Wednesday, February 24, 2010
F is for Füssen
We visted Füssen in 2002 on our 9-day tour of Europe by coach.
Day 6 was an included tour to Germany and Neuschwanstein Castle. Along with the Glacier Express, this was one of the things that had attracted us to this particular tour. Christine was familiar with the castle via a 3D computer jigsaw puzzle. Having spent many hours completing the jigsaw and exploring the inside of it in virtual reality, we were anxious to view it in actual reality. We were aware that the castle was accessible only via numerous steps, so we didn't expect to take the grand tour. Nonetheless we had expected to see the outside of the building and its grounds. It turns out that you cannot visit the castle at all except on the guided tour. Those of us who elected therefore not to go to the castle, spent five hours free time in the relatively flat town of Füssen.
We were dropped off on the outskirts of the town by the bus and railway station. We walked down two streets and crossed over the main road. An alleyway led into the old-town. At the end we found the Café Rosengärten. A sign outside proclaimed the availability of menus in English, French, Italian and Spanish. It sounded welcoming. We ventured inside. For a nice mid-morning snack we decided to try the pancakes. They were like Dutch pancakes — full plate size, topped with fruit, syrup and ice-cream — filling and delicious.
The old town consists of two or three long pedestrianised streets. It was thronged with people; not just tourists but also older locals walking their dogs. There were benches at regular intervals so we could take our time and wander around slowly, stopping frequently. Many of the buildings are four or five storeys high, brightly painted and often ornately decorated.
By the time we'd wandered around the streets and shops for a couple of hours we were ready for something to eat and sat down at one of the pavement cafés. We tried to order one pizza between the two of us, but the waitress was reluctant. So we went back for the second time to Café Rosengärten, where we were welcomed. I had a sausage and potato salad. Germany has a reputation for sausages. This was slightly larger than what passed at home for a "jumbo sausage". It was perfectly cooked and tasted gorgeous — even better than some of the best Cumberland sausages I've ever consumed. The salad was full of a variety of vegetables and was a super accompaniment. Christine had a different salad and Swiss sausages which came sliced. The café toilets were downstairs but spotlessly clean.
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