There are a lot of things I wouldn’t do and places I wouldn’t go before I had a kid. Case in point: Waldcamping at Brombachsee.
Himbeere magazine had a listing for places where you could go ‘glamping’ (my preferred mode of camping). The write up mentioned camping pods, sleeping barrels, troll huts, safari tents and bungalows as some of the glampy options. I put it down on my list of possible places to visit.
Alas we were on the road in a camper. Also, we had a dog. Dogs aren’t allowed in any of the glamping options. It still seemed like a place worth checking out, and it distance-wise it stuck to my rule of being (more or less) an hour away from Munich.
After our camping experience at Schnitzmühle, which wasn’t’ bad, but wasn’t great, I was ecstatic pulling into this place. It was totally*geared towards families. In my pre-kid life I would have turned the camper around, pressed the petal to the metal and high-tailed it out of there.
Not now. Baby changing stations everywhere! Wooded playgrounds! Kid activity hours! Clean shower blocks and even one that was a warm kiddie bath adventure area.
We lucked out and got a spot right by the playground.
Here’s the thing though. If you don’t get a good spot, you are, once again just camping in a parking lot. With these kinds of places, which are like most in Germany and Austria, one needs to give up the fantasy that you will be ‘away in nature’. You are mobile, yes – but not surrounded by wilderness. The advantage is the mobility and all of the amenities whatever campground or area has to offer.
And when it comes to amenities, Waldcamping in Brombachsee has loads. There are convenient beaches on the lake full of water options (paddle boats, sailing, etc.). You can rent those funny five person bike thingys, mini-golf, Spielplätze galore, forest walks, biking, horse back riding even a dog beach.
We visited again last spring with my husbands family (but stayed in the Hotel). I coined this area ‘The Bavarian Ozarks’. Here’s why. The Brombachsee is totally artificial, it’s a Stausee.
In 2000, in order to attract tourism it was created over a flood plain (just like the Ozarks). The area is not a powerhouse economically (Ozarks) and while family friendly and pretty, it’s not a sophisticated, developed region – you’ll be hard pressed to find really good food. It’s all ‘just okay’.
We have generally thrown in the towel on the whole idea of camping. It’s just too much damn work. But I suppose I would consider going to Waldcamping at Brombachsee if I was with a big group, made sure we had a good spot and the weather was really warm.
What I would not consider is one of the clamping options. Not just because of the dog, but because they are kind of stupid. Like the ‘forest’ troll houses (surrounded by cars!)
In the brochures they look great, but just like with a camper, they are plopped in the middle of ‘the parking lot’. The Safari tents are right on one of the paved roads criss crossing the camping area. There was a circle of pods pas the tent area that would be cool if you could rent them all with a group. The bierfässer were also kind of secluded. The bungalows and gypsy wagons, forget it – you’ll have cars driving past you the whole time.
Below are pictures from the brochure, and then, the reality. Starting with the Gypsy wagons:
The safari tents:
The Campingfässe (barrels):
The group of camping pods in the tent area was kind of cool, though. This is a picture I took, no misleading-angle/cropping brochure trickery :
I think of this place as ‘all-inclusive’ camping. It’s a little Spießig, not at all wild, but the trade-off is really good infrastructure. You’ll have decide for yourself.