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Bavaria: Garmish, Rothenburg, Areas SE of Munich

Bavaria: Garmish, Rothenburg, Areas SE of Munich

Old Jan 14th, 2005, 05:51 PM
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Bavaria: Garmish, Rothenburg, Areas SE of Munich

Hi Everybody:

We're a family of 4 (daughters 14 and 10 years old), and will be ariving in Munich on THursday a.m. and going to Zell am See on Saturday.

We'll spend a week in the Zell am See area in a time share in Saalbach, and then 5 days in Switzerland (Grindlwald & visiting family in Basel)

So, we have 2 days to do an area of southern Germany at the beginning of our trip. I'm intriqued w/ Rothenberg because it's so different from everything else that we'll see, but don't want to spend too much time driving at the beginning of the trip w/ jet lag so was thinking that Garmish would be the better choice.

Given that most of our trip will be in the mts., what do you all think of Rothenberg vs. Garmish? Or, are there any great areas S.E. of Munich that'd be as interesting as Garmish, but easier to drive onto Saalbach near Zell am See in Austria?

If we do Garmish, do any of you have recommendation re the hotels and/or guest houses? Or, would you recommend that we stay in a smaller town nearby such as Mittenwald?

We're interested in low key exploration & getting a sense of the german people & culture. Given that we'll be doing mountains in Austria and Switzerland, I figured that we wouldn't do the Zugspitze but wondered what you all think?

I'm thinking small town experiences...just to get a sense of the people, houses, food, culture (yes, i know, all in 2 days)....so, if we want to not over-do it but give the kids a variety of experiences in these 2 days, what places would you all recommmend?

And, we're very open to your suggestions of alternative areas of s. Germany.

Thanks so much!

Mandavilla


So, first, anybody have any opinion of these Hotel Wittelsbach, Reindls Partenkirchner Hof, Posthotel Partenkirchen, Fraundorfer, HOTEL HILLEPRANDT, Hotel Post in Mittenwald, So
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Old Jan 14th, 2005, 07:21 PM
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25 years ago, we did the same when our daughters were the same age. whatever you do, wherever you go, it'll be a trip memorable for all.
Has the family traveled in Europe before?
What are your likes/dislikes-yea/nay to castles, museums, cathedrals & monasteries, cities, villages, farm life?
Garmisch and Mittenwald are sort of like going to Dollyland to see what Americans are like. Imagine a German cuckoo clock (glitz and all) with people.
It's a good chance for the girls (& maybe the parents) to read some German history on the flight over, at least from a Fodors-type book. I.e., why so many cathedrals? why such good shape? (church tax part of the payroll tax) When was Germany formed? What was it called before? What happened in WW2?
You won't have them much longer--maybe they already make you let them out a block from school.
Have a great time!
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Old Jan 14th, 2005, 07:53 PM
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We stayed in Garmisch in June, 2002 when our 2 kids were 13 and 15. It's a beautiful, charming village. We stayed at the US Army Hotel Patton (which no longer exists), so I can't help you with hotels.

We enjoyed hiking into the Partnach Gorge (bring a light jacket), exploring the Olympic Center, riding on the luge run, shopping and a day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle.

Garmisch was wonderful, hope you have a great trip!
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Old Jan 14th, 2005, 07:58 PM
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Hey Tomboy & Everybody,
Just to give you information on our daughters, they enjoy nature, things that are different, adventure activities (biking, kayaking, gondolas, rafting, etc), hands-on museums (but not the "regular" museums), nice scenery, water, etc.

They wouldn't enjoy going to the traditional museum, cathedral, monastery, & "looking at things" (they would enjoy looking at scenery, glaciers, nature-type things).

Our 10 year old wants "to minimize driving and maximize fun." A lot of time in the car doesn't interest her.

Our 14 year old takes german at school and is interested in the whole cultural perspective in terms of people, food, etc.

They like to climb--on rocks, on walls, etc. I thought they would love walking on the walls around Rothenberg.

THey also like "ghost walks" and i thought they'd like the "night watchman" walk.

They get very bored inside buildings... we'll need to spend the majority of our time outside exploring and seeing. However, they were fascinated w/ Alcatrez and enjoyed listening to the audiotape tours, so if something is different enough, they would enjoy learning about it (vs. museum, forts, cathedrals...)

All-day hikes are too much, but short hikes to see things are great.

None of us are big shoppers, or really even shoppers, for that matter.

Their favorite activity is reading, and so reading about Germany would be great.

They liked the idea of Rothenberg, I'm just not sure about the driving.... Maybe we should fly into Nurnberg or Frankfurt. My guess is BA flies from Gatwick into Nurnberg, and I'll check that. Then we could do Rothenberg more easily.

Very much appreciate your response, as well as any responses from the rest of you well-traveled Fodorites. Thanks so much!

The girls haven't been to Europe or anywhere outside of the US except for the BVI.

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Old Jan 14th, 2005, 09:03 PM
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Dear DeeDee and Everybody,

Thanks, DeeDee, Those things you mentioned--Partnach Gorge, exploring the Olympic Center, the luge run, and Neuschwanstein sound perfect for our kids.

If we were to tour only one castle, which one would you recommend?

Also, does anyone know anything about Etal or Ettal?

And, the other thing i was wondering about is whether Oberammergau is mostly a tourist-type town, and whether the kids would enjoy it (is this a wood carving town?)

In Mittenwald, can we tour places that make violins?

Again, thanks for all your time!

Mandavilla
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Old Jan 14th, 2005, 11:29 PM
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Mandavilla,

Skip Hohenschwangau (although older, not as spectacular) and see Neuschwanstein Castle. Go online and think about buying your tixs ahead (that's what we did) and saving time waiting in line to buy them there. Plan to spend a good part of the day there. There's a beautiful lake surrounded by the mountains. We rented a paddle boat and took some gorgeous pictures from the boat. You can bring a picnic lunch and eat by the lake.

Another tip, be sure the see the view from Marienbruecke (a bridge) that you walk to just beyond the castle as I remember. It's been written about before here on Fodors, so do a search to get the specific directions. There's a luge place just down the road from Neuschwanstein. They were just closing up as we came in, but we watched the last riders of the day come in. Then we found the luge run at the Olympic Center right in Garmisch. The kids just LOVED it!!
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Old Jan 15th, 2005, 12:04 PM
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Hey DeeDee & Everybody:

Thanks so much for your feedback--very helpful. I'm excited about what you said about Neuschwanstein, the bridge, and the possibility of paddleboating--THanks. And the luge, i know, is going to be a hit!

Anything else in that area that you'd recommend?

Mandavilla
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Old Jan 15th, 2005, 12:59 PM
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Dear travellers ITS WINTER in germany especially in this part snow is expected nearly everyday. Especially its freezing at nite. So plan extratime when snow comes - paddling is impossibel - all rent stations on the lakes are cloesd !!!!
Neuschwanstein is recomendable by car about 90 minutes autobahn(freeway)
Garmisch not to recommend.
For kids at bad weather in munich downtown : check out the Deutsches Museum next to the IMAX - fantastic play- and learnground for kids.
Or visit the castle Nymphenburg within city limits.
check out www.wetter-online.de
type in for city (stadt) münchen(munich)
for weather conditions
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Old Jan 15th, 2005, 02:03 PM
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When are you going?
 
Old Jan 15th, 2005, 02:05 PM
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Dear Peep they arriving next week !
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Old Jan 15th, 2005, 02:05 PM
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Hi Everybody,

Thanks, Confidential, for your ideas. I didn't realize Deutsches Museum had something so interesting for children, so that sounds quite good.

I'm sorry that I didn't mention that our trip is in June---you must have thought i was crazy thinking about paddling in the lake by Neuschwanstein! We'll be coming on June 15th.

Would you recommend Garmisch in the summer? Any other recommendations for the summer?

Thanks!

Mandavilla
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Old Jan 15th, 2005, 02:07 PM
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Sorry peep - I was not right
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Old Jan 15th, 2005, 02:09 PM
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P.S. I have a couple of questions related to driving. We'll be renting a car. Does anybody know if we need an International Drivers License? Also, anything we should know about taking the car to other countries? Thanks! Mandavilla
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Old Jan 15th, 2005, 02:14 PM
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Not really - in that case visit the ANDECHS - fanatsic beerspot with great view over the Ammer Lake and on to the alp silhouette ! its an old convent.
on the Ammer Lake take aferry from Herrsching to Diessen another church and women convent and the museum of famous Carl Orff musician .
Later you can go paddling, too.
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Old Jan 15th, 2005, 02:21 PM
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Driving within the E.U. including swiss is no problem at all anymore !
Mittenwald and Garmisch and not really worth to visit - but I remind of the national park Königssee - I think a must to take a boatride (on each boat a horn blews which echoes many many times) to bring you to a beergarden in historical convent also visit Obersalzberg (The summer residence of Hitler) got to www.koenigssee.com
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Old Jan 15th, 2005, 03:52 PM
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Ettal has a superb monastery complex that is well worth a visit. And if you happen to catch it when it is snowbound it makes one of the very best photo opportunities in the whole of Germany.

It includes a boarding school and, and this makes it really worthwhile, its own brewery and liqueur-distillery. The produce of the latter can be sampled in their tasting room, and purchased. The liqueur makes a great gift for someone back home; and also is ideal for keeping two bored and unruly children quiet.

Enjoy
Harzer
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Old Jan 15th, 2005, 06:18 PM
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Thanks, Confidential, Peep, and Harzer. Sorry about forgetting to write which Thursday I was arriving! It sure did sound like we were coming this Thursday! Sorry!

Sounds like we could have some wonderful beer and liqueur sampling at Ettal, and at the convent at Koenigssee.

I'm having a problem finding some of the towns that you mentioned on www. viamichelin.com, and wondered if any of you know of any good web sites for maps of this area of Germany?

Because there's so much to do in southern Germany, we're changing our flight to come a day earlier. We'll have 3 days in this area of Germany before we go to Zell am See.

During our 3 days, I'm wondering the best order of our travels... Would you recommend we drive:
........from Munich to the ANDECHS by Ammer Lake,
........then take a ferry from Herrsching to Diessen,
........then go to Ettal,
........then to the Neuschwanstein area,
........ then to Koenigsee,
........and then to Hitler's summer camp at Obersalzburg
........and then go on to Zell am See?

And, is there a particular town on the Koenigssee that we take a boat to the historical convent and beer garden?

We can't thank you all enough for all your excellent advice and help.

Thanks, Mandavilla
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Old Jan 15th, 2005, 09:29 PM
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mandavilla,

Just a note that my experience traveling in Bavaria with teens was also in June. The luge runs are open during the warm season. We never needed a jacket or sweater in this area in June, but you will need it if you go into the higher elevations or hike Partnach Gorge.

We went all through Germany and Italy during this trip and the kids always talk about Garmisch. That was their favorite - not museums and tours etc. Just an FYI. So other posters opinions may not reflect what might appeal to your kids. Have a great trip! We may be traveling back to Europe in June, too. Want to focus more on the scenic places this time, less museums etc. just good old nature. We'll be heading into Switzerland, too.
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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 01:32 AM
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I also recommend the Koenigssee. It's so beautiful there! You can take a boat across the lake and hike a bit. There's another smaller lake beyond the main one and beyond it are waterfalls. Great place to go!! You can also go to Hitler's Eagles Nest while you are in the area.

Garmisch and Mittenwald are both wonderful places to visit, IMO. Garmisch is bigger but has more good hiking options nearby like 2 gorges, Partnach and Hoellental. There are several lifts in the area if you want to go up a mountain and hike some. Mittenwald is a smaller town and IMO more quaint and picturesque. It's a great little town to poke around for a few hours and the big mountains are right in your face. There's a cable car up a mountain right in town that's fun. At the top is a restaurant and like a small crater that you can walk around. There's also a chairlift in Mittenwald up to a couple of restaurants. If you are interested in hiking (any level), I can recommend good hikes in the area.

Personally I don't think Andechs is one of the more interesting things to do especially if your time is limited. It's basically a beer garden on a hill and IMO the views aren't all that.
 
Old Jan 16th, 2005, 04:33 AM
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I would suggest the following routing
1 day - munich city - PM - andechs/ammerlake onthe way to garmisch via highway through weilheim and murnau
1 - 1,5 hrs driving to garmisch
evening et etttal.
2.day garmisch- go to eib lake at bottom of germanies highest point ZUGSPITZE or to Mittenwald and in the evening east to Koenigssee (1,5-2,0 hrs drive) maybe stay two nights in Garmisch or on the way in beautiful Rottach-Egern at the Tegern-Lake.
3.day - however moring take a boatride
on the koenigssee stay on the return point for pics and food and than visit Hitlers summercamp -
its both for kids and adults intersting and fun !
more info needed send email
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