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  Walking in Southern Germany

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David and Debra walk a scenic trail through the Oberpfalz region in south-east Germany. A land full of thick forest, castles and ruins with neat medieval towns and villages, each steeped in rustic tradition. The DVD is in three parts, ending with the couple's visit to the Austrian border and the most famous castle in the world. 

This film is part of a twenty-two episode "Footloose in Europe" television series for international distribution ...see Broadcast 
Original music by Barnaby Smith



1. Burgensteig ~ The Castle Trail
We begin our Bavarian castle trail in the pretty riverside village of Kallmünz where we meet stage director Bernhard Hübl who tells enthusiastically about his village and the dramatic castle ruins dating from 1230 on the cliff above.  Our 35km burgensteig trail to the city of Regensburg passes through forest, cornfield and riverbank, taking in a number of villages on the way ...and four more castles or remains. The best preserved castle stands on a rock above the neat little village of Wolfsegg. It is open to the public and we take a tour inside, finding a wealth of armour and weapons... and discover a ghost story from its medieval past!
From Wolfsegg we pass though thick Bavarian forest and more castle remains, visiting the quiet village of Pielenhofen with a fine monastery on the banks of the river Naab. The burgensteig finishes at Etterzhausen, but we finish our "Footloose" trail by taking the towpath along the Naab which joins the mighty Danube. It is then only a few kilometres along the river to the gates of the best preserved, and most complete medieval city in the whole of Germany.



2. Discovering Regensburg
Before we start our trail through this historic Roman city we talk to Olivia Hernández from the tourist office and City Guide Reinhold Schneider, who tell us about their colourful old town and some of its remarkable 2000-year-old history.  Our trail through the streets begins, and it is not long before we get drawn inside a curious Snuff Museum. City guide Ella Hehn shows us round this intriguing tobacco-infused set of rooms and we learn all about how Regensburg became the "snuff capital" of Germany, ending of course by sampling the delicate powder.
The trail through the narrow and pedestrianised streets takes us to the royal Thurn and Taxis Palace and monastery. Reinhold tells of how the family rose to power and surprisingly, descendant Princess Gloria still resides in the gigantic palace today. It is not far to the Roman walls and then down to the Alte Kapelle with Pope Benedictine's famous church organ. No visit to Regensburg is complete without a visit to St Peter's Cathedral, and the two town halls which stand next to each other! The old town is famous for its patrician towers reminiscent of Italian merchants'  houses. Inside one is where Dampfnudel Uli serves his delicious dumplings and custard, so naturally we have to try some!  

 We arrive at the Steinernebrücke, the oldest bridge in Germany... 850 years old to be precise, which naturally has a tale to be told by Reinhold.
A river trip to Walhalla where an unlikely Grecian temple commands the Danube, followed by an evening visit to Stadtamhof completes our  visit to historic Regensburg.
3. The Road to Königswinkel

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                     © Grindelwald Productions 2009

Although not close to the Oberpfalz region, we couldn't finish our visit to Bavaria without seeing the most famous castle in the world. It meant driving down Germany's Romantic Road, a tourist route to the very south of the country reaching the foothills of the Alps. Here at the "Kings Corner" lies castle Hohenschwangau, home of eccentric King Ludwig I. But  the Disney-like castle the whole world comes to see was built by his even more eccentric son: King Ludwig II... We climb up to see the magnificent Schloss Neuschwanstein set in an impossibly beautiful mountainside location.


Find out more in DEBRA'S DIARY