Shortly after picking up our campervan, I am in a roadside cafe when someone asks where we are heading. “North,” I say, “the Fränkische Schweiz – Franconian Switzerland.” It is due north of Nuremberg, roughly between the towns of Bamberg and Bayreuth (of Wagnerian opera fame). The Czech border is not far away.
“Schwarzer Füße,” they laugh. Apparently, this nickname references the inhabitants’ supposedly bare, dirty feet. I sense I am going to like it.