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Driving conditions in Bavaria in December.

Driving conditions in Bavaria in December.

Old Nov 10th, 2002, 01:52 PM
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Driving conditions in Bavaria in December.

I'm going to be in Bavaria and Austria during and around Christmas. We are thinking of renting a car in Munich and driving. Does anyone know how the roads are over there during winter conditions? Has anyone driven there and do you have any advise? Thanks!
Old Nov 10th, 2002, 02:05 PM
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They do a good job with the roads there, but like anywhere else, you can get stranded in a good storm. Personally, I'd rather not be bothered. With daypasses good for 5 people at about $20 for the whole lot within Bavaria (includes Salzburg) it's even easier to see the benefits of a warm train compartment over the hassles of winter driving.
Old Nov 11th, 2002, 02:54 AM
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hi,in december the weather is normally ok, the roads are quite good for driving, because it often starts snowing not before january.
it think it will be ok to drive, and it is not that bad even if there is snow, because the road service cleans the streets.
so you can hire a car and drive in december,it is easier than travelling by train, but trains are also a good alternative.
but if you want to go into the countryside,it is much easier to have a car, as you are independent, and many small villages do not have stations.
Old Nov 11th, 2002, 03:12 AM
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Here's a webpage with a map of Bavarian trainlines if you're curious about where the train will take you:

Old Nov 11th, 2002, 05:24 AM
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Laura, they're right - take the train.

The local authorities in both countries do their best to keep roads and passes snow and ice free. However, sometimes there are freak snowstorms in December and the snow-ploughs are busy 24hrs a day - occasionally having trouble coping. So would you really want to get out of the car in a howling gale to mount snow-chains? Do think about it.
Old Nov 11th, 2002, 07:44 AM
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If you like driving, drive. We were in Garmisch last year during the first week of December and it snowed about 8 inches overnight. The roads were . . . well, like roads with snow on them. No better or worse than anywhere I've been in the US. It only got tough in Austria around St. Anton and Lech, there were some very steep roads that our non-4wheel drive car couldn't negotiate. So we ended up on major roads rather than some of the back roads we wanted to explore.

As you can tell from the posts, this is a purely subjective decision. Personally, I think that trains are a huge hassle for frequent short trips; unless you are travelling very lightly you end up lugging luggage around trying to find a compartment with open window seats (a big deal to me). My experiences have been mixed; on crowded routes, finding seats is a little like the Oklahoma land rush. The train arrives at the platform and travellers storm the train musical chair fashion. This is of course worst case. Then, once you arrive, you are either on foot with your luggage or you find a porter (GOOD LUCK!) and take a taxi . . . to where? Unless you have a specific destination, you are faced with another issue. However, practically every trainstation in Europe has a tourist services office that will help you locate a room.

Old Nov 11th, 2002, 08:10 AM
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I vote for driving too. The Germans and Austrians keep the roads clear - they have guys out shoveling by hand as the snow falls. The truly dangerous passes are closed anyway. I wouldn't drive at night (and the sun goes down at about 4:00 pm) unless you're used to driving in the snow and ice.

But a car beats the heck out of a train for all the reasons Snoop listed. Lugging your baggage from a train station to your hotel in a snowstorm is pretty nasty. At least with a rental car you can drive up to the front door to unload. You can leave your maps, snacks, and other extras strewn in the car instead of carrying all that stuff from the train to your room.

And if the worst happens and you break down, rest assured the next car or truck coming by will stop to help. The Germans and Austrians in this region are universally helpful.
Old Nov 15th, 2002, 04:44 PM
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Thanks for all the replys! Yes, I know that the question is a subjective one, just thought I'd get some opinions. Leaning toward train travel. Does anyone have any information on these day train passes? Thanks, Laura
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