Experience enchanting adventures along Fairy Tale Road

Experience enchanting adventures along Fairy Tale Road

by Shereece Spain
Stripes Europe

You can drive just about anywhere in Germany and experience awe-inspiring views. The simple drive through the hills and along winding roads from my village to the market takes my breath away every day (well, excluding those dark, rainy days). However, Germany offers four special driving routes that are highly recommended for every bucket list, especially if you love road trips. Taking the journey along Fairy Tale Road is a perfect way to weave in some education while on vacation without the offspring even noticing!

Thanks to Disney Studios, most people are probably very familiar with stories, such as “Rapunzel” (even if they call it “Tangled”), “Snow White” and “Sleeping Beauty.” However, they may not realize that it was the Brothers Grimm from Germany who actually started the publication of such fables.

Even though the tales were said to be children's stories, many were not considered appropriate for kids. For example, it’s insinuated that the prince got Rapunzel pregnant before they were married. So that’s what they were really doing during his visits to the tower. Scandalous! Also, wicked stepmothers were originally actual mothers. I imagine the First Wives Club had a hand in this rewrite. The Pied Piper may have been there to help rid the town of rats; however, he ended up luring children to their death.

The journey begins in Hanau, just east of Frankfurt, where the brothers were born. It extends 370 miles circling back to Bremen. There are about 50 villages along the way. It’s not really a singular road as you may imagine, so here are some stops you want to be sure to make:

Museum of the Brothers Grimm (Steinau)

Little Red Riding Hood (Ziegenhain)

Hike through the dense forest as if you were going to Grandma’s house. A tour of the Museum of Schwalm inside the Ziegenhain fortress will give guests a glimpse of what the lives of Red and Granny may have been like, including clothing, home decor and more.

Grimm World (Kassel)

Did you know the Grimm brothers also wrote the first German dictionary? There is so much more to them than their history with tales and fables. The museum offers state-of-the-art, interactive exploration in their lives and the life’s work. You can either take your own tour and book and guided tour in advance. There must be at least two people for a guide.

Rapunzel (Trendelburg)

Ascend the 40-meter high spire of Rapunzel’s tower. You can yell up to the top all you like. However, golden tresses are not going to fall to assist your climb. Though it would be fun to pretend.

Sleeping Beauty (Castle Sababurg)

This picturesque castle is encased in ivy and located deep within the Reinhardswald forest. Legend has it that it was once protected by impenetrable thorn hedges - Maleficent’s work I’m sure. It’s now a hotel and would make a great place to stay overnight. They offer a variety of guided tours and an Audience with Sleeping Beauty and the Prince from April to October.

Pied Piper (Hamelin)

Enjoy a guided tour by the Pied Piper himself while you’re here. There are some offered in English as well, but not as often. Just make sure you hold on tight to your kid’s hands.

There are many more stops along the Road - Hessian Lictenau (the story of “Mother Hulda”) and Magic Park in Verden. Many of the tales are not as widely known by Americans. If your family decides to embark on this trip, use the car time to read up on more magical (and sometimes sordid) tales as told by the Brothers Grimm.

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