Rosenheim & Neubeuern – A Rainy Bavaria
In yesterday’s update I left you all on a rain drenched German Autobahn, just south of Munich. Jay was somehow managing to guide Iggy the Hymer motorhome through the jostling juggernauts, and tedious traffic jams. Marley was snoring gently on the floor between our seats. And I was rattling off the last paragraph or two of our adventures in Ulm.
Heaving a massive sigh of relief at being fully up to speed with the Blog, I shut my laptop and put my full attention on the road in front.
Immediately I wished I’d taken a little bit longer, and wondered if it was okay to hide behind the laptop again. This traffic was mental! A good Scottish term reserved for situations when you decide that whatever you’re currently looking at shouldn’t be real. Generally accompanied by much head shaking and checking with friends…
“That’s pure mental! It’s just no real eh?”
Said friends will then respond with things like.
“Aye you’re no far wrong.”
And a few, soothing, well placed curse words. Mostly beginning with “F”.
Unfortunately for all of us that was round about the point that Jay needed me to navigate again. Unfortunately for me because I had to watch all the kamikaze drivers hurtling at my side of the van whenever the traffic moved faster than a crawl. And unfortunately for Jay because he had to put up with me yelping everytime an enormous truck roared up our left hand (Navigator seat ) side half an inch off Iggy’s side mirror.
Luckily the boy and I have been doing this together, in various vehicles, for quite a few years now. And somehow, despite his tendency to try really hard to get lost. And my tendency to be a gibbering wreck of a passenger in bad traffic. We seem to be pretty good at getting from A to B in one piece together.
Enshallah… Because after a statement like that it’s really important to say Enshallah. Or touch wood, kiss a cross, chop a poor unsuspecting bunny rabbit’s foot off, or anything else that makes you feel less like you’ve just hit Fate in the face with a wet gauntlet.
The footless bunnies appeared to be on our side today, because after just another half hour or so of yelping, and almost wrong turns, Iggy glided safely into the comparative calm of Rosenheim. Just a couple more junctions to go and we would be at our free parking spot for tonight. There was no Stellplatz in the city unfortunately, but the parking sounded okay. And even better it was very close to the parasol covered terraces of the pretty Inns and cafes we were passing. It looked like the rain wasn’t going to destroy our visit completely.
It was happy faces all round then as I spotted a woman in a lovely Dirndl outfit dashing through the wet streets. Pointing her out to Jay, we speculated as to whether she was on her way out, or on her way home from work.
And then, suddenly, there was a very wet man in Lederhosen. Another Dirndl clad woman. No, not one, three. People were appearing everywhere around us now, clad in beautiful, traditional Bavarian dress.
Wow! There must be something on, we said. How exciting, we said. This totally makes up for the rain, we said. And as we said it. And as we passed rows of wooden, German market stalls, we turned the last corner into our parking lot.
Or leastways it would have been our parking lot. If it wasn’t for the big “Go Away We’re Having A Festival” barriers and no entry signs that had been erected all around it. Not to mention the fair ground rides. And the food stalls. And the beautifully dressed Bavarians flooding in from every corner of town.
They truly were a sight to see. Apparently caring not one jot for the teeming rain, they marched happily around in their finest of clothes. Legs bare, brollies on high, they carried on into the fair as though nothing was amiss. And for sure a simple spot of rain was not going to spoil their big day.
Totally agreeing, we valiantly spent the next hour and twenty minutes, wriggling Iggy’s not inconsiderable bulk up and down the streets of Rosenheim, in search of parking. But we were getting nowhere. Nowhere but tired, cross and generally brain frozen.
These two parking lots had been closed by the municipality. These other three were multi-stories fit only for cars. These other two were full with Lederhosen party goers. This paying spot was a maximum two hour stay.
And finally, regretfully, we’d had enough. A quick look on park4night and I saw a free Stellplatz sign at a village just a few miles away. Fifteen minutes drive and we’d be off the streets. Rosenheim had eluded us. And we were thankful to leave it’s water logged streets in one piece.
The traffic almost disappeared as Iggy trundled off the main road and into Neubeuern. Past a pretty church and a couple of fresco painted Inns, and we sighed a thankful sigh as we arrived at the free Stellplatz. It was a shame to have missed mingling with all the Lederhosen and Drindl dressed folk. But this lovely, spacious, quiet spot, was exactly what we needed after a very tiring, edgy, day’s travel.
Marley was up and at the door immediately. Waiting for her lead to be attached and us to stop being lazy and get our coats on for a walk. And there was the little matter of doing some exploring, and getting a few photos for the Blog. But that rain was still chucking it down outside. Admittedly it was no longer coming down in huge, fountain like sheets of water. This was more like walking through a giant sprinkler. Steady, persistant, slightly warm, with absolutely total coverage.
It wasn’t stopping me though. I’d seen a castle turret poking it’s head above the trees on the hill next to the Stellplatz. We bravely ventured around the running track and into a wooded lane leading upwards. The trees shielded us a bit from the worst of the rain, and it even seemed to be thinning out a bit when we emerged in front of the castle a few minutes later.
There was still enough coming down to make getting a clear shot of the castle nigh on impossible. But I gave it my best anyway. And then, as I looked for the best vantage point, I spotted the archway.
As soon as I saw it I just knew what I was going to find on the other side. That balcony, the chairs. The single, straight standing tree. The archway itself. They were all designed to frame one, very specific kind of view. One I’d never seen in real life before. One I hoped against hope, the clouds would part enough for me to see now.
As I scurried through the archway, heart in mouth, a little bit of magic happened, and the Rain Gods turned their tap to “Almost Finished”. The skies were still grey, and thick with cloud. But it was vanishing, back into the heights above us. Visibilty clearing dramatically as I stepped through the arch and into the dramatic magic of the mountain view beyond.
The mountains were still mostly shaded for sure, but they were visible enough, and magnificent in their shroud of cloud. What an incredible spot to drink morning coffee on a bright, clear, summer’s day. Or a bright, clear winter’s one at that. Or even a grey, rainy, Autumn’s one like today. It really doesn’t get much more perfect than this.
We wandered about the Castle gardens a little bit more, but this view over the village below soon had us scurrying down the path marked “Marktplatz”. The view, and the fact that Jay had discovered some information boards which seemed to say the Castle was now a school!
We’d thought it was probably an hotel, but it was strange that we hadn’t seen a single soul. And lucky for us too if it was a school! And doubly lucky that we’d been privileged to have our wander through the lovely grounds, and experience that gorgeous view.
I’m still not sure if the public are allowed to visit. There were no signs to say it was private. Apart from one on a pathway down to the village. Perhaps it is different during term time.
It was three happy, wet travellers that emerged from the “Private” castle path and into Neubeuern village’s superbly maintained Marktplatz. We really couldn’t believe our luck at just stumbling across this place by accident. The stresses and strains of the day were gone. Washed clean away by this wonderful gift of a visit.
Sadly our happiness took a little bit of a tumble just minutes later. After a wander around the tiny, beautiful, centre we decided it was definitely beer o’clock. And dinner o’clock too while we were throwing money around.
Choosing the largest, plainest looking beer garden for our bedraggled Marley Pup we sauntered innocently in, expecting nothing else but the usual friendly, German welcome.
Sadly this was not the usual, friendly, German inn!
“No dogs!” a man shook his head at us from the doorway to the bar.
Startled by this unexpected response we took Marley to the only other Inn that was currently open. We deliberately hadn’t chosen it to begin with, as it was such a fairytale cottage of a place. If there was anywhere that wasn’t going to allow dogs it was probably here.
Leaving Jay and Marley outside I went through the doors into the gorgeously decorated bar area, and asked the man, very politely, if I could bring my dog into the garden. I’m not exactly sure what the torrent of agitated German I recieved back meant. But I managed to pick out that there was “No service with dogs.” I just wasn’t sure why he was reacting as though I’d told him I wanted my dog to poop in his dinner.
Just another Bavarian village street
Beating a hasty retreat from the passionately head shaking proprietor of Haschl’s we went, disconsolately, on our way. We had been really enjoying the village up till now. But this put a bit of a spoiler on things. I’ve never yet seen a dog do anything in a bar that I’ve not seen a person do. And generally, the dogs are quieter, and better behaved. And for those that are not, they can just as easily be asked to leave, as a badly behaved human can.
Worst of all Jay had no beer left in the van. This was a bit of a quandry for us, as we don’t like abandoning poor old Marley while we go enjoy ourselves. Still… Jay and his beer… So we went for a long walk around the other parts of the villages, in the drizzle, with the furry one. Cows were sniffed from afar. Horses were sniffed from much closer. And eventually, we took a wet and happy Marley back to Iggy, and snuck out in search of another Inn for a quick beer.
There had only been one other Inn open before, and it hadn’t had a beer garden. But this time round a place called Hofwirt’s was open – right at the base of the castle hill. We never thought to ask if they allowed dogs, because it looked far too posh and lush for soggy mountain dogs.
The staff were lovely, the atmosphere friendly and relaxed, and the food and drinks we had were all absolutely excellent. Thanks to the impeccable service one beer, turned into dinner, coffee and schnapps. And then, just as we were about to leave a couple came in from the rain with a dog!
Are dogs allowed in here, I ask our lovely waiter. “Yes, yes. Of course.” was his reply.
It was a happy couple of wanderers who mosied the five minute walk back to Iggy. The rain had stopped, and our worst day of the tour so far, had ended up being the very best. It was just a shame we hadn’t found Hofwirt’s before we left Marley in the van.
But if you’re ever in Neubeuern and fancy a nice place to go for drinks, or even dinner… Well, you know where to go.