16 October 2010

Oh Little Town of Kipfenberg

Merlin and I spent our first and second nights in Germany in the little town of Kipfenberg. Our plan was to stay in Eichstatt, a nice central location for exploring the Altmuhltal Natur Park, in addition to the city's own sites. Eichstatt's municipal camp ground was understandably empty, it being too cold to camp and all, but its lack of reception office, security or simple barrier preventing any guy drinking at the picnic table near the river (of which there were five when we arrived) from just walking up and ransacking our tent, made us explore other options.

We settled down in Kipfenberg, about a ten minute drive away and went out to have some drinks and dinner in town. The very first bartender we encountered, a lovely, older man who gave us some free pretzels with our drinks, said: "You're from New York? And in Kipfenberg? How sad!" The next morning, a prematurely balding man with one earring at an organic market similarly commented, "And you're in Kipfenberg WHY?"
Well, first of all, Kipfenberg is beautiful. Just look at it! The aforementioned bartender gave us some hints on good hikes, naming castles and ruins in surrounding towns, without even mentioning the amazing structure that looked over his own city from a hill above.
You know what else was amazing about Kipfenberg? Our breakfast. Germany is the first country we've been in that does breakfast, as opposed to just some toast or bread. As a result, we were able to get some real, big coffees and I managed to score a perfectly cooked hard-boiled egg at a local bakery. I'm not sure why the egg had been dyed pink, but I didn't hold it against them.
Did i mention that it was perfectly cooked? Because it was and with a deep-colored, healthy yolk to boot.
For those curious, I figured I would also provide a close-up of Merlin's breakfast: blueberry strudel. He asked for an apfel-strudel (apple strudel) and was told by the adorable, spikey-haired teenage waitress that blueberry was the freshest, just baked that morning. When she placed my plate down, she said "for the mrs." and with Merlin's, "for the man."
Our main reason for being perfectly happy in Kipfenberg? Our campsite. This was our spot, Field 4. We had it all to ourselves. On the other side of our car and tent was the river and right behind where the camera stood was the bathroom and shower station. There was also a vending machine that had beer and a washer/dryer. We didn't get to use any of those, but you have to give the site credit for having them.

All in all, we did not find it sad in the least to be in Kipfenberg. It was the perfect introduction to the country, in fact. Really friendly people, really hearty food, really beautiful natural surroundings.

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