Following another lead on a flea market, we drove south to the quaint town of Bad Dürkheim. The flea market was huge and boasted a wide variety of items at low price points, just the way I like them to be! This market was held by the Gradierwerk (saline). Our spoils? Some old 8×10 German maps carved onto brass plates and mounted on plaques, a 5ish gallon glass jug, and a couple other small items. If you are into flea markets (or flohmarkt as they are called here), definitely check this one out! But Bad Durkheim has more to offer than just a market.
The saline (above) is a giant building that has water dripping down sticks, to simplify things. It is part of a spa experience. You can pay to go in and breathe the special air, which is supposedly good for you. Behind the saline is a little park with a stream through it, and on the other side of that is a huge parking lot with a wine barrel restaurant on the other side. Of course, we had to eat there-in the barrel’s restaurant! Yes-it was crowded and loud-we ended up having to share a table with another family (a true German experience), but the staff were decent and there were English menus. This town is located on the German Wine Route, so make sure you go into the multi-level wine store inside the barrel and purchase a bottle of regional wine (Riesling is the most popular wine from the Rhine region, so that would be your best option).
Each year, Bad Dürkheim hosts the largest wine festival IN THE WORLD-they call it “Wurstmarkt.” Because of this, all of the city’s decorative elements are wine-themed-planters, round-a-bouts, etc… During the wine festival, the city is filled to the brim with all sorts of tourists, who are enjoying not only local wines and delicious food, but also music from the concert stage. Although there is excitement all day, the party really gets started in the evening hours. Although this is not a very child-friendly event, there are some festive activities for the whole family. In 2014, the Wurstmarkt will be held from 12-16 and 19-22 September. Here is a link to event information: Bad Durkheim’s Wurstmarkt
If you are interested in a hike, Hardenburg Castle overlooks the town, as does Limburg Abbey: