If you’re a passionate traveler like me you’re probably always looking for new exciting places to explore. You may have tried different forms of travel such as backpacking around a country or relaxing at a luxurious spa. The one way of traveling that has always intrigued me the most though is… time travel. Okay, okay, you might still have a couple doubts that this is actually possible. But depending on where you go it is kinda possible or even almost possible. The place where I found it to be most possible though is Southern Germany. Let me take you on a magical little journey to some of my favorite time travel locations!
Bad Windsheim – Museum under the open sky
Well, it’s called a museum. In fact it’s a vast area nestled between the beautiful hills and vineyards of Franconia with more than one hundred authentic historic houses. You’ll find everything there from cottages to breweries to stables inhabited by live animals. A shepherd is sitting under a tree peacefully watching his flock while there’s only the murmur of a small stream and its mill wheel in the background. As you wander from one small village to the next you’ll get to see historic houses from different eras starting way back in the Middle Ages. As many of them are furnished you’ll suddenly find yourself standing in a living room that looks as if its historic inhabitants had left 5 minutes ago to take a little stroll around the neighborhood.
It’s so much more than just informative – walking around these houses always makes me feel like I’m part of a larger whole. I’ll try to imagine what the people looked like who lived in these houses, what they talked about, how they spent their evenings. There were so many who walked here before me and so many who will when I’m long gone but in this very moment I’m the one wandering this place, I’m one of them.
If time traveling has made you hungry you’ll find a couple of lovely restaurants along the way that cater to a variety of different tastes from traditional Franconian meals to vegan dishes. I’ll always take an entire day to spend in this museum. As soon as you enter you’ll notice that clocks are ticking slower in this place. If it wasn’t for the camera in my hand I would simply forget the busy, noisy century I come from. I have been to the museum at least fifteen times but I will come back again and again as it’s one of the places that really make me feel like time travel is possible.
If you’d like to visit you can get all info here: Fränkisches Freilandmuseum Bad Windsheim
Conveniently this stunning 800-year-old castle isn’t just amazing to look at: at surprisingly affordable rates you can spend the night in one of the cozy rooms within the castle walls. The whole interior makes you feel like the lord of the castle invited you for some Game of Thrones-like feast.
The castle is the perfect base for lots of activities in the area. Close by is the spectacular dripstone cave Sophienhöhle that can be visited all year round and sometimes even at night when it serves as the stage for magical candlelight concerts. There are also torch-only night tours that can be topped off with a three-course menu at the castle.
The region Rabenstein Castle is situated in is called Franconian Switzerland (no clue why that is actually…) and it’s a seriously stunning place. The rugged forested landscape is perfect for any kind of outdoor activity such as hiking and mountain biking. Coming back all exhausted from a long hike through the misty forests, feasting in the castle halls and curling up in a dreamy canopy bed is most definitely one of the best experiences ever. If you’d like to visit be sure to check out all the amazing events going on in and around the castle!
If you’d like to visit you can get all info here: Burg Rabenstein (German website only)
Kaltenberg Knights’ Tournament
Okay, okay I don’t even know where to start here. Kaltenberg was love at first sight for me ever since I first visited in 2003. Kaltenberg castle is situated roughly 50 km east of Munich and it opens its gates for knights, princesses, jugglers, traders and medieval townsfolk on three weekends in July every year. There is an extensive medieval market offering literally everything you could think of – leather-bound books, jewelry, hair accessories, historic clothing, pottery, raspberry wine, strawberry wine, blueberry wine, honey wine (you get the concept, bring your drinking horn!) and FOOD.
There are heaps of artists entertaining the visitors in the streets as well as on several stages. The actual knights’ tournament takes place in a huge arena and watching it still gives me goosebumps after 13 years. Just make sure to book a seat under the roof as the region tends to get massive thunderstorms with monsoon-like rain, especially after hot summer days. Believe me, I got soaked to the bones more than once there after what was first a sweltering July afternoon…
If the weather stays warm and dry though (that’s what it usually does) the night at Kaltenberg is truly magical. You can just let yourself get swept away by the sounds of voices and music and crackling fires, the smells of stew and sweets and wine. Browsing through the wonderous things the vendors have on display and sipping some fruity wine makes me forget that there is a different world outside. Once I’m there I usually don’t want to leave anymore.
What makes me particularly jealous are the on-site huts and tents the actors are sleeping in. With their historic interior, their furs and pillows and candles they seem like the comfiest and most romantic places on earth. Staying in one of them for the night is so on my bucket list.
For those who aren’t lucky enough to sleep in one of those jealousy-inducing tents I’d recommend booking a room in Landsberg am Lech (my family and I will usually stay at Augsburger Hof or Landhotel Endhart). Landsberg is very close and it’s totally worth visiting so you should take the chance while you’re there!
If you’d like to visit you can get all info here: Kaltenberger Ritterturnier
These were by far not all my time travel hotspots – there are so many more I would love to share with you in future posts!
Are there any time travel destinations where you live? Let me know in the comments!