I have written about how I spent a fabulous summer birthday weekend visiting my friend Kathi in Munich. Since my actual birthday was on a Monday and Kathi had to work however, I decided to visit another good friend in Bavaria. Carola lives in the city of Augsburg, a 45 minute train ride from Munich. I knew basically nothing about Augsburg (besides growing up with the movie versions of their famous marionette theater, of course) and was solely looking forward to spending my birthday with one of my best friends in a new city.
But how it often happens when you have little expectations — Augsburg completely surprised me. Gorgeous old buildings, a majestic church, little canals, Roman remains, and I was instantly charmed.
The longer I explored the city, the more cuteness I encountered. At some point I was actually laughing at it, because I could not believe the third largest city of Bavaria could just be so adorable.
You know, I have lived in one of the ugliest cities in Germany. I can handle ugliness, grumpy people, and bad weather. But Augsburg was so sweet, I was entirely overstrained. I know that cute, adorable, and sweet aren’t usually words you would use to describe a city — but Augsburg leaves me no other choice.
What amazed me the most was this very strong community minded feeling. For example, Augsburg has a public courtyard garden with a book swap for everyone. Or a huge farmer’s market full of delicious regional organic food, which supports the local farmers.
And also full of little market booths in which you can buy more adorable things.
But what I really couldn’t believe was their public herb garden. A whole garden full of herbs — from parsley to the most exotic kind of mint (who knew there are so many different kinds of mint?). All publicly accessible. People would just stroll through the garden, try every herb they found intriguing, and then take home what they think they need for preparing a meal — for free! There is a little sign at the entrance saying “Please only take as much as you need” (in a poem, of course!), and nobody seems to even think about breaking that rule.
My impression of Augsburg was so lovely, I think there is no way to describe the essence of this city any better than by mentioning this public herb garden.
If you are in Munich and want to get away from the crowds and the chic metropolis, take a day trip to Augsburg and get to know Bavarian cuteness par excellence.