"Bratwurst, Sauerkraut, Kartoffelsalat und eine Flasche Bier." Learn it by heart and order as often as your stomachs can handle, but don't think this October Fest menu constitutes the core of the German tourist offer. What does is the juxtaposition of medieval spirit against cutting-edge industrialism, and the romanticism of folk legends against dedication to order and bureaucracy.
The hilly and forested landscape of Germany immediately takes you to the realm of your childhood fantasies, where the naive Little Red Riding Hood made her way through the woods, where Hansel and Gretel discovered (to their misfortune) the house made of gingerbread, and Snow White forsook her father's magnificent castle to dwell with the industrious dwarfs. Venture into Schwarzwald (The Black Forest) and cap it off with a visit to the Maulbronn monastery, take a guided tour of the Neuschwanstein Castle to dream a dream of a theatrical stage designer, and do fine shopping in Rothenburg, a medieval pearl which brings to life the legends of that time amidst museums, churches and historic buildings.
Should enthusiasts of cosmopolitan attractions be disappointed so far, have no fear. Cities such as Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Munich not only sparkle with brilliant architecture and posh dining spots, but also spoil visitors for choice when it comes to entertainment, from refined opera and art centers to full-blown parades and frenzied techno parties.
As one of the prime driving forces of the European history, Germany has always been in the spotlight, be it for good or bad reasons. From Albert Einstein, Beethoven and Goethe to Nazism and the Cold War, it has given shape to the world of today and largely influenced our mindsets. Surely, it may not be an obvious pick for a traditional laid-back vacation, but for those who take delight in following a grand scheme, Germany is definitely worth hitting the Autobahn .