Travel - Germany: Autumn Leaves, Beer & Currywurst

Just over 2 weeks ago now I packed my bags, endured the hellish experience that is Gatwick North Terminal (albeit in a slightly sedated state - wine is a pre-flight requirement for me) and flew to Germany for a week. As those of you who read my Life Update Post will know, my boyfriend has had to move back to Germany for a few months to finish his degree, leaving us in an LDR situation.Whilst being in a long distance relationship SUCKS pretty much all of the time, it also has it's perks - cheap holidays to another country and an excuse to meet up in different cities does make things a bit more exciting. I've been to Karlsruhe several times now, so I thought I'd share some things I have learnt/found about this hidden gem, along with my travel pics!

Karlsruhe city centre is roughly 2 hours away from Stuttgart airport by train and a mere half hour away from Karlsruhe Baden airport. Train and tram journeys are a great way of getting from A to B and - in my experience anyway - are far more reliable than the public transport in the UK. You can fly to either airport for less than the price of a Topshop dress - I frequently see returns for as little as £30 online, which make this a great destination for a weekend away. Expect delicious food, great shopping (hello Zara Home, three H&M stores on the same road and an abundance of beautiful independent decor shops) and a chilled vibe. I would particularly recommend visiting in December for one of the most highly rated German Christmas Markets.

This was the first time I visited Germany in the autumn and I fell in love with the place all over again. Karlsruhe is a very green city with trees everywhere and the whole place was practically aglow with bright yellow leaves.

The main form of transport in Karlsruhe is the bike. It's definitely worth hiring one as it's the quickest way to get about and the city is massively bike friendly.

The castle that the city is built around is a must see. Surrounded by a beautiful park this is the perfect place to stroll whilst sipping on a coffee to go. (Which is exactly what we did!)

See this outfit post HERE

Okay so they don't look much but the hot chestnuts sold on street stalls are the perfect treat on a cold day.

In Karlsruhe there are several farmers markets where a lot of locals buy their veg. These are worth a visit if you are staying somewhere with cooking facilities as you can get some really delicious fresh produce - and a whole heap of Pumpkins in October..

Sorry if you've had enough of tree and leaf pictures by now - but it was such a stunning sight.

One of the days we were we went out with Paul's brother Juri and his girlfriend Ronja for her birthday. Having locals as tour guides was great, they took me along to a bar where they brew their own beers and you can sit in a giant barrel. I would definitely recommend the banana beer - really weird and strangely good. There's even a slide around the back of the bar for barrels that you can go down to get to the toilets!

Just around the edges of the castle in Karlsruhe is a beautiful gardens, where we had a nice afternoon stroll. We didn't visit this time but there's a great Art Gallery - the Kunsthalle - not far from here, currently hosting a Rembrandt exhibition. This was on our list but unfortunately we didn't get around to it :(

Currywurst - looks vile, tastes strangely good. A weird combo of sausage and curry sauce, best eaten with a bread roll to soak up the sauce. Wasn't so keen on the schnitzel however, which is pork coated in bread crumbs...

The Germans are big on their herbal and fruit teas so I had a huge amount of peppermint tea when I was there. The giant pretzels from the bakery are to die for, just make sure you eat them fresh on the day.

I'm afraid that's where the trip came to a virtual end as I came down with an awful sickness bug that rendered me bed bound for three days, so unfortunately there were a few things we didn't manage to do. So some written recommendations:
- Get a train to an area of the Black Forest which has the most stunning mountainous panoramas, especially in February time when it's coated in a sugary layer of snow
- Kebabs are weirdly good, not like the end-of-night grease fest they are in the UK. You'll find kebab shops everywhere.
- Bulk buy Ritter Sport and Lindt for relatives back home, it will make you very popular indeed.

Let me know if you have any recommendations for getaways in Europe, or things to do in Germany and keep your eyes peeled for my Milan travel post coming soon!


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