We’ve been “honeymooning” for nearly 5 months now, sounds luxurious right? Well, in between the lack of laundry + showers and experiencing the personal + shared challenges that come with living in an 18-foot space, spending everyday, 24/7, with your partner, resting on very little certainty other than the fact that we know we will experience the same (if not new) #vanlife challenges again the next day… our romance levels can vary from time to time. Here’s Drew showering with our bag of water hanging off the side of The Howlin’ Yoweller after a day of Kitesurfing off the beaches of Brittany:
While the above may not be classified as “sexy” or “romantic”… well maybe a little bit sexy 😉 what it can definitely be categorized as is MEMORABLE. Every day, every hour, with every breath, we are making memories, some more beautiful, challenging and romantic than others, but nonetheless all are important in their own little ways.
I recently wrote an article for our friends at Invibed: How To Keep Your Relationship Sparkly When You’re Broke, which got me thinking… how do we stay #romanticontheroad? We put effort into it, that’s how. From candlelit dinners, to camera-free walks on the beach and surprises in the form of fresh “pain au chocolat,” these days our romance is found in the smallest, sweetest, most unassuming of ways:
Yes, even amongst the flocking tourists of the Romantic Road.
An incredibly well-named destination for Europe-bound honeymooners, no other German route is as well known throughout THE WORLD as the Romantic Road. Marketed in the 1950’s as a way to rehabilitate Germany’s image after the war, the Romantic Road showcases the peace, beauty and culture that thrives in their endearing medieval towns. So is the Romantic Road really THAT romantic?
Filled with quaint villages, storybook farm animals, open-air theaters, world-class biking trails, horse-drawn carriages, outdoor cafes, sparkling lakes, gorgeous castles and… need I say more? We avoided nearly all of the museums, tourist shops and big restaurants which helped a lot too. With incredible routes for long-distance bikers, hikers and road trippers alike, it was the perfect place for two honeymooning VanLifers to say the least!
We gave ourselves one week to travel slow, discover whatever villages pulled on our heartstrings and embark on whatever adventures called our names. Here’s my journal page pointing out all our fave details:
With so much to discover, we went with a rough draft in mind and stopped in the tourist information centers (there’s one in every village), which gave us the best tips and bike route maps!
SO, back to the main question, how romantic is the Romantische Strasse!? While it’s not lined with twinkling lights and velvet curtains weren’t pulled aside as we arrived to each new village, between the incredibly lush nature, the enchanting village people and the endless opportunities for peace and enjoyment, the Romantic Road was simply as romantic as we made it to be.
Some of our favorite places for romance?
1. Wurzburg: Sweet town + Gorgeous park + Versailles-worthy Hofgarten + Beautiful Rococo Dom+ GREAT bike route along the River Main.
Tip: Enjoy a sunset drink on the Old Main Bridge + delicious dinner at Alter Kranen (the Putenrahmgeschnetzeltes aka. creamy mushroom stew with roasted potatoes was OMG).
2. Dinkelsbuhl: The Christmas store was AMAZING + the village, ADORABLE. We walked the town wall and enjoyed the stunning views from the park.
3. Nordlingen: We rode our bikes to a nearby village + enjoyed a picnic + walked the ancient wall which encircles this sweet little town, which is actually unlike any other town on EARTH! Located in the crater of a METEORITE IMPACT, most of the town’s buildings are made out of shocked quartz, a type of rock that is only formed by the shock pressures associated with meteorite impact! CRAZY. Awesome. Totally worth the stop.
4. Harburg: We played with the cottonwood fuzzies + hiked up an enchanting trail to the Harburg Castle.
5. Donauworth: We biked to a little chapel on a rock + Drew picked me some fresh flowers + we walked along “one of the most beautiful streets in Germany,” the Reichstrasse.
6. Rottenbuch: We biked “the only trail dedicated to dairy farming” + Drew enjoyed a giant mug of FRESH milk and FRESH cheesecake along the way at Schönegger Käse-Alm – Drew was like WOAH. With the happy milk-providing cows mooing and grazing right next to the picnic tables, this gem cannot be missed! (Plus it was like $4.)
7. Schwangau: OUR FAVE… actually it’s probably everyone’s fave. With Hohenschwangau + Neuschwanstein, the famed castle that inspired Walk Disney to create the Magic Kingdom, it’s easy to see why. What we loved most was biking the dreamy trail around Alpsee Lake, we only wished we had brought our bathing suits so we could jump in!
Meet Paul, the castle sketching artist who has been drawing and painting Neuschwanstein for more than 20 years! Found on the bench near Marienbrücke, we met him 2 years ago and were thrilled to find him again. We have yet to find handmade cards as special and exquisite as his.
8. Fussen: This cute little town stands on the banks of the Forggensee, a large lake with an impeccable biking route all the way round (20 miles)! The views of the mountains and the ‘fairy tale castles’ are breathtaking + the numerous outdoor cafes provide the perfect opportunity for a romantic lake-side date, swans included.
So, tips for romance: As long as you have a candle, picnic blanket and love in your heart… you can’t go wrong, no matter where you are.