If you want to take a trip to the Middle Ages, I recommend two areas that escaped bombing during the Second World War, both of which retain a charm from another time. Begin at Wasserburg am Inn, about 37 miles (60 km) east of Munich. As the name suggests, it’s a village on the water, or rather more than that. The Inn, a tributary of the Danube, wraps around the place like a belt, with the town shaped like a drop of water on its banks. Easy to walk around, Wasserburg is a Medieval open-air museum. If you’re lucky enough to come here in summer, there are two days when Wasserburg is worth a visit after sunset: the festival of light, in which the village is lit up to perfection thanks to colour effects, projections and laser shows, and the night-time flea market.
In Burghausen, 30 miles (50 km) from Wasserburg, sits the longest castle complex in the world, at 3450 ft (1051 m). The fortress is so well maintained that it was the setting for films such as “The Three Musketeers”, “The Baron of Münchausen” and “Vicky the Viking”. For jazz lovers, the Internationale Jazzwoche Burghausen, the international jazz week, is a must. Since 1970, it’s been held in mid-March and plays host to the greatest jazz musicians in the world.
Did you sing “Old MacDonald had a farm” as a child? Well, here’s your chance to visit the farm, found in Glonn, just 22 miles (35 km) south of Munich. In 1986, after working in a slaughterhouse in the United States, Karl Ludwig Schweisfurth became aware of how food production was becoming more and more like an assembly line. He decided to go back to Germany, where he bought and renovated an old disused farm and founded the Herrmannsdorfer Landwerkstätten. “At the heart of our work here is the rediscovery of a long since lost farming culture. We care for resources such as the land, water and plants, and respect our animals. This is the only way to create good, healthy food”. Take a seat in the Biergarten and sample some of the products on offer. The farmyard is littered with sculptures and children’s games, and it’s not uncommon to feel your ankles being pecked at by hens strolling between your legs. Pay a visit to the roasting house too. You’ve never had a better espresso!