Wait until you hear this: You couldn’t imagine what I found in the spa town of Bad Lobenstein, situated right in the Thüringer Schiefergebirge (Thuringian Slate Mountains) around both the Thuringian Forest and the Franconian Forest.
Gander to guess? No, it isn’t the ARDESIA Therme, a spa where you can be pampered with massages and “good for you” mud.
It isn’t the Lobenstein Castle, a ruin that was built back around the year 1300 that has a 35 meter high observation area that used to be the castle’s tower.
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Which isn’t to be confused with Bad Lobenstein’s Neues Schloss (New Castle) where the Princes of Reuss-Lobenstein lived and ruled (hence why it’s on the Princes Of Reuss Route).
The Schlosspark, by the way, is gorgeous; while the castle itself (a Baroque one built in 1714) is now used for all sorts of cultural events (literary readings, concerts, etc.) and weddings.
Nope, also not the Markt Höhler that is Bad Lobenstein’s Mining Museum. The Regional Museum (open Apr 1 – Sep 30) and the Rathaus (Town Hall) ain’t it either.
Still can’t guess what I found? It isn’t the marked walking paths, which you follow by color (green, brown, that kind of thing); nor is it the Rennsteig (a long distance hiking & scenic route of sorts).
Of course I found the traditional stuff, you know, a miniature golf course; a bowling alley; a swimming pool — but that’s not what got me all excited and ready to shout it from the rooftops.
I know. I know. That would be totally un-German like behavior. I promise I’ll be as quiet as a church mouse at Bad Lobenstein’s Stadtkirche (City Church) that had to be rebuilt in the 1860s.
You’ve waited long enough, I got all hyped up over the Bad Lobensteiner Destillerie & Erlebnisbrauerei Reising. Yeah, you thought beer was just a Bavarian thing, didn’t you?
Nah, they brew good local stuff right here; where you can book guided tours of the facility. As soon as you’re done seeing how they make it — try it. They got all sorts of stuff right down to an awesome flavored schnaps and liqueur, to “homemade” beer.
Juniper berry liqueur, anyone? Impress someone with your German speaking skills — ask for Wachholderbeerlikör.
If you’re gonna drink in Germany… best to drink like a German, right? :-)