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Another Germany Dilemma - please help again!

Another Germany Dilemma - please help again!

Jul 11th, 2011, 10:09 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 36
Another Germany Dilemma - please help again!

We had almost finished making our plans for two weeks in Germany but have been invited by family to stay extra days with them. They have suggested that for the last two nights we travel from their house in Noerdlingen to Cologne for one night and spend the last night in Frankfurt before returning to Australia. This would give us almost two full days in Frankfurt (after travelling from Cologne) because the flight back to OZ is late in the evening.

I had planned to stay the last two nights in Frankfurt which gave us almost 3 days in Frankfurt, and take the train and boat along the Rhine to see St Goar, Bacharach and Rüdesheim as suggested by my friends at Fordor's. Now I am not sure what is the best thing to do. Go and see Cologne or spend the day on the Rhine.

We love architecture but also love the tranquility of the countryside and villages. My hubby has said "You decide". So here I am again begging for your thoughts.

pharos is offline  
Jul 11th, 2011, 11:16 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 364
It has been many years since I have been to Köln and I think that is because it was one of those "glad I saw it, but once was fine" kind of places. Rüdesheim, on the other hand, I could go to again and again especially if it is not a week-end visit. But then, we also tend to prefer small towns over cities.

We just got back from spending a week-end in Aachen, which is near Köln. I would be very tempted to return for their Christmas market this next season. It is a beautiful baroque city with Charlemagne's 9th century Dom and a magnificent Rathaus. What we truly appreciated after a day of sightseeing was spending a few hours in the city's Bad/spa. Very affordable, super staff, excellent pools (6-8) plus lots of ancillary services i.e. saunas, massages etc. The mains pools are with swim suit; the sauna/ancillary pools upstairs are "textile frei". I can't think of anything I'd rather do to wrap up a vacation in wintertime than after being out at the chilly Christmas market, to relax in one of their pools!
klondiketoo is offline  
Jul 11th, 2011, 11:41 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 576
Can you not have the best of both worlds and travel to Cologne for a little sightseeing (a few hours in the centre around the Dom should suffice) before embarking on a Rhein cruise from there, past St Goar and Bacharach and on to Rudesheim. Then train it to Frankfurt. You could, in fact, leave Noerdlingen and spend an afternoon and evening in Cologne (not that far, either by train or car), then the next day do a full day cruise (you may need to take an early train to Koblenz, just south, and catch a boat from there through to Rüdesheim, Check www.kdrhine.com as they do day trips and different departure points) and get off in Rüdesheim (should get there around 5pm if you take the 11am from Koblenz, but there are other departures, earlier even) then sightsee before training it to Frankfurt for that night. Or if you have a late/evening flight the following day (which I think you have from what I have read above), you could stay in Rüdesheim the night, then take a train to Frankfurt Airport the next day with plenty of time in hand (train would take around 1.5hrs with a change in Mainz), that is, if your flight is at 5pm, leave Rüdesheim around 11.30am-12noon at the latest.
madamtrashheap is offline  
Jul 12th, 2011, 12:30 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 169
Gosh, I just finished typing a reply and pressed the wrong button!!! Argh!!
I would opt for the Rhine. Have you looked at a map to see where Nördlingen, Cologne and Frankfurt lie? You are going from Nördlingen, past Frankfurt, to Cologne and then back to Frankfurt. Travel time by car according to google maps is 4hrs 17min from Nördlingen to Cologne and by train, it's the same or longer, depending on which train you take. You've wasted more than half a day assuming there are no hitches. The scenery is beautiful on the Rhine, you won't regret it. Keep Cologne for another visit. Gives you a reason for coming back. There is so much to see.
munich_madl is offline  
Jul 12th, 2011, 04:17 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 7,711
Stick to your original plan, unless there is something in Cologne that you want to see desperately.
If you want to squeeze another place between leaving Nördlingen and Frankfurt, either Würzburg oder Heidelberg would be much more sensible than Cologne.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Jul 12th, 2011, 05:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,113
Hey P,

>have been invited by family to stay extra days with them. They have suggested ....

Who are you going to listen to - family (who you will have to live with for the rest of your life) or a bunch of virtual voices on the internet?

ira is offline  
Jul 12th, 2011, 05:17 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,339
Be aware, the Rhine is not tranquil. Watch a video or two - it is an important historic waterway, for sure, but today it is barge-way with 2 rail tracks down either side for a lot of it's length.

Not quaint, and not peaceful
Aramis is offline  
Jul 14th, 2011, 09:16 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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If you have no specific must-sees in mind for Cologne, then I wouldn't spend the time going there.

The Middle Rhine region is a world apart from your average big German city. Rüdesheim would be "quaint" were it not for the volume of tourists there. Bacharach, Oberwesel, St. Goar, and Boppard, all on the west bank, would be closer to the tranquil villages you seek. Bacharach has the most attractive buildings. Boppard has a lovely town square and nice riverside promenade. St. Goar has the best scenery, perhaps. The east bank towns of Braubach and Kaub will also toss you back into time as you explore their narrow old-town streets.

If you'll be there in September, you should expect a good number of visitors on weekends on account of the wine festivals.

I guess we're all different. My wife's favorite spot in Germany is St. Goar, a town she finds enormously tranquil, mainly BECAUSE of the setting there - the castles, the cliffs, the mighty river, and the low-slung barges that ply it. I've always urged her to move on to our next activity or place, but she says she could sit on the riverbank there all day and watch the river action, and I believe her. I also find the Rhine a very relaxing spot.
Russ is offline  
Jul 15th, 2011, 10:54 PM
Join Date: May 2003
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I'm an Aussie too, married to a "Koelner" for nearly fifty years, and have been back to Cologne many times, especially in the last twenty years. We no longer stay with family, but now enjoy doing our own thing for two weeks or so there, each time we go, and we are still finding new and exciting sights
If it is unlikely you will go back to Germany, then do spend at least a night in Cologne. The Cathedral at night looks suberb, an eery blue-green. Besides the Dom, the "Alt Stadt Bummel" ( strolling through the old part of the city) is always fun. Just behind the Town Hall, at the moment, it is interesting to watch where they are excavating 500 year old ruins near the Jewish Baths, and there are Roman ruins throughout the city.

There are two trains from Cologne to Frankfurt, one a fast inland one, and the other, a slower regional train which runs along the west side of the Rhine for much of the way. We always take this one to see the views on the way to Frankfurt before the flight home. I like to spend the last night in Franfurt to rest a bit, though there's lots to see there too.
Carrabella is offline  
Jul 15th, 2011, 10:55 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 774
Frankfurt, that is!!
Carrabella is offline  
Jul 18th, 2011, 06:59 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 36
Thanks once again for your thoughts and help. Carrabella we do intend to travel to Germany again we are planning to travel about every two or three years or until we can't do it anymore!! We intend to enjoy our retirement (spend the kid's inheritance etc.) So we will definitely get to Cologne at some stage, and spend a lot more time there. This time I think we will just do the day trip from Frankfurt, take it as slowly as we can and just enjoy ourselves.

Only 4 weeks to go till we leave Oz. Can't wait.
pharos is offline  

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