In the beginning, we hated Frankenjura.
Once again, we were plagued by rain and had nothing to do but sit in the car at autobahn stops and exhaust all the games we could think of. The day began better; we awoke smugly to blazing sunshine and cloudless skies, which couldn't even be dampened by a sort-of-friendly-but-definitely-thorough drug search by some hardnut polizei. However, this was literally the only interesting thing that happened to us on our first day in Germany, as savage rainstorms shortly descended in a permanent sort of a way. In desperation we tried for a sleep spot in Frankenjura, and found it miserably wet, empty, and completely devoid of anywhere to crash in the gloom. We retired sulkily back to a service station, and fell asleep to rain spitting through the window (can't close it - threat of suffocation, which could be worse than a wet face).
It's probably lucky that the rain stopped the next morning, if only briefly, for our sanity was slowly being eroded by aggressive games of gin rummy. Our outlook was absolutely improved by the sunshine, and by getting a pretty decent boulder in on some super-pockety overhangs that remained dry. The weather was incredibly bipolar, and after the second time a completely clear sky gave way to a tumultuous rainstorm, we gave up and went exploring instead. We also made some smashing eggy bread mash which raised team spirits. We kipped in a 'rastplatz', reasonably confident that this meant we could rest their without being evicted, and very excited in the knowledge that the next day, we were having a beer shower.
In the debate between one night of luxury in a 'Gasthof' or two, more povertous ones, in a campsite, the latter won out and thank f*@& for that, or we would have missed out on Gasthof Eichler. Internet reviews rave about it, and rightly so; it is by far the most friendly, welcoming campsite that we have been to, and not too expensive at 7€ each per night. They sell really good local beer, breakfast (that we had with beer), amazing homemade cakes, and Martha was kind enough to lend us her guidebooks when we were too pauperish to buy one.
We actually didn't do a tonne of climbing in Frankenjura, and much of what we did do was ironically bouldering, in such a sport beer paradise. The difficulty for us was the bolting, which is best described as 'interesting'. It ranges from excellent on the odd route, to 'bold' on the harder stuff, to 'basically soloing' on some of the easier routes. It could be unsettling, especially after the impeccable bolting in most of Slovenija and Croatia. We could only conclude that Frankenjura climbers are a bit nuts. Or we needed a set of nuts, or bigger nuts...possibly all three. We finally found a solution in taking a beer boulder pad too - safer if you fall before the first bold, reassuring if you don't, and really comfy to belay sat on.
Amber beasting her way through the (wrong) crimps on Karambolage (6c). She sent this then shortly followed it up with the ACTUAL route.
Using this cunning method, we did a few more routes. Sam even made excellent work on half of a Wolfgang Güllich route that predictably involved some impressive looking mono and two finger pockets. The top out at the crag, Klagemauer, was also interesting. The policy in Frankenjura is beer not to remove excessive vegetation, which is great, but for these routes meant that you would top out through some quite substantial shrubbery. Amber's finest moment was sending a problem that was sport graded 7a without even using a rope... It received Font 6c in a different guide, and so became her first 7a sport route and third 6c boulder. Tidy.
When it came to leave we were reluctant. Frankenjura had won us over, through the combination of inexhaustible beer climbing and beautiful Bavarian beer countryside, but most of all the very lovely beer people that we met there. Oh, and other than the beer, try the cake.