Places I Never Got Around to Visiting

| April 14, 2016


As we wrap up our time here in Germany (just six weeks left?!?!), I am cleaning out my desk. Yesterday I came across a folder of places I wanted to visit while we live in Germany. Despite making my way around a great bit of Germany, I never made it to the majority of the places in this particular folder. I know usually people blog about where they have been, but here are some of the places I haven’t been. Maybe you’ll want to make time for some of them!


The Almabtrieb – “‘Til the cows come home” ain’t just a saying.  Every fall in Mayrhofen, Austria, the town celebrates the cows coming down from the mountains for the winter.  How fun!

More cowbell, please. We accidentally ran into a festival while driving to Aescherposcht. Unfortunately, the festival had ended when we returned from the cliff.

More cowbell, please. We accidentally ran into a festival while driving to Aescherposcht. Unfortunately, the festival had ended when we returned from the cliff.

The Bernina Express – This famous scenic railway runs between Tirano, Italy and Chur, Switzerland, and passes through the Alps among glaciers, lakes, and rolling green.  It’s something I’d return to Europe to do. Bucket list!

Zwergen-Park – I’m so bummed that we missed this garden gnome park and museum on our visits to Thüringen. Who doesn’t want to see garden gnomes?

Scotland – As in, the whole country. I wanted to visit Loch Ness to find Nessie, see men in kilts, cruise through the fjords, play golf, eat, laugh.  I’ve passed through Scotland before, for a night in Glasgow, but didn’t get to travel around and really see the country. One day, I hope…

Lapland – I was really hoping to get to Lapland to sleep in the Ice Hotel, visit Santa while my daughter still believes, dogsled, and try to catch the Northern Lights. It requires a lot of travel, though, and is pretty expensive. We just never prioritized it.

Auschwitz, in Poland – Although we’ve visited Sachsenhausen concentration camp twice, I had planned to visit the world’s most famous preserved concentration camp, Auschwitz.  There’s still a slight chance that we’ll make it there in May, but it’s a slim chance.

sachsenhausen berlin germany

It’s depressing, sure, but I don’t think you can ever have too much awareness of the atrocities committed in the past and present.

Dachau – I’d also planned on visiting this Bavarian concentration camp that is often characterized as falling between Sachsenhausen and Auschwitz in the level of atrocities and the location tour itself.

Eagle’s Nest – You can tour and eat at Hitler’s former home and headquarters, which you reach by an elevator inside of the mountain on which the home is perched. I wanted to check out this unique part of history.

The Fishermen’s Joust, or “Fischerstechen” – In Bamberg during the Sandkerwa beer festival, fisherman joust on the river.  Yeah, I have no idea.

Idar-Oberstein – During my first month in Germany, Idar-Oberstein was recommended to me. For one thing, I was surprised to learn, Bruce Willis was born there. Who knew?! The town has been mined for gems and they are known as a gemstone center. They also have a church, Felsenkirche (“crag church”), tucked into a cliff. I planned it several times, but never followed through.

Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival, in Ludwigsburg – I really wanted to sample the pumpkin specialties, see the giant pumpkin sculptures, and check out the children’s entertainment at the world’s largest pumpkin festival.

A riverboat cruise – This is something we’ve talked about doing since long before moving to Europe. After taking a bike trip around the Bodensee a few years ago, we considered a bike-and-boat cruise where you bike during the day and then the boat takes you farther down the river overnight. I think we’ll return to do a river cruise in the future, but I think I’d like to do a Christmas market cruise–yup, those are a thing!

It would have been fun to combine biking and boating!

It would have been fun to combine biking and boating!

Greece – It looks beautiful and I want to see some of the famous Greek ruins. I just didn’t prioritize it. Rome was more important to me, so we hit Rome–twice!

Turkey – Even if I’d prioritized Turkey, it eventually was made a no-go location for my husband, so that decision was made for me!

The Voodoo Museum in Strasbourg, France – Because VOODOO!

Trier – Speaking of day trips I never made, I was interested in visiting the Roman ruins of Trier, Germany. I especially wanted to visit during an Easter market. I planned an overnight this year, but wasn’t able to go.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa – When we went on a Disney cruise in the Med this summer, we had a planned excursion to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. However, a series of cancellations and reschedules led us to fully cancel the excursion and hang out on deck the whole day. It was a refreshing decision we did not regret making. It gives me a reason to go back to Italy.

Disney Paris – Speaking of Disney, we talked about visiting Europe’s Disney. We were especially interested in staying at the Sequoia Lodge since our daughter’s name is Sequoia. But we did a Disney cruise, spent a few days at Disneyworld over two of our trips home, and in general have Disneyed ourselves sufficiently. We decided that Disney Paris, which I’ve heard isn’t quite as awesome as Disneyworld, would not be a priority destination.

walt disney cruise family photo mickey and minnie mouse

We’ve done our fair share of Disney

Fantasia Live, in German – Speaking still of Disney…We were able to catch one Broadway show in German, Beauty and the Beast, and we were hoping to make it to another in Germany. I considered Fantasia Live, and Tarzan. We just never made it!

Dialog Museum – The Dialogue in the Dark exhibit at this museum in Frankfurt, involves blind guides leading visitors through 6 pitch-black rooms. How cool does that sound?!

Oktoberfest – How–I ask, how–could I have lived nearly four in Germany and never made it to the most famous event in Germany??  I don’t drink very often, so it just wasn’t a priority.  Plus, giant crowds don’t sound fun at all.  Still, I had planned to head down to Munich just to say I’d done it.  I didn’t done it.

Forte di Bard, in Bard Italy – A giant fortress sits atop a rock in a river gorge.  A funicular takes visitors to the top, where there is an Alpine museum and prison in the fort. Totally wanna see!

Burg Lichtenberg – This is the largest castle ruin in Germany. We’ve seen our fair share of castles, though, so it never found itself on the top of our list during trip planning.

Hohenzollern – I don’t know why this particular castle made the folder–there must have been a reason? I’m sure it’s totally amazing like all German castles.

We love castles, though!

We love castles, though!

Apassionata – Since my daughter loves horses, we’d planned to make it to Apassionata, an amazing-looking horse show in Frankfurt. Alas, we never made it.

Horse Hiking in the Mittelrhein – Speaking of horses, I was hoping to have the opportunity to do a horse hike.

Geysir Andernach – I also wanted to visit this geyser in the Rhein valley. I’ve seen Old Faithful, though, so it wasn’t a huge deal to miss this one.

An official, intentional hike in the Rhine Valley

This one doesn't count!

This one doesn’t count!

Montagne des Singes – I was dying to surround myself by the monkeys in this sanctuary outside of Strasbourg, France, but alas, we never had the chance.

Le Palais Idéal in Hauterives, France – Some French dude trips over a stone outside of Lyon and then spends 30 years shoveling pebbles into a wheelbarrow to construct a dream house of rough pebbles. Who wouldn’t want to see that?

The church in Wittenburg on which Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses – I’m not religious, but I was brought up Lutheran. I was able to visit the Martin Luther memorial in Worms, but never made it to Wittenburg to see the site of his famous act.

Iceland – Yeah, I know, it’s not even close to Germany. But I had high hopes of visiting en route to the States. I had considered stopping over during our trip home to househunt over spring break, but my husband reminded me that it’s still cold in Iceland in March-April, which doesn’t sound quite as nice as a summer trip.

The German amusement parks Tripsdrill (in Cleebronn), Holiday Park (in Plopsa), Europapark (in Rust), Legoland (in Günzburg), and Taunus Wunderland (in Schlangenbad).

Wunderland Kalkar  (Kalkar, Germany) – There’s an amusement park inside an abandoned nuclear power plant!  For reals!  Unfortunately, they’ve never had rooms available in the resort when we’ve been available.  Wah wah…

The Tropical Island Resort in Krausnick – This giant indoor beach resort looks AMAZEBALLS.

therme erding

We did make it to Therme Erding, though!

Team Escape – When friends were visiting and we were heading to Köln, they suggested we do Team Escape, where you work together to solve a puzzle in order to get out of a room before your time is up. Well. I made reservations, but didn’t realize that the website was selling tickets for multiple locations. The confirmation email did not show which location, so I was unaware that I’d reserved Team Escape in another city. We were totally bummed when we arrived to learn of this, but we got over it.

Christmas Markets we missed despite intending to go:

Wolfgangseer Advent (the Christmas Market on the Wolfgangsee) – We had talked about visiting a lake market, and our experiences at Wolfgangsee

Who wouldn't want to return to Wolfgangsee?

Who wouldn’t want to return to Wolfgangsee?

…as well as the Miltenberg Christmas MarketMunich Christmas MarketDresden Christmas Market, and Frankfurt Christmas Market.

And finally, sadly, I did not make it to 40 x 40.  The new goal is 50 x 50!  There’s so much to see and do in this world…


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Category: Europe, Family Travel, Germany, In Germany A Broad blog, Top Tens

About the Author ()

Kari Martindale is a writer and ESL instructor. She’s visited all 50 states and 37 countries, including many of the big cities of Europe and a ton of Christmas Markets. She spends her days straddling the fence between a sense of adventure and a sense of dread. She is married to what is clearly a patient man and has a daughter who, frustratingly, is just like her. Her academic and professional backgrounds are in linguistics and foreign languages. When she's not teaching ESL, she's writing. When she's not writing, she's thinking about her next trip.

Comments (1)

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  1. Lynn Bullock says:

    ahhh — there IS life after germany — i hope you NEVER run out of money — so much to see <3