Eight nights along Rhine

Old Feb 3rd, 2023, 11:17 AM
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Eight nights along Rhine

Hello Fodorites!

Iíd like to present my for (gentle) critiques and improvements. Family of four, two under ten, will be visiting Germany and France for 8 nights. Our time will be split between Boppard, Rust, and Strasbourg. Weíll have a car for the entirety and Iím aware we canít take it into Strasbourg without the unobtainable sticker.

Thursday, June 1st: arrive at FRA around 9:45a, assuming a smooth airport experience, weíll pick up our rental car and drive to Bingen for a Rhine cruise on K-D line. Previous years have had a sailing around 2pm which we should be able to make. A trip up to the Niederwald (ferry across) pre-cruise would make the day perfect! Weíll get off in St Goar and backtrack for the car, and drive the rest of the way to Boppard.

Friday: Eltz in the morning and Cochem in the afternoon, by car.

Saturday: explore Boppard, train up to Koblenz and Ehrenbrietstein, whatever tickles us - if arrival day doesnít work for the cruise, weíll do it this day.

Sunday: depart Boppard and drive to Speyer. View cathedral and visit the Technical Museum for a few hours before continuing on to Rust. We have a hotel and waterpark tickets at Europa.

Monday: Europa park all day.

Tuesday: depart Rust for Haut Koenigsbourg, and Colmar. May park at Selestat and train to Colmar? Drive to Kehl and park car at tram d station and cross into Strasbourg for our stay.

Wednesday: day trip to Paris by train. Eiffel Tower, river cruise, St Chapelle.

Thursday: spend the day exploring Strasbourg, depart in the evening and spend the night near Frankfurt airport.

Friday: early flight.

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Old Feb 3rd, 2023, 12:49 PM
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Not sure why you have a car. You seem to be going town with station to town with station, but I guess you've looked at the train map and thinking about small kidsHaut Konigsberg will need a car no matter what

Rust, I need to look it up, must be special, ah that is where Europa Park is.

Does the Paris trip make sense in that sequence? Possibly. Maybe just a long journey but you could go somewhere else that is a bit closer without the long journey. Maybe not obvious but there is a German concentration camp on the Vosges, or Metz

Last edited by bilboburgler; Feb 3rd, 2023 at 01:10 PM.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2023, 04:06 PM
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Thanks, bilbo. Originally this was all planned on rail, but we felt there would be a lot of time waiting on or rushing to make trains. We'll keep the car parked most of the time while in Strasbourg, and I'm aware that the hotel in Boppard provides a free guest pass for the local rail system, so we'll for sure use that.

Yes, we want to give the kids a break from castles and cathedrals and enjoy Europa Park. We adults also enjoy a thrill ride and theme park!

Paris is also for the kids - adults have been in the past, and we'd love to give them a small glimpse. It makes sense (to me at least) journey wise, as Metz and Nancy are about 1.5hrs, and Paris is only 15 minutes more by train. We're aware of the possibility of strikes this summer and are prepared to pivot to Freiburg by car if needed.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2023, 06:32 PM
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Can I persuade you to do that first day by train? You will be jetlagged, and driving + jetlag along the A67 is a bad combo. I also don't know if your first day will work out, again because of jetlag. If not with you, maybe someone else in your party. You have really crammed a lot into your days, it seems like if one thing goes wrong that first day then the whole day will fall apart and you will be a long way from your hotel room. Bingen is big enough that there will be car rental places starting from there.

You are very sure of your kids; sometimes when you take them out of their routine they aren't so even-keeled (speaking from experience), but you know them best. What does Mom say?

Lavandula
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Old Feb 3rd, 2023, 06:52 PM
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Oh, I see you have a plan B for the Rhine cruise - good thinking. Nevertheless I would still look at a train for that first day. It's about an hour and ten minutes from the airport to Bingen by train; Mainz is even closer and has cruise departures also.

Lavandula
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Old Feb 4th, 2023, 06:55 AM
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Thank you for the tips Lavandula, and I appreciate your concern. I realize a lot rests on things going smooth the first day, as you see Iíve got Saturday pegged as a fall back. We may get off the plane grumpy and uninterested, but thatís generally not us. Iím not concerned about the drive, both my wife and I do shift work and are used to odd hours. Hauling luggage on a train then a boat and then back on a train also isnít appealing

The kids are of course another story - they are generally resilient and are both super excited to go on this trip. Of course after an overnight flight, their senses might be pushed a bit, but I think theyíll be excited enough to push through. We all just ran ourselves hard for 8 days straight at Disney and had few complaints, except for aching feet on the last day!
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Old Feb 4th, 2023, 08:36 AM
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This may seem strange Sam, but our concern about you driving on the first day is not about you, but about the rest of us Europeans. We have far too many images of micro-sleep affected drivers killing us.
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Old Feb 4th, 2023, 09:46 AM
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With kids, you might consider a day in Mulhouse at the automobile and the train museums, which are sensational.
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Old Feb 4th, 2023, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by kerouac View Post
With kids, you might consider a day in Mulhouse at the automobile and the train museums, which are sensational.
The auto and train museums could be a great fallback plan if Paris falls through due to strikes. Could combine it with Freiburg for a fun day. Mulhouse is something Iíve looked at but forgotten about, so thanks for the reminder.
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Old Feb 4th, 2023, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by bilboburgler View Post
This may seem strange Sam, but our concern about you driving on the first day is not about you, but about the rest of us Europeans. We have far too many images of micro-sleep affected drivers killing us.
So for the last 20 years Iíve regularly kept irregular hours, waking up at 3am, going to bed and 3am and everything in between. Iím quite used to sleeping when and where I can, and can assure you I wonít be operating a vehicle on ďmicrosleepĒ. You Europeans need not worry about me anymore than my fellow Americans worry when Iím driving home from work at 4am. Iím fully aware the hazards of driving on no sleep, and wouldnít never put my family at risk.
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Old Feb 4th, 2023, 01:23 PM
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Jetlag is more than lack of sleep, there's also the time change and the general effects of flight on the human body that makes it dangerous. For instance, I just got back from a European trip myself and felt light-headed and a bit dizzy at all kinds of intermittent odd hours. I have done this trip many times. I was not driving, but would not have liked to have driven those first days anyway. But you have heard my POV now, I won't labour it.

Lavandula
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Old Feb 4th, 2023, 02:02 PM
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I tend to agree with Sam, although very cautious after a flight over the Atlantic, which I get at least 5 hours sleep. The adrenaline kicks in upon landing, and a short drive to the next destination is doable (I never drive over an hour). The issue is to rent a car for your journey it is much more convenient and dollar wise to rent at the airport and return same. I have travelled Boston to Europe on at least 75 occasions, rented a car with no sleepiness. Actually fell great after a flight of sleep, water, and no alcohol. But I understand the concern. Of more concern to me, and I have seen it in every country in Europe is people looking at their phones for Google Maps whilst driving
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Old Feb 4th, 2023, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by lavandula View Post
Jetlag is more than lack of sleep, there's also the time change and the general effects of flight on the human body that makes it dangerous. For instance, I just got back from a European trip myself and felt light-headed and a bit dizzy at all kinds of intermittent odd hours. I have done this trip many times. I was not driving, but would not have liked to have driven those first days anyway. But you have heard my POV now, I won't labour it.

Lavandula
Completely understood, and I hope everyone here understands I wouldnít attempt to drive if Iím not feeling 100%. I wonít even drive around the block after one drink.
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Old Feb 4th, 2023, 03:56 PM
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In related news, I see that you can apply for a ZFE 24h Pass, which should allow me to drive directly from Selestat to Kehl without having to go so far out of the way.
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Old Feb 4th, 2023, 04:50 PM
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Get your TGV tickets as soon as they become available for your Paris daytrip
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Old Feb 4th, 2023, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by bigtyke View Post
Get your TGV tickets as soon as they become available for your Paris daytrip
Iíve been stalking the SNCF site and itís one day short. Iím ready to pounce!

Last edited by SamRothstein; Feb 4th, 2023 at 05:29 PM.
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Old Feb 6th, 2023, 03:28 PM
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Tickets became available today, so we got the train arriving at Est at 9:30, hopefully the extra half hour cushion helps to start the day. Returning on the 7pm.
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