Just outside Regensburg, about 20 minutes by bus, is a most interesting sight. Something you wouldn’t expect to see in a tiny little town in Bavaria. A German hall of fame inside a Roman neo-classical building named after the mytical land of the Norse Gods. According to Wikipedia, it was built by King Ludwig I between 1830 and 1842 it holds 65 plaques and 130 busts of famous Germans covering over 2,000 years of history.
Looking for something to do that is different, free, with beautiful views of the Daube? Look no further. On a bright, crisp Saturday my friend Lorelei of CaliforniaGlobetrotter took me to visit Walhalla in a tiny town called Donaustauf. The bus drops you off at the base of the hill and then you climb up a dirt path through the forest to get to the top. As we were climbing I was trying to decide which was worse – climbing up 80+ stairs to Gakwonsa temple in the South Korean summer or in the German winter with 3 layers and a scarf on. Verdict? Taking off my pea coat and cooling off in the chilly air was much better than sweating bullets and not being able to escape the heat.
Celebrate getting to the top by taking in the view while catching your breath on the massive steps at the front of the monument. It really is magnificent.
If you’ve never been somewhere that actually has seasons, it’s pretty easy to get obsessed with fall foliage. The grounds surrounding the monument is great for taking pictures of leaves turning colors and enjoy the clean air.
The town of Donaustauf is incredibly tiny, only about 4,000 people live there. So arguably Walhalla is the biggest draw. When it opened, people from all over the world came to see it. The town constructed this pavilion that is styled after Asian architecture because of that. Donaustauf is a great little side trip that can take you half a day. And you’ll will still have time to get back in time for coffee and cake.
Germany Fun Fact: Germans have a sort of “tea time” similar to the English, except they eat a slice of cake and have a warm latte before heading home from work. It’s pretty much the best thing about working in Germany.
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