2 weeks near Marburg

Old Jan 12th, 2008, 07:12 PM
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2 weeks near Marburg

We are planning on spending 11 days in Oberhoerlen, a small village near Marburg. We will be staying with friends. Our travel party consists of 2 guys, 2 girls ages 20-25, and my middle aged Mother.
We will be flying into and out of Frankfurt, leaving the fist week of February. We will pick up a rental car at the airport.
So far the only thing we have planned is spending a day in Cologne. We would like to go snow-boarding one of the days, if there is somewhere close by, or worth driving to.
As all of "us girls" have traveled before, we are hoping to make this especially fun for the guys because it will be their first trip out of the USA. Any ideas in that direction would be greatly appreciated.
We are interested in sight seeing, especially castles, or museums, and maybe a concentration camp. We would also like to spend a little time shopping for souvenirs.
I would really appreciate any ideas as far as day trips go, we are on a tight budget and would prefer to not have to stay in any hotels. We have talked about spending some time on the Fairy Tale Road but haven't decided yet.
Thank you in advance for any and all ideas.
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Old Jan 13th, 2008, 03:29 AM
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Well, first of all, there is Marburg itself.

Daytrips: Others will tell you about Heidelberg and the Rhine valley, so I'm not mentioning these here but a few lesser known places closer by that require less driving.

- Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe with the palace, excellent art museum (especially if you're into Dutch paintings) and the park. You could add a swim in the spa afterwards.
- Eisenach and the Wartburg
- the Lahn valley West of Gießen: baroque Weilburg, Runkel's castle ruin, Limburg's cathedral, the elegant spa of Bad Ems.
- some cute small towns with well prserved historical architecture: Fritzlar, Alsfeld, Frankenberg, Bad Hersfeld, Melsungen, Schlitz, Amöneburg (nice view), Herborn (nearby: the castle ruin of Greifenstein with the bell museum), Wetter, Büdingen, Gelnhausen - worth a stop along the way.
- Frankfurt - shopping, of course, and a lot of excellent museums. If you're into art, don't miss the Lucas Cranach exhibition at the Städel.
Hessenpark (near Neu-Anspach in the Taunus): open air museum with old buildings from all over Hessen. More: http://www.hessenpark.de/english/frame_find.html. Nearby is the reconctructed Roman camp of Saalburg.

Snowboarding? Well you'll need a horrible lot of good luck to find enough snow up in the Taunus (Feldberg), Sackpfeife or Vogelsberg. Most probably you'll have to go as far as the Black Forest or even the Alps, i.e. too far for a day trip.

Concentration camps: the nearest ones will be Buchenwald near Weimar or Mittelbau-Dora near Nordhausen.
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Old Jan 13th, 2008, 08:41 PM
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Thank you, we will look into these towns.
In looking at the maps, and reading postings from other fodors threads, we are wondering if we would be better off not renting a car and buying rail passes instead. We figured cost would be about the same and it appears that rail travel is much faster.
Any input or advice once again greatly appreciated.
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Old Jan 14th, 2008, 12:14 AM
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Trains are good to go from A to B, but it can be tougher to explore the "hinterland".
You will have no troubles going by train from Frankfurt to Marburg to Kassel, or to Cologne -- but it will be harder to work out an itinerary to explore the small "fairy tale" villages and towns. I'm not saying that it cannot be done, but it takes more effort.
A compromise could be if you used trains from FRA to Marburg, and for a day trip to Kassel -- and rented a car for a day or more to explore the countryside. Many rental car companies offer weekend specials for less than €100 (insurance & unlimited kilometers incl.) for a 3 day weekend from midday Friday till Monday morning.
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Old Jan 14th, 2008, 04:35 AM
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That's one of the problems in Marburg - the town is well connected to the North and South, but travelling West or East can be a bit of a nuisance because you're stuck on regional trains. Besides, you'll have to get into town from Oberhörlen first, either to Marburg or Dillenburg/Siegen (trains to Cologne will be better from Siegen). Bus connections in the Hinterland are just horrible. I'm usually in favour of trains but in this case a car makes sense.
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Old Jan 14th, 2008, 08:08 PM
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We have talked to our host family, and decided that we need to have a car. So I guess it is back to plan A as far as that goes. However we have decided that planning day trips only doesn't give us alot to do, so we are hoping to take a train to Munich, and maybe further south for snow-boarding. We will stay in that area a couple of days and then train back. I really appreciate all the help you have given me. Quokka, all of your info was wonderful. We plan on going to Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe and possibly to Alsfeld, as well as the place with the bell museum.
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Old Jan 15th, 2008, 03:29 AM
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Well, I've spent 11 years of my life in Marburg, so feel free to ask more questions...

If you are interested in those bells: Greifenstein and the museum, which is inside a tower of the castle, are open on weekends only till March 14: Sat and Sun 1-5 p.m. That might be important to know.
Besides, there is a bell-foundry in the village of Sinn, just below Greifenstein in the valley (Glockengießerei Rincker), you or your hosts could ask if they do guided tours. Unfortunately their website is under construction but provides at least address etc.: http://www.rincker.de/
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Old Jan 16th, 2008, 12:55 AM
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Quokka, this is kinda off topic for this thread, but thought I'd ask anyway. I know Feb is way out of season for that area, so are we going to be able to find things that are open? I keep looking at sights on the web and they say "tours April-Oct," Does that mean no access during the rest of the year or just no tours? I even saw some museums with posts like that. It has me a little worried. PS thanks for letting me ask so many questions

Mariah
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Old Jan 24th, 2008, 06:39 PM
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When you are in Marburg, try some marzipan ice cream. It is the only place I have seen it and a great flavor.

About your question, if it is an outside musuem or castle type item I would think that it would be closed. otherwise I would think that most inside musuems would have a tours all year.
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