Blogger David Seitz from Schlaraffenwelt went on a trip for us with the regional day ticket:
It is the long-awaited first properly hot day of the year. 27 degrees in the shade, even the invariably smartly dressed pensioner on the balcony opposite started to roll up their trouser legs at around 11. From the Flaucher area of the city, the clouds of smoke from the barbecues billow towards the city centre and people strut about with plenty of skin on show. Summer has arrived in Munich. But today I have the urge to leave the city. I spare myself a visit to the crammed Englischer Garten; by the Isar river I probably would have had to put down my towel at around 8 in the morning to reserve a premium spot on the banks. An ideal Sunday to travel to the surroundings of Munich. Augsburg. Less than 70 kilometres away, but in the 5 years that I've lived here, I've never managed to make the journey there. I've heard that it's nice there. I don't know anything else about the former seat of the Fugger dynasty (the Fuggers were prominent group of European bankers) and travelling with low expectations often means that you are pleasantly surprised. That's how it is today.
Deutsche Bahn is sending me on a Bavarian expedition. Augsburg is my destination today. If you're travelling with friends in Bavaria, it's a good idea to buy the regional day ticket from Deutsche Bahn. The more people that travel, the cheaper the journey is. If there are five of you, you only pay EUR 8.80 each – for any number of trips within the valid limits of the ticket. In other words, a day trip in the Danube-Isar region, to Werdenfelser Land or towards Nuremberg is suddenly a bargain. For newcomers to Bavaria like me who are gradually discovering the surroundings around Munich, this is an ideal option. For all of those who know Bavaria like the back of their hand, you can head to your favourite destinations for unbeatable prices, with a group of friends in tow. Deutsche Bahn has compiled all information about the regional day ticket and some inspiration for Bavaria explorers here. My day trip today is headed towards Allgäu-Swabia. The Regional-Express sweeps through the yellow rape fields and nice-sounding places like Kissing – real quality time with music playing in your ears. As a precaution, I invited my companion who already knew the place so that I could spare myself having to follow the annoying GPS announcements from my mobile phone. A great stroke of luck.
First stop: the sun deck. The roof terrace of a multi-storey car park – from below you wouldn't be able to guess that there is a huge cinema up above. In summer, the sand is heaped up where cars park in the winter. The lift transports us up above the roofs of the city to a cool mix of beach and rooftop party. The only thing that's not ideal – the sun. It beats down on our skin so relentlessly that the sweat streams off of us and we start to turn a slight shade of red after barely an hour, meaning that we have to move on. I think it must be the ultimate hotspot in the evening. At 16:00 on a day like today it's much too hot unfortunately. We have a different mission. To find ice cream. And not just any ice cream, but something special please. We take it upon ourselves to find the best ice cream in the city. Or perhaps the most extravagant instead? I fancy trying flavours that I've never eaten before.
We allow ourselves to be guided by the small streams of people through the truly charming passageways of the Augsburg old town. Past the city hall, across little bridges, through the empty shopping street (it's Sunday so the shops are shut) and we soon reach Eis Santin – a small ice cream parlour whose appeal currently stems more from the queue of people outside than looking in the shop window. The ice cream café doesn't appear to be particularly hip at first glance. Not at the second glance either. The range of flavours includes all the classics, but nothing to knock your socks off. The cheesecake ice cream catches my eye. I get one scoop of it. It's good but I'm not overwhelmed. At least it's cold. The little crunchy bits in the citrus cream are great. I always wonder how it is possible to maintain this crispy texture within a moist mixture of ice cream. In conclusion, it's solid but there's room for improvement on our mission.
Stop two quickly makes up for the slight disappointment at the start. The Café Tutti Frutti doesn't have the most innovative name in the world, but it more than makes up for this in the exciting, and sometimes strange, range of flavours it offers. Pistachio, almond with a hint of lemon. Pomegranate. Mango, passion fruit, guava, coconut lime (all in one individual flavour). And then the gorgeous caramel ice cream with fleur de sel. With caramel pieces and a subtle flavour of salt, it is the winner of the best tasting ice cream of all those sampled at the end of the day. The "Brasilian Dream" also tastes pleasantly unusually with plenty of candied lime and a hint of South Sea flair. A bit like an exotic cocktail in the shape of ice cream. I also like where the Tutti Frutti shop is located – in quiet cobbled street. At this moment, I think I have fulfilled my ice cream dream for today. You won't believe what happened then though.
The sun has now become more bearable. Numbed by the cold shock of lots of ice cream, we stroll past the cathedral, past a small group of surfers and finally reach Moritzplatz square. Our hankering for ice cream had actually been satisfied when I notice an inconspicuous board at a small ice cream display on the corner. I'm not exaggerating when I say that this board has the most enticing ice creams I have seen in a long time. Funnily enough, it wasn't an Italian gelateria behind these creative offerings, but rather the very German-sounding Café Goldener Erker. But cast aside your prejudices – fancy a sample?
Sour cream cashew. Almond milk black cherries. Pineapple Thai basil. Raspberry cream mousse and white chocolate. Vine peach yoghurt. It still pains me as I write this that I was only able to sample the first three flavours listed. After what felt like eight scoops of ice cream, I unfortunately reached my limit. Sour cream cashew was the most surprising flavour. Two ingredients that aren't the biggest hitting flavours in the world come together to make this ice cream a mild, nutty and fresh blend. Caramelised crushed nuts give it a lovely crunch and when you get a hint of the neighbouring scoop of black cherry on the spoon, the ice cream is simply a taste sensation.
The memory of the fabulous flavour of the ice cream suppressed the fact that I felt fit to burst as I made my way towards the station. The evening sun is low in the sky and the 10-minute walk to the station is very welcome at this point. I have been more than amazed by this city. Not just by the excellent ice cream experience, but also the tranquil passageways and the huge amount of open space that is lacking in the centre of Munich. I was told that people travel to the lakes in the surroundings of Augsburg in this type of weather. Good to know! Because there's still plenty of ice cream flavours waiting to be sampled at Moritzplatz. Even as I'm on the train back home, my thoughts roam back there. White vanilla passion fruit…
You can find more culinary expeditions from Schlaraffenwelt here.