Take a B road. And don’t forget your sunscreen.

By Mark K.

In our daily routine we are often so busy that all we can think about is the next place that we need to be. And when the time comes to be somewhere else, we often want to get there as quickly as possible even knowing that we are speeding past interesting things along the way.

So we set out on a trip designed to avoid highways. Our trip was about driving to drive, rather than to get somewhere.  And what better way than to drive a classic German car down an iconic Bavarian road.


Neuschwanstein is a fairly well known castle in southern Germany. Perhaps less well known is the road leading past it. The Romantische Strasse has a storied history, with at least parts dating back to Roman times. In the 1950's the road was established as one of Germany’s first tourist routes. It is easy to see how it got its name after navigating the castles and towns it connects.


Getting from one place to the next on a B road often reveals something unexpected.  Hunger pains coincided with our approach of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, easily one of the best preserved medieval towns in the world.  This was the perfect place to stretch our legs, and we left awestruck by the piece of history inside the fortress of what was once the second largest village in Germany.  Like any responsible traveler to that part of the world, we gorged ourselves on schnitzel, venison, and goulash as a main event after an opening act of the local pizza, Flammkuchen. 



Today, the German autobahn thankfully shoulders more of the burden of oversized tourist busses, leaving stretches of the Romantic Road almost empty.  Much to our delight, the road itself was less of a tourist attraction, providing ample space to lean into turns and open it up on straight aways. Modern cars are designed to appeal to the masses by making the driving experience easy and comfortable, leaving it almost thoughtless.  Driving a high performance classic car on a road like this made us appreciate the actual machine moving us through the landscape.

While the Porsche maintains that performance on open stretches of the autobahn, the resulting shorter intervals between refueling stops reminded us it was built for the curves of a B road. And the classic design leaves an impression of having changed little over a period of more than forty years. Yet its glacial evolution still managed to keep it always one step ahead of its time.
And we certainly weren’t the only ones enjoying this road in a classic car.  It was difficult to hear others over the roar of the Porsche's engine. But when we did, we were rewarded with glimpses of the expected German variety in both air-cooled Porsches and vintage Mercedes, including a Pagoda, but also a good mix of Jaguars. 
There is something therapeutic in driving on roads through lush fields, manicured vineyards, and enchanted forests. This particular 350 kilometer stretch from Würzburg to Füssen is certainly one of the best.  But there are many more such places around the world.  What B road will you take?
Mark K.