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One of the reasons I started this blog in the first place was to document our Epic Europe (and Middle East) adventure. In 2009, myself, the Cantankerous Drummer Husband and two friends rented a campervan for two months and drove across Europe, visiting Germany, Austria, Italy, England, Leitchenstein, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Then, we said goodbye to our friends and continued on through Turkey, Syria, Jordan and finished in Egypt, the country I’ve wished to see since I was seven years old. You can read about some of our adventures in these old posts:

5 Metal Things to do in Palymra, Syria

5 Metal Things to do in Hamburg, Germany

5 Metal Things to do in Egypt

Steff Metal in Scandinavia

Last night, I slept in a Cave

Steff Metal in Syria

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Well, it's not like I can hit much in the desert, can I?

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Love this Swedish sign!

Now, two years on, we’re returning to Germany for another, slightly smaller adventure. We fly out the 16 July for a month, with an itinerary packed with metal, mischief and archaeology. I am posting our plans here, so anyone looking for more info on planning a metal adventure to Germany can use this as a resource, and, if anyone of you happen to be in the same place at the same time as us, I’d love to meet up!

Departure: We leave NZ on the 16, spend 30 some hours watching America’s Next Top Model reruns and eating food in individually-wrapped packages on the plane, before landing in Munich.

Munich – 2 nights

Staying: A cheap hotel, I forget the name. It’s a 10min train ride out of the city centre, but this will help us sleep off our jet lag.

Seeing: I’m utterly open for suggestions, but I’d like to see the Ägyptischer Museum (Egpytian Museum – includes some fine coffics, some coptic art, and apparently quite an impressive erotic art collection), the Palaeontological Museum (free admission, and they have a complete skeleton of archaeopteryx), spend a lazy afternoon sitting in a beer garden, and go on the Munich ghost tour.

Nuremburg: 2 nights

Staying: ArtHotel City. I chose this boutique hotel based on budget, the beautiful art on the walls, and its proximity to the Germany Railway Museum.

Seeing: We don’t really know what to see in Nuremburg, apart from the railway museum. I see on the Third Reich in Ruins site a couple of WWII sites I might like to check out, like the Zeppelinfeld. Suggestions welcome!

On our last day in Nuremburg we pick up a little Volkswagen Polo and drive to …

Plech – 3 nights

Staying: Gasthaus Goldenes-Herz. We’re staying here because it came quite highly recommened, and all the accommodation in Veldenstein was booked out.

Seeing: Blackmore’s Night perform at Castle Veldenstein, followed by a day to explore the area, where we’re hoping to go hiking and fossil hunting, or visit the Teufelshohle caves (although, in all honesty, I’d rather see more deserted caves), or go fossil hunting in Naturpark Altmuhltal. We’re then back at the castle for the Veldensteiner Festival (Eluveitie, Letzte Instanz, Subway to Sally), which I‘ll be covering for the blog. Then we drive off to …

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Cave exit

Colmburg – 2 nights

Staying: Caslte Colmburg, in the historic Burghurr room. We chose this castle because I really wanted to stay in a castle hotel, but a bunch of silly bands are staying at Veldenstein while we’re there, so they have no rooms available, and this is the next cheapest castle in the area. It also comes highly recommended as a stunning game restaurant, which I must admit I’m quite excited about.

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Castle Colmburg

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steffmetal-castle-colmburg

Seeing: No idea. We might just stay on the castle grounds and relax, take photographs, read books, and go walking.

??? – 2 nights

We have two nights of nothing planned, nothing booked. We’re hoping to pick up suggestiosn as we go. If you’re familiar with this part of Germany shout out in the comments.

Seeing: possibly heading down to explore Schloss Lichtenstein, the limestone caves at Laichingen Tiefenhohle, and hear the Gregorian chanting at Kloster Beuron.

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Schloss Litchenstein

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Staying:Haus Karin: this Gasthaus came with glowing recommendations, and at just €22 per person per night including breakfast and a fridge stocked with drinks and beer, I’m looking forward to it.

Seeing: Rothenburg is an exquisitely preserved medieval village, so we’ll spend our first day wandering around here. On Fri 29th we’re at the Rock of Ages festival, seeing, among others, Jethro Tull and Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash.

??? – 2 days

We leave Rothenburg with our little car in tow and have two days to drive up to Hamburg.

Staying: Not a sodden clue.

Seeing: Not much – probably a lot of Auto-bahn. If we have time, we might stop and see something like the Mittelwerk v-1 / v-2 Rocket Factory in Nordhausen.

Hamburg – 2 nights

Staying: with a wonderful German friend we met at Wacken last year.

Seeing: Mostly, we’re catching up with friends from last year, dropping off our car, and picking up our campervan and assorted friends arriving from New Zealand. I hope to see the Erotic Art Museum, and maybe catch one of the pre-Wacken shows. Any metalheads arriving who want to meet up for a drink, let me know!

Wacken – 5 nights

Staying: Campervanowar!

Seeing: Wacken Open Air – Oh, you know, just Blind Guardian, Apocalyptica, Morbid Angel, Shining, Helloween, Ensiferum, Avantasia, Deadlock, Iced Earth, Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne, Kataklysm, Kreator, Kyuss Lives, Mayhem, Moonsorrow, Motorhead, Rhapsody of Fire, Saltatio Mortis, Sirenia, Subway to Sally, Skeletonwitch, Sodom, Suidakra, Tokyo Blade, Van Canto, Vreid … and that’s not to mention all the associated Wacken fun – drinking and sausages in the sun (or rain), metal karaoke, campground antics, metal market and medieval goodness, delicious wacken food, and new friends galore.

Because our group is so large (six from New Zealand, plus a couple of maybes, plus our Hamburg friends, their partners, brothers and friends, and another group of Germans from Saxony), we get there on the 2nd August to secure a good camping spot. If you’re going to Wacken this year and want to meet up, email me steff@steffmetal.com, and I will give you my cell number and we’ll organize a proper blog meeting. Our site will be pretty easy to spot as we’re bringing over some blow-up sheep.

Hamburg 1-2 days

Staying: with friends

Seeing: After Wacken we drop our campervan off and might spend a couple more days enjoying Hamburg, probably walking around the city, doing some shopping, and going back to Miniatur Wunderland.

??? – 3-4 days

Staying: We’re not sure, again, where we’ll go and what we’ll do.

Seeing: CDH is keen to see Bremen and the Bremehaven Maritime Museum (U-boat! , so we’ll probably be there for a couple of days.

13-14 Aug – Hamburg

Staying: friends

Seeing: a medieval festival in Lubeck, an hour or so north of Wacken. We went to a Mittelalter Kultur Festival last time we came to Germany and it was absolute magic! So we’re stoked to be able to attend another one on our very last day.

On the 14 Aug we say goodbye to our wonderful friends and drag our tired but happy bodies back onto the plane. 2 days, one overnight in Dubai at the Isis Hotel (Isis is a hotel chain – nothing fancy, but a nice soft bed) and a hell of a lot of peanuts later, we arrive home again.

If you’re going to be in Germany around this time and would like to meet up at any point, or have some great ideas for what we might like to do in any of these places (hint, we love metal shows, abandoned buildings, tunnels, bunkers and mines, archaeology (especially old sites that aren’t swarming with tourists), weird museums, and good food and beer. Our budget is pretty tight so any tips would be greatly appreciated.

I’ll be reporting in whenever I can with updates and envy-inducing photographs. It’s only a month away – I’m quite excited!


7 Comments »

  1. Leighton says:

    I want a Castle!

  2. Lex Mosgrove says:

    Berlin, what else. :)

    However, if you get a chance to drive down the Rhine river, don’t miss the part that goes through Rheinland-Pfalz. Most beautiful part of Germany. Pick up some wine on the way.

    Which reminds me, Linz am Rhein used to have a permanent exhibition with costumes and props from Elvis to Star Wars to Alien, and it had a torture chamber, too (looking only, no using it ;) ). It’s called the Kinoptikum, and it’s been a while since I was there, so I’m not 100% sure it still exists (I can check it out for you if you’re interested). Linz itself also has a nice old city center.

    Then there’s Idar-Oberstein – if you’re interested in goldsmithing and especially precious stones (you can also buy them there, and usually for comparatively low prices), this is the place to go. Also, it’s got a castle and a nice old city center.

    There’s more, but that’s all I could come up with at 7AM after a sleepless night. *grabs coffee*

    • steff steff says:

      We went to Berlin last time. So possibly no Berlin this time. :(

      I really want to go down the Rhine, but am not sure we’ll have time. I wanted to go to the black forest, too. I think we’re just going to have to plan another trip. Oh no, so sad!

  3. adastra says:

    Did I write “industrial industry”? Oh dear, I meant “industrial history” of course ;) The coal mines are all closed down, that’s why they’re open for visitors…

  4. adastra says:

    Wow, you’ve got a lot of stuff in the deep south planned… ;)

    Have you ever been to the Ruhrpott (e.g. Essen)? It’s got a rich industrial industry where you can visit former coal mines and stuff like that:
    http://www.zollverein.de/english/index.php?f_categoryId=3

    Essen is also the heart of the Ruhr area, the most densely populated area in Germany. Lots of metalheads there too, and the Turock is a nice club.
    http://www.turock.de/

    Other than that you might enjoy the Dome in Cologne, though I as a Düsseldorfer am always reluctant to speak positively of Cologne ;)
    More on that here: http://deutsch-heute.blogspot.com/2011/06/rivalry-koln-vs-dusseldorf.html
    (But I would like to correct that Düsseldorf is NOT as catholic as Cologne – at all!)

    Since you have to get from Bavaria to Hamburg in two days, such a long detour might not be convenient. I guess you’ll more likely come along Frankfurt, Fulda, Kassel, Göttingen and Hannover, but most of those are terribly boring cities (just my opinion). The German Fairy Tale Road is also more or less en route, but if you ask me it’s all a bit of a tourist rip-off. There’s nothing interactive to see, you can merely look at some castles (mostly from the outside) or statues.
    http://deutsche-maerchenstrasse.com/en/package-tours-online-booking/index.html

    You might enjoy the Reinhardswald though.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reinhardswald

    Or maybe Hameln and the pied piper stories (sounds way more exciting than it is):
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pied_Piper_of_Hamelin

    My mother has vacation apartments in the area (one hour drive), let me know if you need the address.

    Anyway, if you happen to be in the Rhine-Ruhr area and need company, you can also always let me know.

    • steff steff says:

      Thank you so much for all of these ideas! I shall talk them over with the husband when he gets back from Quakeville. Essen sounds like our kind of place …

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