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Trip Report Amazing Two Week Family Vacation to Germany, Czech Republic and Austria

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Amazing Two Week Family Vacation to Germany, Czech Republic and Austria

We have been home for just over a week, but the trip still seems like a marvelous dream that is so fresh in my memory. Our family has been fortunate to take several wonderful vacations that I have documented on this board, but this is our first European vacation since 2009. Our sons – previously nicknamed The Scholar (now age 17) and Lunatic Maximus (now age 14) are so active and busy with their own lives. My husband – previously named Mario from our Italy 2007 trip – and I enjoyed every minute of having our boys captive in Europe.

The Scholar is entering his senior year of high school so we let him choose our destination. He chose Germany and we added a little trip into the Czech Republic and Austria. Honestly and truly, this trip surpassed all of my expectations and was marvelous in every way. I would redo every single aspect of our trip again and again!

I am so grateful to the advice I received on this board as well as the trip reports posted by many. Once again, I have to apologize in advance for the overuse of words like amazing, spectacular and magical - those words truly sum up the trip and I still feel the effects of the special pixie dust!

Day One: Frankfurt and Rothenburg ob der Tauber

We arrive into Heathrow on August 1 via British Airways – the eyes of the world are on London with the Olympics going on and it is exciting to be there just for a few hours. We have a brief layover and board the BA flight to Frankfurt. Both flights are perfect and luggage makes the trip with us (after not getting out luggage on another trip, this is something I will never take for granted again).

We arrive in Frankfurt at 1:00 p.m., easily clear customs, eagerly get the stamps on our passports and pick up our Hertz rental car which we arranged with Andy at Gemut (andy@gemut.com) – I can’t say enough nice things about working with Andy. He was helpful, quick to respond and his pricing was significantly better than anything I could find through my local agent. We have a Hyundai four door wagon for our little adventure – spacious and efficient and apparently able to go into the Czech Republic. We also have packed our trusty Garmin with us, but the wagon does have navigation (which we occasionally turn on when the Garmin loses satellite – though we never figure out how to change the voice to English - smile).

Mario immediately adjusts to driving on the autobahn – actually I think this may have been his favorite part of the trip. The boys sprawl out in the backseat and dose off, but not before Lunatic Maximus notices the Ausfahrt signs and chuckles about this for the next two weeks (its good to be on a trip with boys).
Two hours later, Mario delivers us to the most enchanting Medieval village ever – Rothenburg ob der Tauber. I almost deleted this little village off our trip a dozen times – I was so worried about making the drive immediately after landing from the U.S., I questioned if it was worth two nights, etc. Let me say – if I had to return to the U.S. after our two days in Rothenburg, it would have been worth it. We all immediately fell in love with this picturesque gingerbread town.

We drive right up to the Eisenhut Hotel (www.eisenhut.com). This hotel was admittedly a bit of a spurge, but after reading about it in Travel + Leisure, I just had to book it and it did not disappoint. It was indeed a treat to stay in this hotel which was once a grand home in the middle ages. After getting settled into the hotel, we go in search of our first German meal – we are now ravenous! We walk along the cobblestoned streets, the sun is shining high in the sky and the village is simply enchanting – we are completely enamored. We procure an outside table at Alter Keller (www.rothenburg-restaurant.de) – we have an enormous meal of pork tenderloin, rib eye steak, red cabbage, potato dumplings etc. and the local pilsner beer – wonderful and the service was friendly and charming. What a beautiful way to start our first day! We walk back through the narrow streets in search of ice cream – the boys are tired, but delightful and happy. It is a magical time in a magical place.

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