10 days in Germany

Old Jan 1st, 2013, 05:12 PM
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10 days in Germany

We want to spend 7-10 days in Germany seing places like Regensburg (husband was stationed there back in the 1960's), Garmisch, Berchtesgaden, Oberramagau, Munich, Rothenburg, Bamberg, Wurzburg, Landshut.

Not sure the best way to do this. Should we rent a car in Munich and travel around to all these places or can you take trains. As you can probably tell, it's been many years since my husband has been back to Germany so just not sure which is the best way to see all these places without too much stress on either of us.

Thanks to anyone who can give us some thoughts and ideas.
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Old Jan 1st, 2013, 05:39 PM
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We just spent twelve days doing a circle that included Munich, Salzburg (Berchtesgaden), and Rothenburg. We flew in and out of Frankfurt (because we have family nearby) and did the round trip by train: 3 days Herxheim (toured Black Forest and Freiburg), 3 days Munich, 3 days Salzburg, 2 days Rothenburg and 1 final night back in Frankfurt near the airport. Deutschbahn was easy, and very convenient.
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Old Jan 1st, 2013, 06:30 PM
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All those places can easily be reached by the Wonderbar German Railway system - and as most far within Bavaria you can use the Bavarian Lander Pass to get to them cheaply by train - you cannot use faster trains but only regional trains so it is a bit slower but often much much cheaper.

If you travel on German trains several separate days then consider the German Railpass - Twin Pass with two names on one pass and this lets you hop virtually any train anytime all over Germany - just show up and hop on - the more days you buy the cheaper per day it becomes - rivalling the total cost of several lander tickets and allowing you to ride the fastest trains (which also IME are more comfy).

For loads of great info on German trains I always spotlight these IMO fantastic sources - www.seat61.com (great info on online discounts for long-distance inter-Lander trains); www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2013, 04:12 AM
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Thanks for the couple of responses. I will check into trains to see how that works.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2013, 06:27 AM
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Best IMO to pick a few base cities whether going by car or train - like Garmishc-P from which to hop to Oberremergau, Berchetsgaden and the Jugspitze (near Garmisch - take the thrilling mountain train up it!)

Similarly Rothenburg, Bamberg and Wurzburg are not that far apart really - to me Bamberg is one of the sweetest cutest cities in Germany and not nearly so inundated by tourists as is Rothenburg.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2013, 04:40 PM
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Sounds like most would recommend train travel rather than renting a car. Why?
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Old Jan 2nd, 2013, 05:18 PM
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You can easily reach all of those places via train. Plan your journey at www.bahn.de Enjoy.

Personally, we like renting a car for 10 days and getting off track. Either way is fine. I think when one considers; car rental, fuel, parking and the time navigating a city in a car. Trains are about the same price and easier.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2013, 08:47 AM
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Sounds like most would recommend train travel rather than renting a car. Why?>

for reasons LSky outlines but feel comfortable driving between those cities as none except Munich and perhaps Wurzburg are big cities where driving is a bit of a hassle and parking can cost a lot, etc. But as large European cities go Munich IME is one of the easiest to motor around in, with large streets, due, probably to much of the city being blitzed in WW2.

If just wanting to visit those cities take the train - if wanting to wander around Bavaria, etc then drive. Trains may be more efficient in regards to your relatively short time and number of places to visit as they may go well over 100 mph at times - some up to nearly 180 mph and though about half of German autobahns still do not have speed limits, the rest, around cities do and also IME are at times plagued with traffic snarls.

If driving motor along the Romantic Road from Munich to Rothenburg, passing thru many dreamy old towns like Nordlingen and Dinkelsbuhl onward to Wurzburg.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2013, 08:55 AM
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We flew in and out of Frankfurt (because we have family nearby) and did the round trip by train: 3 days Herxheim (toured Black Forest and Freiburg), 3 days Munich, 3 days Salzburg, 2 days Rothenburg and 1 final night back in Frankfurt near the airport>>

azzure - where did you stay in Herxheim? [it's not a place that features here very often, if ever].

i only ask because my german pen friend lives there, and we have been several times. it seems to me to be a very nice town and makes an excellent base for touring the area.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2013, 09:01 AM
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abram - one of the advantages of having a car, at least for part of the trip, is that you can just set off and meander, which is a bit difficult on a train. for example, if I were going to stay in Herxheim, i might well want a car, in order to visit all the interesting places nearby like Trifels, Annweiler, Bad Bergzabern, the Rhein.

OTOH, if i were staying in Munich, the train might seem a lot more attractive.

Azzure - it occurs to me that we may be talking about different places. The Herxheim that I am thinking about is in the Pfalz. where is yours?
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Old Jan 3rd, 2013, 11:26 AM
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Hi annhig - I'm aware that there is more than one Herxheim; the one we stayed in is off route 65 between Landau and Karlsruhe (we began our train journey from Karlsruhe.) I'm not sure what "the Pfalz" is.

It IS a very cute little town. We stayed at an apartment near where our relatives live; I've forgotten the proprietor's name but it was very nice and inexpensive (45 euro per night). I can try to get the name if you wish.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2013, 12:10 PM
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Azzure - it is the same one! what a co-incidence. [BTW the Pfalz is the german name for that part of Germany, in english known as the Palatinate, and the official name for that area is "Rheinland-Pfalz"].

in fact we had another co-incidence - some guests we had stay in our barn last year came from near Landau and volunteered to take a present to our friends when they returned home - so we were able to send them some english tea and biscuits, which they love, via our guests. I thought that was VERY nice.

your flat sounds good but fortunately we are always able to stay with our friends - in the house they built bit by bit after they were married.

what did you go and see while you were staying in Herxheim?
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Old Jan 3rd, 2013, 03:39 PM
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annhig: here is the portion of my trip report that deals with those three days in Herxheim. Small world!

Day 1: Herxheim, a bit more than an hour from Frankfurt, is a delightful little town with tidy streets and red-tile roofed houses. We noted that almost every structure had solar panels on its roof; apparently energy savings are good policy in Germany.

We sat down to a hearty meal prepared by Jeff's wife. There was bratwurst, sauerkraut, saumegen (not even sure what that is), and for us non-German foodies, ham and mashed potatoes, and cherry cheesecake. Afterward Jeff escorted us to a lovely apartment in Herxheim which was to be ours for the next three nights.

Day 2: Lost in the Black Forest. Jeff and Daniela picked us up at 8 am, and after provisioning at a delicious-smelling bakery in town, we set off for the Black Forest. We were quickly stopped by highway construction (there's a reason why the autobahn is so smooth), and had to detour through France (!!!) to get back to the little scenic roads through the Black Forest. Jeff, Daniela and the GPS couldn't seem to agree on a route, but after wandering and backtracking quite a bit we ended up at the Black Forest Open Air Museum, near Gutach, where I hadn't even known we'd been headed. Nevertheless, it was a very interesting place; with farmhouses, barns and other buildings dating back to 1600. These are authentic buildings which have been moved to this site, not reconstructions. Unfortunately our explorations took place during a downpour, so we were very happy to repair to the on-site restaurant, for cappuccino and Black Forest cake.

Next on the agenda was Freiburg. I was expecting a village, but Freiburg is more of a small-to-medium sized city. The 13th Century cathedral there was wonderful; although we were soon to visit many larger and more famous ones. The colorfully-decorated entry, and the lacy spire were some of the highlights. Though much of Freiburg was leveled by Allied bombers in 1944; this church somehow was spared.

Next we wandered the narrow, vine-wreathed streets of the Old City...beautiful, and lined with restaurants and upscale shops. The shallow canals leading down the streets were irresistible to many children in rubber rain boots. We ended the evening at a spot popular with Freiburg University students called Tacheles. In the cave-like downstairs restaurant we had very good schnitzel with Hollandaise, spaetzle, and a nice salad; all for less than 7 euro.

Day 3: Hiking to the Hutte. Breakfast at Jeff and Daniela's consisted of a lovely spread of cheeses, meats, and more bread than I should have eaten. We toured the cute towns and learned some of the history of Herxheim and Hayna, the latter being Daniela's home town and evidently once a prime tobacco growing area. At 1 pm we joined other friends for a hike up a mountain near Neustadt. The views looking out over the valley were outstanding. After about an hour of hiking, we assembled at the Hutte Hohe Loog, which is basically a mountaintop pub. The main objective of this stop was to sample the neuerwein, which is freshly pressed, fermented grape juice...tastes like grape juice, but has a 3 to 4% alcohol content. Yes, it can sneak up on you. We stayed at the hutte for about 3 hours...joking about how hiking in Germany must mean 1 hour of walking followed by 3 hours of drinking. Just about sunset, we got back down the mountain and went back to Herxheim for leftovers, coffee and conversation.
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Old Jan 4th, 2013, 03:36 AM
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what a great trip, Azzure. We have loved the trips that we have done with our friends; there is so much to do and see in that area. My penfriend's family were tobacco farmers [which seemed OK when we first started writing to each other 40 or so years ago] and some uncles run a vineyard when is useful!

Saumagen, BTW, is a dish made from sow's stomach, a bit like haggis; they also have something called "Hausmacher" which is a very strong home-made sausage. both are acquired tastes that I have not yet acquired!

Spaetzle and schnitzel, now, washed down with a good riesling, I like very much.
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Old Jan 4th, 2013, 05:20 PM
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Yes, tobacco farming! The little town near Herxheim where Daniela grew up (Hayna) is full of tobacco curing barns; though they are apparently no longer used. Surprising to learn that's a crop which thrives in Germany.
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Old Jan 5th, 2013, 08:13 AM
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German tobaccah - wow - never would have dreamt the climate was that warm - or I guess important that it is not really cold.
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Old Jan 5th, 2013, 08:17 AM
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German tobacco, a useless crop generated by EU subsidy, rather like the sugarbeet crop of Northern Europe.
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