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Transportation Options, Colmar to Cochem

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Hi there!
We're traveling for three weeks, visiting five different European towns. The day we travel from Riquewihr, France (near Colmar in the Alsace region) to Cochem, Germany has me stumped. So far, this has been a car-free vacation, with trains being our mode of tranport. We can rent a car if it makes sense - we did enjoy our Tuscany car rental last year and successfully braved a pickup from Florence and a return to Venice. Travel is on a Thursday in Sept 2015. Here are our options:

1. Take a bus to Colmar, then 3 trains. Six hour journey, cost on rome2rio says $56-71 per person X 2 = $100-$140. (Oddly, the google maps website shows the train journey as 16 hours! That has us going through Mannheim instead of the shorter Strasbourg to Saarbrucken route.)

2. Rent a car. Take a bus to Colmar, pick up the car, drive under 4 hours. Cost of 24 hour rental would be $45-97 depending on insurance. Plus gas/tolls of $60. So, about $150. Might as well get the full coverage, since it compares well with the train for two.

Is this a no brainer in favor of the car? Or is it a scenic train ride and we'd be missing something wonderful by driving? Can anyone confirm the six hour train journey vs the google maps 16 hour journey? What would you do?

Thanks for any and all information!

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