The object of this trip to Bavaria was to see as many new places as possible without really annoying my son Matthew. I’ve always wanted to go to tiny Ingolstadt, at least since 2015 when they somehow made it into the Bundesliga with a 15,000 seat stadium. Their finish of 11th this season must be the football success story of the year.
Luckily it has the additional attraction to a 14 year old of the Audi factory, if seemingly not much else. Personally I couldn’t tell an Audi from a Lauda.
It was a dull half-hour walk from the station to the Audi Forum, but we needed to be walking 15 miles on a diet of buttered pretzels, schnitzel and ice cream.
Germany does small museums brilliantly, particularly when subsidised by a global giant like Audi. For 2 euros we got 2 hours worth of motor history, the highlight being a chronological conveyor belt of models (top). The social aspects of motoring are covered particularly well.
Even better than the museum was the sight of excited rotund Germans waiting to drive their new models away from the factory gates, helped in by skinny German models. Pure theatre. I think we went in the restricted areas “by mistake”, always an ambition of mine at places like this.
Despite banners pronouncing Ingolstadt as the home of the Reinheitsgebot, the 500th anniversary celebrations were hard to find in a pleasant but uninspiring town. That may seem a little harsh based on buildings like this;
But they’re ten a penny in most German towns I’ve been too. Despite a decent castle, the presence of the Danube, and some lovely pale colours, it lacked a bit of magic.
There was a distinct lack of pleasant old pubs with outside eating, unless we were looking in entirely the wrong direction. The best ones fell in line with England by closing at lunchtime.
Instead of a pub, we ate the traditional schnitzel (£4.50) in a pleasant little café serving the ubiquitous local wheat beer on draught.
On the upside we did find a German Woolworths, doing a roaring trade selling the usual essentials, including a better T-shirt selection than across the road at H&M. For Matt, this may be the highlight of the entire trip.