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Franconian Switzerland
9-14 April 2022


Saturday, April 9: Visit of Bamberg
Weather: mostly sunny, 8 °C

We reached Bamberg after a 4.5-hour drive. We checked into the ibis Styles hotel in the old town. Parking was 15 euros extra. At 1 p.m. we started our walk around the city. The afternoon was sunny with a cold wind. Volker tried the traditional smoked beer but didn't like the taste. After visiting the cathedral, we had a break at Café Zuckerstück with coffee and cake. By 4:30 p.m. we were back at the hotel. We had no reservation for dinner and all the places were already full before 7 p.m. But eventually we got lucky at Klosterbräu where we had sausage with sauerkraut for 9.90 euros per portion with bread. The house beer was delicious.

Sunday, April 10: Hike to Walberla table mountain and visit of Forchheim
Weather: mostly cloudy, 8 °C

After the breakfast buffet at the hotel we walked around Bamberg's old town once more. Then we drove to Kirchehrenbach and at 10:15 we started our hike to the Ehrenbürg table mountain, aka Walberla. After 30 minutes we reached the top at 513.9 metres elevation, also the site of the Walburgis chapel. At the other side of the mountain we reached the summit of the Rodenstein at 531.7 metres. From there we descended and returned to the parking area after 2 hours and 7 kilometres with 240 metres elevation. We had lunch at Restaurant Walberla with "Schäuferla" (a slow cooked pork roast) and turkey breast. With two drinks we paid 33 euros plus tip. Then we visited Forchheim and Ebermannstadt. We had a coffee at a bakery and then parked at Bing cave near Streitberg and hiked a short path to a waterfall and the viewpoint at the ruins of Streitberg castle. Afterwards we drove the last few kilometres to the village of Muggendorf and checked into our lovely holiday flat Balkonia at Wald & Wiesent Appartments.

Monday, April 11: Hike from Gössweinstein to Tüchersfeld and visit of Pottenstein in Franconian Switzerland
Weather: sunny, 13 °C

After breakfast we walked to the tourist information in Muggendorf. Then we drove to Gössweinstein high above the Wiesent valley. From there we hiked downhill passing by some interesting rock formations to Behringer's mill at the river, then up the other side to Richard Wagner rock. From there we descended back into the valley and up again to the village of Kohlstein. By then it was 12:45 p.m. Instead of hiking another loop, we decided to descend to Tüchersfeld which is famous for its rock formations all around the village. We were hoping to get some lunch there but only a snack bar was open. So we returned to Gössweinstein. Monday is a day off for many restaurants and by now it was 2 p.m. but at the Krone hotel we got lucky and were able to sit outside in the sunshine. We had Franconian trout and Schäuferla, both very good. With two drinks we paid 41 euros plus tip. After 13 kilometers with 380 meters elevation we got back to the car park.
Next we went food shopping at the Edeka supermarket, then we drove to Pottenstein and from there to a car park above town near the castle. From there it was a short walk to the 25 metre high lookout tower called Himmelsleiter. Afterwards we parked back in town for another half hour and had an ice cream. At 5:20 p.m. we got back to our flat.

Tuesday, April 12: Hike from Muggendorf to Adlerstein rock and Kuchenmühle mill
Weather: sunny, 19 °C

This morning we started our hike right from our holiday flat in Mugggendorf. We set off at 10 a.m. The trail went uphill in the direction of Oswald's Cave with a few viewpoints, then some steps downhill into and through the cave. Via Hohes Kreuz at 522 metres elevation with a lookout tower the trail descended and went uphill again before we reached the rock formation Quackenschloss and the Adlerstein rock which can be climbed via a ladder for the lookout. At  Engelhardsberg village we had a snack at an organic farm, then we descended through the impressive karst cave ruins called Riesenburg to the Wiesent river. Next we hiked along Aufsess river to a historic mill called Kuchenmühle. Unfortunately, the restaurant is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, otherwise we would have stopped for lunch. We continued our walk uphill to the village of Albertshof, made a short detour to Rosenmüller Cave, and descended back into Muggendorf. After 16 kilometres with 490 meters elevation we got back to our flat at 4 p.m. We had coffee and cake on our large balcony in the sunshine.

Wednesday, April 13: Loop hike around Rabenstein Castle with visit of Sophie's Cave, plus visit of Waischenfeld and Heiligenstadt
Weather: mostly sunny, 20 °C

It was just an 11 minutes drive to the parking lot at Rabenstein castle. At 10 a.m. we started on the 5 km loop hike at Ailsbach valley. It started off with a wonderful view of Rabenstein castle, and at the other end of the valley we  reached Ludwig's Cave which is freely accessible. Across the road we arrived at the entrance of Sophie's Cave. 40 minute guided tours start every hour. Admission cost is 7 euros per person, with our local Guest Card we got a 50 cent discount each. The next tour started at 11:30 a.m. The cave proudly presents a fully preserved skeleton of a cave bear and at the end of the tour the largest stalagtite cave is illuminated with music. After we exited it was not far back to the car park. The loop hike had a total of 170 metres elevation.
Next we drove to Waischenfeld where we had an ice cream and walked up to the castle and a viewpoint. Then we continued to Heiligenstadt in Oberfranken which is famous for its beautifully decorated Easter fountain. At 3:30 p.m. we were back at our holiday flat and had coffee and cake on our balcony. For dinner we had an appointment with a former colleague of Volker's and her family at Gasthaus Sponsel in Kirchehrenbach.

Thursday, April 14: Visit of Bayreuth
Weather: sunny, 20 °C

At 10 a.m. we left Muggendorf and drove to Creußen which we didn't find very interesting. We continued to Bayreuth and visited the Eremitage on the outskirts. We walked a good half hour around the park, and at 12:30 p.m. we were ready to check in at the H4 Hotel Residenzschloss. Then we started our tour of the city. From the hotel it's a 5 minutes walk to the pedestrian zone. We had a lunch of bratwurst and schnitzel at a brewery restaurant sitting outside. Then we walked around the town centre including the Hofgarten park. By 3 p.m. we were done and managed to take a seat at one of the ice cream parlours which were very busy with the great weather. Back at the hotel we went to the supermarket around the corner for something to eat for dinner.

Friday, April 15: Departure and hike in Thuringia
: cloudy, 10 °C

After the breakfast buffet at the hotel we departed from Bayreuth. It was a foggy morning which didn't get much better during the day. After an hour's drive we arrived at Burgkhammer dam. We climbed the Saaleturm tower for the view and then hiked around the dam to Burgk castle. We visited the castle from inside which is worth seeing. After a couple of days visiting relatives we returned home on Easter Sunday.


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