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Family of 5- Need to plan the Germany part of our trip

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Apr 1st, 2012, 09:23 AM
  #1
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Family of 5- Need to plan the Germany part of our trip

Our family of 5 (with boys ages 10, 12, and 14) will be traveling to Europe for a month from Mid May to Mid June. Our itinerary is booked with the exception of 6 nights between Venice and London. I had planned to see the Berner Oberland area, but husband and boys would rather see Bavaria/Black Forest area (with maybe a stop in Lucern). I'm looking for ideas on what to do. I would be fine just finding a spot to stay in for the entire time and exploring from there (and relaxing a bit), but I think my husband would prefer to do a bit more exploring. We don't really need to see any big cities (as we'll be visiting Rome, Paris, London already), and don't seed to see Neuschwanstein (I want to see OLD castles). Wouldn't mind doing some river cruising either. No matter what we do, it will need to hold the attention of the boys.

I realize I've left this pretty wide open, but I am truly trip planned out, and just need someone to tell me what to do!!!

Thanks!
illinileo is offline  
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Apr 1st, 2012, 09:28 AM
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What are the boys interested in? Bavaria and Lucern aren't exactly right next door to one another.
Dukey1 is online now  
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Apr 1st, 2012, 09:57 AM
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What made your guys turn down the Berner Oberland?
The mountains of the Black Forest (which btw is not in Bavaria) are quite dull compared with the Alps.
And it's hard to see the sights or do something in the Black Forest without a car, as it is stretched out 100kms north-south.

Actually, in Germany the Black Forest has (as a potential holiday destination) somewhat of a reputation to be useful to scare kids into compliance, e.g. If you don't clean up your room we will cancel the trip to Spain/Alps/London, and go to the Black Forest instead.
North of the Forest you will find Stuttgart, with the Porsche and Mercedes museums. At least something for boys, I guess.

If you want a bit more activities, you could base yourself in or even better in one of the villages around Innsbruck/Austria. You can do some real mountain hiking and mountain biking from beginner to expert level there (or take the cable car when you feel lazy), wildwater rafting on river Inn.
If you based yourself in one of the numerous mountain "wellness hotels", mom could refuel batteries, take train/bus to Innsbruck for some shopping, or visit the Swarovski World, while the men explore the mountains from the doorstep of the hotel.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
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Apr 1st, 2012, 09:58 AM
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How are you traveling? By car? By train?

Will you be coming from Venice thru Switzerland and then into Germany?

Also, which airport are you flying from to get to London?

It would help to have answers to these questions before recommending where you should go.
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Apr 1st, 2012, 10:41 AM
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Look at staying in apartments (fewo - short for ferienwohnung). These are great bargains, and unlike some countries, you usually do not have to stay for a week. Many can be rented for one night, although usually 3 days is better.

Look at Bavaria Ben's website - www.bensbauernhof.com - and read the trip reports. Great ideas.

To get information on almost any town in Germany, look at the town's website - www.(town name).de Many have great lists of accomodations and the local sights.
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Apr 1st, 2012, 11:27 AM
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The Black forest is cluttered with rail lines like the Black Forest Railway and the Hell's Valley Railway, and I've found it rather easy to get around to interesting places there.

http://www.black-forest-travel.com/p...t-railway.html

Gutach (see link on above page) is home to the Vogtsbauernhof open air museum and a Sommerrodelbahn, a little bobsled on rails that runs about 3/4 of a mile.

http://en.vogtsbauernhof.org/

Triberg (see first link) is a major tourist destination on the same rail line, reached via twists and turns as the train climbs to elevation. I enjoyed the BF museum there - lots of interesting stuff from this more traditional region of Germany.

Schiltach (near the BF railway on an offshoot line) is a town full of gorgeous half-timbered buildings: http://www.alovelyworld.com/weballem/gimage/all063.jpg

Gengenbach on the BF railway line is similarly fetching and a good place to stay: http://www.gengenbach.info/de/touris...erie/Altstadt/

The Hell's Valley railway runs east from Freiburg to Hinterzarten, Titisee, and Löffingen, all bases for hiking and mountainbiking activities.

All the towns I've mentioned are reachable by train, and for FREE: Stay in any of 130 "KONUS" towns, and your train and bus travel is paid for:

http://www.blackforest-tourism.com/konus

The Konus card also gets you discounts (like the one at the BR museum and waterfall in Triberg.)

Agree with bigtyke - have a look at Ben's site to gather ideas.
Russ is offline  
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Apr 1st, 2012, 11:33 AM
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Consider taking the train into Germany, then renting a car, maybe in Munich, or in Rosenheim (from which you can visit Prien, take the tram to the top of the Karwendelgebirge, and take the ferry to Prince Ludwig's castle on Herrenchiemsee) and then driving east toward Freiburg on smaller roads, seeing the occasional fairytale town. The Michelin Green Guide has wonderful maps with both towns and interesting routes, like the Altmuehltal, labelled by really reliable star numbers (e.g., worth a journey, worth a stop, etc.) and you can find yourself a nice route, and then drop the car in Germany hopefully without a drop charge.
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Apr 1st, 2012, 11:37 AM
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>>>>take the tram to the top of the Karwendelgebirge,

Ooops - - I said Karwendel, which is Innsbruck - - I meant Kampenwand at Prien (you can hike down from there too). Then drive west to Frieburg. :0>
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