MTCE Autumn Meeting 2015: Franconia / Germany
"Who wants to enjoy Germany's most secret, most unexploited charms has to go Franconia."
What the poet Karl Leberecht already discovers in 1837 is still valid. Some call it the most German like region in Germany. Whatever foreigners associate with Germany, many of this you will find here concentrated: Romantic castles, grand residences, cosy studwork architecture, toys, sausages, beer, wine, and lebkuchen. The area between the rivers Main and Donau and between the ridges of Spessart and Fichtel Mountains has got all essentials that characterise German regions, including extraordinary treasures of art and culture.
There is no better way to explore this gem than by bike. Half of the multifaceted landscape is protected by nine Franconian national parks. The mountain ranges of Spessart, Steigerwald, Fichtel Mountains, and Franconian Switzerland are bikers paradise. These densely wooden average mountains decoy bikers from all over Germany - and beyond. They find gently waved regions, hilly woods, and rugged rock formations beside lovely floodplains, fertile valleys, wide plains, and mountains up to 1000m, open-worked by rivers searching their way to the sea.
Though most of Franconia is part of Bavaria (small parts belong to Hesse and Thuringia), people are proud to be a self-contained tribe. They speak a distinctive dialect which is hard to understand for strangers sometimes. They have their own characteristic idioms, diverging in the different regions. Though you will hardly understand them, be prepared to meet friendly and hospitable people who cannot be unsettled.
Be prepared for some culinary experiences. The Franconian kitchen is solid. Bratwurst and Sauerbraten my be in your mind, with dumplings or potato salad aside. But what about Schäuferla or Presssack? There are many local delicacies waiting to be explored. A good beer of one of the almost 300 small breweries will complete your pleasure, or maybe a delicious Franconian wine.
The MTCE Autumn Meeting 2015 was from September 6th to September 11th.
Our base camp was the Landhotel Zur Alten Kaserne in Ebern. The hotel was build in altered former barracks. Where soldiers had their bunks in the old times there are new, bright rooms now. An Austrian farm house was rebuild in the hotel as a cosy pub. Of cause there is a beer garden as well. If you want to learn more about the history of the plot: there is a museum of the German armed forces including a fallout shelter and a replication of the former inner German border.
Sunday, September 6th, 2015: Arrival and releaxing
Monday, September 7th, 2015: Rhön Mountains
- Market place in Schweinfurt with its historical buildings
- Wasserkuppe: highest summit of the Rhön Mountains, where great advances in sailplane development took place during the Golden Age of Aviation between the First and Second World Wars.
- Franconian open-air museum in Fladungen
Tuesday, September 8th, 2015: Thuringian Highland Tour
- Historical city center of Bad Rodach
- Wooden town church of Neuhaus
- Trip with the Oberweißbacher Mountain Railway, a broad gauge cable railway and the vintage connecting train
- Schönbrunn Dam
Wednesday, September 9th, 2015: Bamberg
- Trip to Bamberg by train
- Tour in the old town, an UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Visit of a local brewery
Thursday, September 10th, 2015: Rothenburg and Würzburg
- Drive to the famous bike stop Kathi Bräu
- The medieval city of Rothenburg ob der Tauber
- Würzburg Residence, a further UNESCO World Heritage Site
Friday, September 11th, 2015: Departure
For links to photos refer to the meeting overview.