Meet our Germany experts: Julia Bradbury, television presenter
When Julia Bradbury set off for the BBC’s German Wanderlust programme to explore the Romantic movement in Germany, she encountered lots of stunning scenery. Her walks took her along the Rhine, up the Bavarian Alps, through Saxony and around the island of Rügen on the Baltic Coast. After an initial run on BBC4 last autumn, the programme is now on BBC2. And Julia tells us about her most surprising find in Germany.
Did you have any previous experience of travelling in Germany?
Only passing through airports until I went to Berlin for the first time about five or six years ago. I am completely captivated by this effervescent vital city – I love the contrasting architecture, the nightlife, the art scene and the people.
Can you pick a favourite from all the places you explored for Wanderlust?
The Baltic coastline really stands out in my mind. Prora, Hitler’s Holiday camp is something that you’ll never forget once seen; the colossal ambition and size of the project is breathtaking. The stunning chalk cliffs that Caspar David Friedrich so loved to paint are stunning.
You’ve been hiking literally all over the world. Was there anything on your German walks that particularly stood out?
The Amselfall in Saxony – a coin operated waterfall!
Your walks were themed around Romanticism. Were there any indications during your trip that the Germans are more romantic than the British?
An artist we interviewed is convinced that Germans became a great nation because of the Romantics, who looked at England, Italy and France as the great cultural nations. The poor Germans were burdened by a harsh climate and strict moral codes, “no wine, women and song” , so where could they get their inspiration from? The Romantics drew their inspiration from strolling through the countryside. Perfect. Personally, I didn’t notice any overtly romantic gestures while I was walking through the hills and nobody surprised me with flowers…
Why should British ramblers consider Germany as a travel destination?
Most Germans understand and are willing to speak English, it’s easy to reach and the Germans are very hospitable. Culturally it’s interesting because we’ve actually got a lot in common, but we’re quite different. There are so many beautiful spots to discover, which are quite untouched by mass tourism.
Please complete: Germany is Wunderbar because …
… they make splendid cars, frothy beer and a great Schnitzel – as long as you get to the restaurant before 8pm. And there are so many fairytale castles, it is ridiculous!
Personalised Wanderlust DVDs are available from Julia’s website, www.juliabradbury.com
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