‘How often when we are comfortable, we begin to long for something new’ – Jacob Grimm
Like any young girl, I grew up watching Disney movies and dreaming of being a princess. A few years ago, I learnt that many of these, including Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, were based on the work of two brothers from Germany. Inspired by local folklore Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm – better known as Brothers Grimm – wrote a succession of bewitching fairy tales that still captivate readers today.
Desperate for an alternative (and maybe slightly geeky) holiday, my friend, Kate, and I flew over to Germany to explore the Fairytale Road. Known as Die Marchenstrasse in German, this northwestern region was home to the Brothers Grimm and acted as a canvas upon which they painted their most famous stories.
Winding north from Frankfurt to Bremen, the Fairytale Road took us through towns filled with magical castles, across enchanted landscapes and deep into spooky forests. It’s not difficult to see where the Brothers Grimm found their inspiration.
Places we stopped along the way included:
Hanau – the birthplace of the Brothers Grimm
Steinau – home to the Fairytale Museum on Bruder Grimm Strasse
Alsfeld – beautiful timber framed houses, rustic bakeries and an impromptu Red Riding Hood performance
Trendelburg – sleeping in Rapunzel’s Castle, deep in the forest
Hameln – traditional beer halls, a quirky pancake restaurant and famous for its eponymous pied piper
Bremen – cobblestones, a Gothic cathedral and its very own Fab Four
Escaping the clutches of big bad wolves, evil queens and wicked witches, we flew back to England and lived happily ever after.