- Munich – Swabian Alb (BW)
- Route via Augsburg – Ulm – Beuren – Heroldstatt – Merklingen
- Vehicle: Aiways U5
- Report: Anett Tobies
- Travel time: July 2022
At the 150 KW charger from EnBW at the OMV gas station in Munich’s Verdistraße, we took another “sip from the power pack” and from there we headed straight for the A8 autobahn in the direction of Stuttgart. The day trip with the spacious and comfortable China SUV Aiways U 5 went to the Swabian Alb, to natural beauty, dedicated people and regional delicacies. The first stop for a short charging stop was the “Euro Rastplatz Burgau/Jettingen-Scheppach” car station, where there are now fast chargers for drivers of other Stromer vehicles in addition to Tesla Superchargers. And there is something else, namely as a real rarity an occupied stork’s nest on top of the scaffolding with the billboards of the gas station.
Great, because who else has their own “Autobahn storks” on the premises? Soon after mastering the notorious Aichelberg, we got off the highway at the Kirchheim unter Teck exit, passing the well-known castle in the direction of Beuren.
There, we were welcomed by Dr. Jan Sneyd, an emeritus university professor of agricultural sciences. Thanks to him, a passionate rediscoverer, collector and breeder of old, long-forgotten varieties of ancient cereals, the Swabian thick-headed wheat, the Binkel and the red-grain wheat, among others, are once again flourishing in some fields around Beuren.
Finally, the branch bakery Veit ensures that, after intensive cultivation and baking trials, even individual tasty breads from the original varieties are once again available for purchase in the region.
On the outskirts of Beuren-Balzholz there is a project garden of the Veit bakery where Professor Sneyd has grown, researched and selected about 30 old varieties, whose seeds he had collected from various seed banks and farmers, on a trial basis in order to filter out the best breeding lines.
But not only there, but also in the nearby open-air museum Beuren, the great results of the efforts of Pro. Sneyd’s efforts to promote biodiversity in cereal cultivation. There, with his collaboration, a separate area was created on this topic, namely the “Genuss Erlebnis Zentrum”.
In addition to a cultivation area with ancient cereals, it also contains a highly interesting exhibition as well as a show and hands-on kitchen where, among other things, bread baking courses are offered. It is no wonder that more than 400 school classes visit the unique facility every year, which specializes in teaching the subject of old cultivated plant varieties.
On the grounds with the old farmsteads and historic houses as well as workshops there are also several hundred high trunk apple trees mainly of rare, mostly regionally specific varieties. The open-air museum also offers an ark to domestic animal breeds threatened with extinction, where they are kept and bred in a species-appropriate manner.
We then continued to Heroldstadt to the presentation and sales room of the top award-winning whiskey distillery “Finch”. We even had the opportunity to have the various products explained to us by the owner and farmer Hans-Gerhard Fink. What is special about Finch is not only the variety of excellent spirits, but also the joy of experimentation and innovation of its owner. For example, there is also whiskey made from original grains such as emmer or from rye, stored in barrels of various types that had previously contained, for example, sherry, wine or bourbon.
Customers who have a craving for fine spirits outside of sales hours can help themselves to a vending machine near the warehouse. After checking that they are of age by means of an ID card, of course. Here, too, the boss is extremely innovative.
Mr. Fink also gave us a tip for the journey home. We should definitely stop at the architecturally attractive market hall “H-albzeit” at the Merklingen highway entrance. Since we had to reload anyway, this stopover was a good idea because there is an Aral gas station with a fast charger opposite the service area and market hall.
The indication could not have been better, because the “H-albzeit” offers not only a rich offer of food and drinks for consumption during the relaxed lingering in extremely pleasant ambience, but the market hall also encourages to take away products of its operator, the bakery “BeckaBeck”. In addition, there is a rich offer of the Alb butcher “Failenschmid”, including specialties from the organic buffalo.
Well satiated and filled with great impressions, we finally started our return journey, which was extremely relaxed thanks to the comfortable aiway.