Find Your Elsewhere Column Jacksonville Review

The Road Less Traveled

"Find Your Elsewhere" - Jacksonville Review June 2024 Issue

Road Less Traveled Rotherburg ob der Tauber

MY FAMILY AND I just came back from a fantastic European trip where we explored Germany, Switzerland, and France. Although we adored the City of Light, the highlight of our journey was the 8 days leading up to Paris. During this time, we ventured out of our comfort zone, rented a car and stayed in charming towns like Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Fussen in Germany, as well as Lake Lucerne in Switzerland and Colmar (Alsace Wine Region) in France.

Embarking on this European road trip allowed us to explore beyond bustling cities and truly uncover the charm and beauty of the road less traveled. With our own car, we could set our own pace and explore destinations that piqued our interest. We visited Neuschwanstein Castle, ascended the Zugspitze – Germany’s highest peak, ventured into the Black Forest, and enjoyed the thrill of riding an alpine coaster down a mountain. In Switzerland, I had a delightful encounter with a baby cow (until an unexpected encounter with an electric fence… oops!).

One of the most fulfilling parts of exploring these quaint towns was the genuine cultural immersion and warmth we experienced. Stepping away from the hustle and bustle, we had the chance to embrace local customs and ways of life at a leisurely pace. Our visit during Easter was especially charming, with shops adorned in soft pastel bunnies and eggs. Whether it was “Morgen” in Germany, “Gruezi” in Switzerland, or “Bonjour” in France, the warm welcome we received in all these smaller cities was heartwarming. This welcoming ambiance fostered a deeper personal connection to the destinations, enriching our travel experience immensely.

Finally, the scenic routes between these destinations were attractions in themselves. From the rolling hills of Bavaria to the scenic vistas of the Alps, the journey between each small city was an adventure in itself. Each stop had its own set of unique landmarks and local flavors, turning our travel into a treasure hunt of cultural and scenic spots.

So, next time you plan a European adventure, consider taking the road less traveled. The rewarding experiences in Europe’s smaller cities await with open arms, promising deep cultural immersion, genuine hospitality, and memories to last a lifetime at your own pace. Whether you’re sipping a locally-brewed beer in a small Belgium town or exploring a medieval fortress in Italy, the road less traveled is often the most rewarding.

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