Germany’s famous black forests and early society make it the perfect magic pot for campfire stories. Sinister, comical, mysterious and mythical happenings all form the German myths, legends and folklore tales still heard today. Warm your imagination with some of these fantastical favourites.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
According to German folklore, atop a steep rock on the Rhine River, there once lived an exquisite nymph named Lorelei. She dressed in white and wore a wreath of stars in her hair. Not only was her physical beauty astounding, but the siren sang a song so haunting and hypnotising that no sailor could resist her aura. Enticed by her song, legend has it that no sailor who tried to reach Lorelei ever returned. Instead they would meet their final fate by crashing against the dangerous rocks. Today, a statue of Lorelei watches over the treacherous stretch of water near Sankt Goarshausen.
How to Protect Your Child
This is a set of important instructions told by Jacob Grimm, on how to protect your child from ‘changelings’ in German Mythology. First, place a key next to your baby and this will prevent him from being exchanged. Make sure the new mother is never left alone during the first six weeks after childbirth, as it’s during this time the devil has more power over the innocent. During this same period, mothers should not go to sleep until someone else can watch over the child. Apparently covering the child’s cradle with a pair of men’s pants will also prevent changelings from creeping in. Who knew?
Hold on, if you’re wondering what the heck we mean by changelings, let’s tackle that question with another German myth. Once upon a time, at Hessloch near Odernheim, a servant and the cook of a clergyman were living together as man and wife – but their newborn baby would not grow or gain weight. The mother was told to go to Neuhausen and give her baby water from the Cyriak Spring. It was believed that a visit to this spring would either restore the child back to health, or he would die within nine days. To cut a long story short, on route the infant became heavy and monstrous, and a traveller yelled out that the woman was carrying the devil on her back. The traveller said “Your child is at home in a new cradle behind the chest in the side room. Throw this monster into the brook!” Sobbing, the mother did as she was told, and a great howl bellowed from beneath the bridge, like the howling of wolves and bears. When the mother arrived home, she found her baby healthy and laughing in its new cradle. And that dear readers, is just one way the changeling can strike.
The Werewolf of Morbach
According to the legend, Morbach is the last place a werewolf was killed, around 1988. A single candle burns in the village as a reminder, but also as a warning. One night the candle went out and a wolf-like figure was spotted standing at a US airbase. He stood, staring at the soldiers before returning to the forest. The candle was re-lit, and has never gone out since. According to the townsfolk, if the candle ever goes out the werewolf will return. Yikes!
Princess Brunhilde at Rosstrappe
The Rosstrappe is a craggy hill in the Harz mountain range in Central Germany. At the very top of this treacherous climb, you’ll see hoof shapes imprinted into the rock on the edge of the cliff. The story goes that Princess Brunhilde was fleeing a forced marriage to Bodo The Giant, who chased her to the cliff edge. That’s when her brave white stallion jumped across to reach the other side, while Bodo didn’t quite make it, and plunged to his death.
The Watzmann Mountain
Once upon a time, in the deepest corners of Southern Bavaria, there reigned a tyrannical king named Watzmann who enjoyed slavery and hunting local peasants. One day after a bloody day of killing, a curse was cast upon him and his family. They were all turned to stone, and it’s said they are still entombed within a range of seven mountains, near the town of Berchtesgaden. The Watzmann Mountain in the Bavarian Alps is the third tallest in Germany.
The Pied Piper of Hameln
The well-known and much loved story of The Pied Piper luring rats away from the city with his sweet song has darker origins than the classic tale – a tale that can be traced way back to the Middle Ages. According to legend, in the small town of Hameln in Lower Saxony, masses of children disappeared at the same time without trace. No one knows where they went, but suspicions are with a rat catcher who bewitched the kids away after The Town Mayor refused to pay him for a job.
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