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7 days in western Germany: Suggestions Please!

7 days in western Germany: Suggestions Please!

May 24th, 2007, 09:46 AM
  #1  
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7 days in western Germany: Suggestions Please!

Our tentative plans right now are as follows: Leave Paris on a Wed. evening and head to Germany, probably via an overnight train, to Frankfurt or Mainz (other suggestions are welcome!). Then we'll have 7 days in western Germany. We have a hostel the last two nights (the following Tues & Wed) in Cologne and then we fly to London from Cologne on Thurs. We are history buffs and we've been excited about going to the Rhineland, so we had planned to take our time working our way north from Mainz. (Also, we'll have been on the road for two weeks running around like crazy by the time we get to Germany, so we thought a slower pace might be better). We will definitely hit Aachen before spending at least one day sight-seeing in Cologne, and we are thinking about going over to Trier as well.

We're looking for suggestions on things not to miss between Mainz and Cologne, or maybe even suggestions for a starting point further south of Mainz. We'll using public transportation, so please keep that in mind. In particular we'd like to know which castles are the best to visit (and easiest to get to) along this route. We'd appreciate the help!
marie44 is offline  
May 24th, 2007, 11:15 AM
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No but you should investigate the bargain Lander Tickets such as for the Rhine area as you will be railing in a small area and taking regional trains that are covered by this bargain ticket. Search here for LarryinColorado as today he has a post dwelling on Lander Tickets and knows everything possible about them. I'd say the Mosel Valley will be the highlight of your trip and one of Germany's finest medieval castles, Burg Eltz looms high above the Mosel near Cochem - so famous it used to be on the 500 mark (?) or some high-denomination German bank note. About the only castle they say in the area not knocked down by Napoleon in the early 1800s or other marauders.
PalenQ is offline  
May 24th, 2007, 11:55 AM
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I liked Rhine valley better than Mosel - stayed in Oberwesel. Local Riesling is to die for, and I found St.Goar, Bacharach and Oberwesel more authentic and less touristy than Cochem. Boppard was less attractive to me. In my opinion Castles are quite interesting in first three towns. Of course there is nothing like Burg Eltz. I wish you could drive a short distance to Luxembourg to see castle in Vianden - my favorite by far! Cologne is only worth half day - city was destroyed during WW II and there is pretty much nothing but the Dome and a few museums, so half a day is sufficient. Don't go up the Dome - the staircase is extrmely narrow and you're constantly getting run over by the folks coming down for half an hour. On the warm day you'll be sweating like a pig and swearing bloody hell.
Tip. Stop by at the supermarket in Cologne and ask for the liver sausage ( I had goose liver) - that alone with nice german bread and a bottle of Riesling will make your day (not to offend french food). Good luck and enjoy!
kvilia is offline  
May 25th, 2007, 06:04 AM
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I would also recommend Vianden, Luxembourg. Nice little town and an impressive castle. If you're going to Trier, it's only about a one hour drive to Vianden.

We preferred the Mosel to the Rhein (though I agree that the town of Cochem was just too, too touristy)--but it's a matter of personal taste.
Jake1 is offline  
May 25th, 2007, 06:35 AM
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There is a lovely castle, Burg Stahleck, that is now a hostel overlooking the city of Bacharach. If you are going to stay in the Rhine area, this might be of interest to you.
bettyk is offline  
May 25th, 2007, 06:57 AM
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Best castles to tour, best first:

Burg Eltz (Moselkern station, 50-min. walk each way.)

Marksburg (Braubach, steep 20-min. walk each way or shuttle up from town.)

Reichsburg (in Cochem, up a steep path, maybe 10-15 min. walk, terrific views, good falconry show too.)

DON'T MISS FOR HISTORY BUFFS:

Peace Museum in the supports of the old "Bridge at Remagen" of WW II fame, in Remagen, south of Bonn.
Russ is offline  
May 25th, 2007, 09:02 AM
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Burg Eltz is the only castle ON THE MOSEL that was never destroyed. The Marksburg is on the Rhein and also was never destroyed. The German Castle Society has kept it as it was centuries ago.

I stayed in Boppard, because I was going to spend a day in Koblenz and Braubach and another day in Bacharach and St. Goar. It was centrally located for those trips. Anyway, I got a Privat Zimmer for €25 per night, ÜF.
Larryincolorado is offline  
May 27th, 2007, 12:14 PM
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The KD rhine boat on-off day cruise is state run and the most common and I would say the best way to see the rhine valley and castles. A bit crowded, but fun. We have bought online at www.kdrhine.com
chasit is offline  
May 28th, 2007, 10:58 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions, guys, particularly on the castles. I think we've found a place to stay in Bacharach, and we'll explore the Rhine from there.
marie44 is offline  
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