Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Meter of Bratwurst and a Night in a Castle

May 1st was a Holiday (Labor Day in Germany).  We decided to take a long weekend and go for a three day Motorbike Tour, leaving on Thursday.

Forecasts for heavy rain to the East literally put the damper on our planned three day Motorbike Tour to Ceske Budejovice in the Czech Republic.  Too bad too since Ceske Budejovice is the home of the original Budweiser Beer, which is not at all like "Bud" in America.

The rained out route to Ceske Budejovice

We decided to head towards sunny surrounds instead and see where we would end up.  Our friends Wieland and Christian joined Judith and I and we headed North West from Nürnberg towards Würzburg.  I forgot my camera, so pictures are stolen from the Web.

Our alternative route away from the rain

  • Day one is the lighter green route
  • Day two is the purple route.
  • The last day is dark green.
  • A total of about 725 kilometers.

Sulzfeld am Main (Picture stolen from the Web)
Christian was very familiar with this area, having spent a lot of time in Würzburg when younger.  Along the way we stopped in Sulzfeld am Main for lunch.  This is a nice large village on the Main River (pronounced Mine)

Bratwurst is traditionally sold by the meter in this region, so we naturally had to have Bratwurst for lunch - but only a half meter.

Traditional meter of Bratwurst (Picture stolen from the Web)
Like the name already says the sausage is one meter (40inches) long. In 1953 Lawrence Stark a butcher in Sulzfeld, Bavaria invented this meter long sausage on the suggestion of a guest who proclaimed : "I can Wurscht The meter setting ess" meaning he could eat a whole meter of sausage in one sitting. Lawrence rose to the occasion and came out with a meter long sausage sizzling in a pan, that started the tradition and is still a fun thing to do.

There are contests to see how much meter bratwurst you can eat. The current record set in 1982 is 5.15 meters or 16.9 feet! 

Michels Keller (Picture stolen from the Web)
Herr Stark's restaurant was not open when we arrived (it was a little late for lunch), but we founds a very suitable choice at Michels Keller right up the street. 

Bratwurst at Michels Keller (Picture stolen from the Web)
The Bratwurst was served in a sizzling iron plate shaped like a steer (weird, since this is pork sausage), with a delicious wine sauce, sides of sauerkraut and potato salad.

After lunch we continued on West for awhile and the turned to the North.  Very wonderful roads, with little traffic and good weather.  Since I forgot my camera there are no pictures.

Around 5:30 or 6:00 we decided to start looking for a place to stay and came across a nice small hotel, but sorry to say I have forgotten the name.  Reasonably priced and good food, but nothing else remarkable to mention.

Breakfast coffee was good, as were the other items.  After filling up we packed up and headed further North, and then South, and then North.  Just winding around the roads through the forests all day.  As the day wore on the weather started to turn a little colder and gray.   We finally figured it was time to find somewhere to stay for the night. 

We pulled into Bischofsheim an der Rhön around 6:00.  This is a pretty small town/village.  Christian found an information kiosk with a list of local Gasthauses.  There was one listed about six kilometers out of the village we decided to try, with really no idea what it would be like.  So I set the GPS for Holzberg 1, Bischofsheim an der Rhön Germany and headed out.  For almost six kilometers we wound up a small winding road and then the GPS pointed us down an even smaller, very narrow winding road.  It had started to rain about 15 minutes earlier, so the half kilometer was a slow go.

Coming around the last corner we found the Gasthause -- the Jagdschloss Holzberghaus -- a  Hunter's Castle in the High Rhön.  We got the last two rooms.  There are no amenities here and the Bad (bathroom) is shared.  But this is to be expected at a hotel & restaurant that was built in 1614.  While the rooms were clean and adequate and sparse, the restaurant was super.  Dinner was excellent, beer great and a proper wine list.

Jagdschloss Holzberghaus

The main courses served here are hunted daily in a local game preserve, ensuring fresh, local meat. The secluded location of the castle and the fact that there are no electric lights in the dining room make for a nice, relaxing experience. Because of it's location near several hiking trails, the restaurant is open all day, although on off-hours they mainly serve bread and wurst. The evening meals can be a bit expensive, but the day meals for the hikers average about 4 euro in price. 

The next morning we woke to a light rain.  After slowly managing to get coffee, wake up and eat breakfast - also great - we packed up to head back towards home.  We decided to stay off of the small back roads because of the rain and jumped on larger roads (not the Autobahn).  After about one and a half hours the rain let up and the sky became slowly sunny.  We stopped in Bamburg a little after Noon for lunch and then took the back roads into Nürnberg.

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