Schwäbisch Hall – Views of a Different Germany

Schwäbisch Hall
The river isn’t just pretty – it was essential to Schwäbisch Hall’s prosperity through salt production.

When people found out I was going to Germany in October, the reactions were almost identical.

Munich! Oktoberfest!”

Sure, that might’ve been happening while I was there. But I was headed to a different part of Germany for different reasons. I figured that after nearly three decades, it was time to visit the German part of my family. On my father’s side, I’m a first-generation American (and only second on my mother’s side).

I thought that, with a new little person in our family, it would be a nice time to re-connect with people who were part of some of my favorite childhood memories. This would take Sarah, Anneka and me to a part of Germany that’s not even in the travel guidebooks — to a region of Swabia that sees few American travelers. We were headed to Schwäbisch Halll.

These are photos I took in Schwäbisch Hall, though there’s also the odd shot of Gaildorf (my father’s hometown) and Rosengarten. If you’re headed to Germany, I hope it gives you a few thoughts about going beyond the typical itinerary. In a later post, I’ll post a few helpful hints for travelers. For now, have a look at a postcard-perfect vision of Germany.

Schwäbisch Hall
Schwäbisch Hall is straight out of a postcard.
Schwäbisch Hall
A more modern side of Schwäbisch Hall – a brewery turned restaurant, and a terrific, free art museum.
Schwäbisch Hall Saint Michael Church
The St. Michael church in Schwäbisch Hall
Rosengarten Germany Johann Schutt artist
My Uncle Johann is an artist, and this is one of his pieces hanging in the Rosengarten village hall. He also does more realistic landscape pieces – talk about pushing your artistic limits!
Schwäbisch Hall Einkorn
This is near the Einkorn, the highest point in the Schwäbisch Hall district. Is that a beautiful forest?
Schwabisch Hall
This little girl from the desert is delighted by fall in Baden-Württemberg.
Schwäbisch Hall
A sunny, perfect fall day in Schwäbisch Hall.

If you’re wondering about the family visit – well, my German relatives were exactly as I remembered them. I also had a great time meeting some of them for the first time. They took time to show us around the villages and fill me on some great history — both family and local. I can’t say enough about my cousin Andrea, her husband Jurgen, and to Mirjam, Simon, the twins Maria and Johannes, and Martin and Malena. (Andrea introduced Anneka to spaetzle, her new favorite food.)

And of course, I’m not going to forget my Aunt Siglinda and Uncle Johann. To me, they hadn’t changed a bit and were every bit as great as I remembered. After seeing them again, I definitely don’t want to let too much time pass before visiting again.


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