Two days in Baden-Württemberg

baden wuerttemburg germany castle

In my last post about our European road trip, I mentioned our first hotel in Baden Württemberg – the Hotel Zum fröhlichen Landmann – a family restaurant hotel. When we arrived, a bus load of tourists were leaving having had a yummy meal. James played in the playground while we unpacked the car.  hotel zum froehliche landmann play area  

We were a little wowed by our location, deep in the seemingly middle of nowhere, but we were sad to find that the hotel doesn’t have a bar. We’d have loved to have sat out in the evening sunshine while James played on the slide and little house. 

hotel zum fröhliche landmann 

We had a very comfortable bed, and a spacious room, but the best part was that the windows had shutters – total blackout! 

The next day we set out and spotted a castle on the hill nearby, so headed over to take a closer look.  It is Rötteln Castle. roetteln castle  

As we walked up to the castle from the car park, I spotted some acorns, fallen from a nearby tree. I told James how they grow in these cups, and when they fall from the tree squirrels eat the nut, and fairies use the cup as a hat. 

As we turned the corner to go through the gateway, James excitedly shouted, “look! A fairy house! And next door their fairy friends live, too!”

roetteln castle fairy door 

He kept those acorns and cups in his back pocket all day, and told anyone who would listen about the squirrels and the fairies. So sweet. switzerland tram  

We drove into Switzerland, intending to eat lunch there – really, just to say we’d been to another country! But then we realised we didn’t have any Swiss francs, nor a parking permit, which we seemed to need in all the spaces we found.

swiss german border  
So we drove back into Germany and on to McDonald’s for a little fun in the outdoor playground, and a very ‘happy’ meal!  

Our hotel for the next two nights was the Radisson Blu in Ettlingen- completely out of the way and not an ideal location if you like to walk into town from the hotel, as we do. A mistake, and hastily booked, but a fine hotel in all other regards. 

Karlsruhe town is celebrating its 300th birthday, and this weekend is the end of the celebrations. We witnessed a wonderful light show on the palace in the evening. 

(Check out that #ka300 hashtag for more highlights of the celebrations – some brilliant videos and images on Instagram) 

Today we have enjoyed seeing friends. We started the day with a Bavarian breakfast of weißwurst and pretzel, washed down with beer in the town of Durlach.  We wandered around the flea market and resisted some brilliant bargains (Rob doesn’t agree we need another pushchair!), and picked up others, including a toy digger made in West Germany for €,50.

Then we walked up to the mountain train station. 

view from karlsruhe mountain castle top  karlesruhe mountain train  
karlsruhe mountain train 
Amazing views at the top, and a little guide sign so you know what you’re looking at. 

Back to Karlsruhe to the palace and the botanical gardens. 

 karlsruhe botanical gardens  
karlsruhe botanical gardens yellow flower bloom  karlsruhe botanical  gardens lily pond  
We saw a few red squirrels in the gardens, too. They are much more bushy tailed in real life than I remembered!

james running in front of karlsruhe palace Our lunch was very, very late. James was ‘fractious’ to put it politely, and the first place we went to had given us a menu of food they weren’t serving. So after we’d made our choices and were told they weren’t available, we drank up our beers and left. Actually, I’m glad we didn’t, because Cafe Emaille was a great find. Tucked away in an alley off the shopping street, you’d imagine drunken bums and a dirty dive you’d want to avoid. Instead, this was a relaxed, family friendly place, with schnitzel as a top menu choice. Rob and Sven chose the beer of the day – Apfel bier – which was sort of shandy made with apple juice instead of lemonade. We all ordered a variation of schnitzel with chips, and they were served very quickly; hot and tasty.

cafe emaille karlsruhe  
cafe emaille wall metal signs karlsruhe Thanks to our friends for a fantastic day. The boys are flat out and we have had a rare evening to ourselves! 
Tomorrow we head home, our impromptu road trip in Europe is nearly over. 

Life Unexpected

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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39 Comments

  1. ohnikkashae
    October 7, 2015 / 11:52 am

    Wow, what a fun trip!! I love this pics!! I need to travel more international!!

  2. ohnikkashae
    October 7, 2015 / 11:53 am

    Wow, great pictures!! I would love to travel more international trips!!

    • October 7, 2015 / 5:54 pm

      Thank you. It was a brilliant road trip!

  3. October 7, 2015 / 3:03 pm

    This looks like so much fun! My husband and I love to travel, but don’t go as often as we’d like. We went to London and Paris for our honeymoon but haven’t been to Europe since. I would love to go back very soon.

    • October 7, 2015 / 5:53 pm

      Ah Paris is so beautiful. What a great location for a honeymoon.

  4. October 7, 2015 / 3:07 pm

    What an amazing impromptu road trip! I love all of the pictures. My favorite is the one of the fairy’s house 🙂

    • October 7, 2015 / 5:53 pm

      Oh thank you! We had a fantastic time. We need to do it again but less impromptu next time!

  5. October 7, 2015 / 4:27 pm

    I really want to visit Europe. I have family there that I have never met. It’s definitely on my bucket list.

    • October 7, 2015 / 5:50 pm

      I hope you get to visit one day. It’s so beautiful.

  6. October 7, 2015 / 5:46 pm

    Looks like a lovely trip! And it’s a good think I’m reading this while on my lunch break, otherwise the food descriptions would have been tortuous 😉

    • October 7, 2015 / 5:49 pm

      Haha, you think that sounds yummy? Go read all about the French food we ate on our last trip to Normandy. It was crazy yummy!

  7. October 7, 2015 / 5:51 pm

    What a cute and cozy town! Looks like you guys are having a fabulous time!

  8. October 8, 2015 / 2:26 am

    What a gorgeous place with so many things to see and do. I love that photo with all of the flowers growing over the rails. I’ve never stayed in a more beautiful place.

  9. October 8, 2015 / 3:38 am

    This looks incredible! I would love to visit here!

  10. Lois Alter Mark
    October 8, 2015 / 5:45 am

    Looks like you all had a fantastic time! I love the photos!

  11. AlmostSexyMommy
    October 8, 2015 / 2:42 pm

    Your pictures are beautiful! I am in love with old castles. Some day I’m going to be able to travel and see them in person!

    • October 8, 2015 / 2:43 pm

      Here’s hoping! There are so many castles in Europe, it’s crazy!

  12. October 8, 2015 / 4:33 pm

    wow I love photos! That place looks so gorgeous! Thank you for sharing my dear <3

  13. October 8, 2015 / 4:56 pm

    What an amazing trip! I would love to be able to travel more and visit such lovely places 🙂

  14. October 8, 2015 / 6:38 pm

    I love where you stayed, it’s like a bed and breakfast, and those are my favorite! I think my favorite part of your post is the castle! I just love old architecture =)

    • October 8, 2015 / 7:01 pm

      It was a bed and breakfast, and a fabulously yummy one it was too! I ate the tastiest, orange-yolked egg! Mmmm!

  15. October 8, 2015 / 10:23 pm

    I loved Germany when we visited as a couple 5 years ago, it’s a lovely place. We had been in the same area s you, but didn’t see any of what you have in this post, so we will have to go back I think! I love the look of Rotteln castle, definitely a fantastic place to explore and how cute is James for telling everyone about the squirrels and fairies! So many things to see and gorgeous photos too!
    Thanks so much for linking up to #Whatevertheweather 🙂 x

  16. workoutwithdi
    October 9, 2015 / 12:15 am

    wow your photos are amazing! looks like you had a great time!

  17. October 9, 2015 / 1:18 am

    Ahhh, I’m so in love with this post! I lived in Germany for 3 years when I was a kid. Best 3 years of my life. Like your son, my imagination ran rampant…and it has yet to stop 🙂

  18. October 9, 2015 / 2:17 am

    Stunning photos! I admire anyone traveling with littles!

  19. October 9, 2015 / 2:38 am

    Beautiful trip! We’d love to get stationed in Europe just so that we can travel like this all the time!

    • October 9, 2015 / 10:15 am

      Yes! Absolutely – what an opportunity that would be!

  20. kancell724
    October 9, 2015 / 4:24 am

    Wow how beautiful. What a fun trip! Love the acorns and their hats

  21. October 11, 2015 / 1:31 am

    Looks like y’all had so much fun. That house is adorable.

  22. October 11, 2015 / 11:05 am

    Your photos are wonderful thank you for sharing them with us! I love the castle

  23. chloelifeunexpected
    October 11, 2015 / 10:34 pm

    Everything looks so clean, perfect and idyllic here. I would love to visit Germany. It sounds like you had such a lovely holiday. A shame you couldn’t stop for lunch in Switzerland though.
    I’d love to go on the mountain train ride. It looks so cool. In fact everything about your visit looks so beautiful. I can’t get over the place you stayed in either, although I agree, it’s a shame it had no bar. Your photos are so lovely and it’s so cute that you told him the rest of the acorn is a fairy hat. I definitely cooed a lot at your little explore for fairies. I must remember this one to tell my daughter.Thank you so much for sharing this on #whatevertheweather x

  24. October 20, 2015 / 10:50 am

    A lovely look at a part of Europe I don’t know at all, I don’t blame you nipping in and out of Switzerland, lunch may have cost you a fortune there if you had the francs and looks like McDonalds suited your smallest member better anyway! Lovely looking castle and of course the cute fairy door! Thank you for sharing this leg of your road trip on Country Kids.

  25. Urska
    October 20, 2015 / 11:35 am

    At some most touristy places in Switzerland you can pay with Euros, but I think you’ve made right decision to drive back to Germany. Lunch in Switzerland would be much more expensive than in Germany. Even at McDonald’s. 😉
    #MondayEscapes

  26. October 21, 2015 / 9:57 am

    What a nice place! #monday escapes

  27. November 1, 2015 / 10:45 pm

    I so want to do this part of Europe so I love seeing all the wonderful photos and how at ease a road trip seems even with a toddler in tow. It looks so picture perfect. I love the little story about the acorns and the fairy house. So sweet. Thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes

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