiday here, but feeling that we ought to make an effort to visit some other places, we picked, at random, the town of Schongau slightly further north and off we set, pausing at Schwangau on the way for me to have a go on the summer bobsleigh run :-):


In hindsight, I should have done a bit of Googling about our destination before we left…

Arriving in Schongau, we weren’t overly enamoured with the Stellplatz (motorhome camping area), but there were a few other vans there, so we paid our €5 and took ourselves off for a walk around the ‘historic town’ (as it bills itself). It was dead! Everywhere was closed, there was no-one around, and the Tourist Information Office doesn’t open at all on the weekend, which meant that we had no source of information as to what there is to see and do.

In the absence of being able to find out any helpful information about the place, we opted to go for a mapless stroll instead, following a footpath which was signed to Peiting, 4km away.

A quarter of an hour later, we passed another signpost, telling us that Peiting was 3.9km away, which didn’t seem quite consistent with the previous sign, but onwards we went, along the river and over a dam with a good view upstream:


but not quite such an attractive view downstream:


and then through a forest. About 45 minutes into the stroll, we popped out the other side of the forest and got to a signpost which told us that it was 4.3km to Peiting. Hmmm, I think we may have missed a turn somewhere along the way!

We wrote off the idea of seeing Peiting, but the signpost also told us that we were 0.9km away from the ‘Villa Rustica’ and whilst we had no idea what that was, we thought we’d go and investigate. Having followed the signs around three sides of a rectangle and come out about 200 yards from our starting point, we found ourselves at the site of a Roman villa, of which the remains of a bathhouse have been preserved (except for the bit which was lost to the laying of a gas pipeline in the 1990s, which seems criminal to me) and are on display to the public:


The building has been erected to protect the remains

A helpful guide, upon realising that our German isn’t up to much, gave us a folder containing all of the displayed information in English, and we whiled away a good half an hour or more perusing what was on this small site, including the garden displaying aspects of the Roman diet:


With the day having been saved, back to Colin we went, arriving to find that all of the other vans had left. Suddenly our uneasiness that this wasn’t a nice place to spend the night intensified and it took about 3 nanoseconds for us to agree that we would leave too. Where to go, though? North, where we would likely meet the same issues of closed Information Offices, and not knowing where to go or where the footpaths lay, or back to the safe option of Füssen, where we know there is still plenty for us to do?

And so we are back in Füssen, where we arrived just in time to nab one of the last places on the excellent Stellplatz here.


  1. we seem to have forgotten very quickly what weekends used to be like - and that they still are like that on much of the Continent: in Deutchsland, no chance - and Bayern of all places!
    it is a long time since I've heard of people going to Germany on holiday - other than natives - so your tales from the Eagles Nest read like a long lost adventure story.

    1. After a week here on the (huge) Stellplatz in Fussen, we have observed that the majority of number plates are German, but with a good smattering of Dutch, Swedes, Italians and French. There have been a few other nationalities too, but we have only seen four other British plates, and everyone we have encountered out walking has (apparently) been German. Then, suddenly, at the castles today the vast majority of the huge crowds appeared to be either English speaking or oriental. Who knows where they are all hiding when they're not visiting castles!