Were the good old days really as beautiful as people remember them? During a time travel through Upper Swabia with the whole family, you discover: Sometimes nostalgia can also be quite exhausting, slow or adventurous: But one thing is certain: It's fun.

Where the fat Berta steams

For children, the ride on the slow train is a sensation: they squat at the front of the old steam locomotive with engine driver Frank Rebholz and watch the man incessantly push coals into the glowing hot oven so that "fat Berta" does her job. Exhausting! That's the price we pay for not traveling with the ICE here, but with the lovingly restored Öchslebahn, which steams off twice a day from Ochsenhausen to Warthausen. This is what train travel was like 100 years ago! The old steam locomotive swallows 800 kilos of coal a day, and yet it only groans and drags itself slowly through the hilly landscape. In Ochsenhausen, we visited the former Benedictine monastery, a magnificent baroque building with an impressive organ. The kids found it interesting, but the ride on the nostalgic fat Berta was, well: mega.
This is how you get to Ochsenhausen by train and bus: Plan arrival.

What was village life like 500 years ago?

In the museum village of Kürnbach, more help was needed. There, among other things, the young guests are shown how to thresh grain with the help of flails. Phew, laborious. The children sigh with red heads. But only when the chaff has been completely separated from the wheat can they start baking the typical Upper Swabian dinette in the nostalgic bakery. (A kind of tarte flambée.)

Baker Dietmar Neltner explains to his guests exactly how baking was done in the past and also lets them push the trays into the wood-fired oven. In this way, they playfully learn what life in general was like more than 500 years ago. In the museum village, they marvel at originally furnished living rooms and workshops and experience for the first time how hard the "good old days" must have been. However, people also had fun back then, as they see on the historic bowling alley.
How to get to Kürnbach by train and bus: Plan arrival.

Where the jelly forest is like pudding

Nostalgic time travel is the theme of our excursion through Upper Swabia, but we have rarely gone as far back in time as we did at Federsee: We sit in front of a millstone in the Federsee Museum in Bad Buchau and learn - how laborious it must have been in the past to make bread for a meal. In former times, that means in this case: Early Stone Age, just under 4000 BC. But here we are not only given a glimpse of hard working life - we are also allowed to jump on the lake in a dugout canoe and then on a natural trampoline in the Wackelwald forest: Here, the bog wobbles like a pudding. Kerstin Wernecke from the NABU Nature Conservation Center finally leads us over the footbridge onto the Federsee.

We discover kestrels and butterflies, Upper Swabia is a good vacation region for outdoor fans. Not only for walkers: cyclists can choose from 500 kilometers of varied routes. At the end of our nostalgic journey through Upper Swabia, a swim in the lake is of course not to be missed.
This is how you get to Federsee by train and bus: Plan arrival.

After short detours in Isny - an idyllic 1000-year-old town with high walls and towers like out of a cloak and dagger movie - and a break at Kisslegg Castle including a picturesque picnic in the castle garden, we finally end up at the lido at Obersee: a beautiful natural swimming lake that is still the epitome of a perfect vacation day for the kids: chilling under tall, old trees, romping in the moor lake and performing somersaults on the diving tower platform.
This is how you get to Kißleg by train: Plan arrival.

Cover photo: On the grounds of the Federsee Museum, you will follow in the footsteps of our ancestors from the Neolithic Age to the late Bronze Age © TMBW/Stefan Kuhn

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