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doriscbwong Sep 29th, 2010 07:38 AM

First of November - Romantic or somewhere else in Germany?
I will be doing Frankfurt Marathon on 31st Oct 2010. After that I will have about a week time to explore Germany. I am the "rush-and-ambitious" type, I know I won't be able to do everything in Germany in mere 7 days, so I am just thinking to explore one or two favorite tourist places in Germany.

At first I have though of exploring Romantic Road myself. Because I am traveling solo, I can only rely on train or bus. After some research, I find that November is not a popular time to visit this route due to weather. So I am not sure is it wise to visit this route at this time, and will I get the necessary transportation and accommodation facilities. Can I get some advices for you guys? Shall I go to a warmer place or a more centralized tourism spots destination like Berlin, etc? Please recommend. Thanks!

doriscbwong Sep 29th, 2010 07:46 AM

sorry...i have missed some words... I mean "I am NOT the "rush-and-ambitious" type"

I also miss some words in the subject "First WEEK of November - Romantic ROAD or somewhere else in Germany"

You can see how lost I am now in the trip planning... LOL

Gary_Mc Sep 29th, 2010 09:07 AM

There is nothing romantic about the road. It is the towns that are appealing and you can reach all by public transportation, some easier than others. November is a good month for travel in my book as it is less crowded.

I will put in a plug for Würzburg on the Romantic Road; we really like the castle, the Residenz and the Altstadt pedestrian zone. It is easily reached from Frankfurt by train.

Rothenburg is often a love it or hate it place due to the many tourists that visit it. It should be fairly quiet (tourist wise) in November. Being there in the off season does not detract from the town, but improves it. Busy or not, it is an attractive place.

If you are flying out of Frankurt, you might also visit Bamberg, Mainz or Nürnberg. All are easily reached by train.

Regards, Gary

hausfrau Sep 29th, 2010 11:18 AM

It really depends on your interests. Sure, you could pick one or two major cities and spend all your time there, but there's nothing wrong with seeing the Romantic Road in November. My family toured it the week before Christmas and while the days were short and it was chilly and cloudy (with a touch of snow, which you will NOT see in November), we still had a lovely time visiting the towns along the route. You might even have a little fall color left. Our main stops were Wuerzburg, Rothenburg, Augsburg, and Neuschwanstein / Hohenschwangau castles, with stops at some of the smaller towns along the way (Noerdlingen, Dinkelsbuehl, Landsberg, and the Wieskirche). We did this in 5 days with a car (which would be a bit rushed for some) so you could easily do it in a week using public transportation. As Gary indicated, the road itself is not all that interesting, so you would not be missing out on anything by taking the train or bus.

Another alternative would be the Rhine/Mosel valleys, but in my opinion this area is better toured by car (others will disagree!).

doriscbwong Sep 29th, 2010 03:57 PM

Thanks very much for the tips!

Since November is low season, I guess it should be quite easy to find a dorm bed in a budget hostel on the spot without pre-booking?

hausfrau Oct 1st, 2010 11:34 AM

I don't think you'll have any trouble finding budget rooms at that time of year.

bmw732002 Oct 1st, 2010 12:27 PM

By running the Marathon you will probably see most of Frankfurt!!

I would go to Rothenburg (3 hr) by train. Stay a few days and then head to Munich.

(are you flying back out of Frankfurt? If so I would reverse those cities)

Good Luck with the Marathon (my best marathon time was 3:42 NYC) but that was many moons ago!


MLF611 Oct 1st, 2010 12:56 PM

Everybody seems to go to Bavaria or the Rhine/Mosel valley. Nothing wrong with either of them, but there's so much more worth exploring in Germany.

How about Bremen, Hamburg and Lubeck? Or Berlin, Dresden and Leipzig?

Mainhattengirl Oct 1st, 2010 07:57 PM

Good luck in the Marathon! I will be out cheering you all on.

doriscbwong Oct 2nd, 2010 12:21 AM

hausfrau: thanks! let me do more research on that!

bmw732002: yes, i am flying out from frankfurt... thx for suggestion, i will do more research. btw i am from malaysia, i am a slow runner, my best time is only 5:15 :)

mlf611: i am just thinking to explore the spots near frankfurt for this time since i am running marathon there, including romantic road and munich, 1 week is certainly not enough to explore germany. i hope i can run the berlin marathon in the future and explore the cities at the north :)

mainhattengirl: thx! the spectators make the event more wonderful!

jennlane Oct 2nd, 2010 03:26 AM

"i am just thinking to explore the spots near frankfurt.."
What about Cologne? It's closer than Munich. And then cruise down the Rhine River. The Cathedral in Cologne is beautiful. Plus, it's warmer than Bavaria in November.

Russ Oct 2nd, 2010 05:10 AM

"Since November is low season, I guess it should be quite easy to find a dorm bed in a budget hostel on the spot without pre-booking?"

Best wishes for a good run. When you're done, you might think about doing a "loop" trip that takes you from place to place around the Rhineland, which is filled with hostels and interesting sights. There are several scenic train routes that ply the river valleys in the area. Mainz (on the Rhine) is a nice mid-sized city a few miles from FRA and a good starting or ending point. The hostel there is terrific. You'll also find an IBIS Hotel right next to one of the train stations there, handy for a flight out of FRA.

The following towns have hostels that are reachable on foot from the station if you pack accordingly.

Rhine River:

Mainz-BINGEN (scenic gateway to Rhine Gorge)- BACHARACH (castle hostel, many steps to the top of the cliffs) - ST. GOAR (hostel in old villa.) Be sure to tour Marksburg Castle in Braubach (on the opposite side of the river and north of St. Goar) There's also a hostel in KAUB on the same side of the river as Braubach roughly opposite Bacharach. See map with castles:

Lahn River detour from Koblenz: DIEZ (castle hostel, nearby Limburg is a gorgeous old town with half-timbered buildings.)

Mosel River (west of Koblenz):

COCHEM (gorgeous place, hostel on opposite side of river, well downstream) - TRABEN-TRARBACH (use branch train line from Bullay and maybe a bus connection to hostel) - TRIER (former Roman settlement) You could also hostel in BERNKASTEL, a very scenic wine village, using a bus connection from Wittlich)

Saar River and Nahe River: SAARBURG - IDAR-OBERSTEIN - BAD KREUZNACH - BINGEN (back on the Rhine)

Hostels are not empty in November. They are actually busiest during the school year when entire classes are on outings for a week at a time with their teachers. If traveling without reservations, you should call ahead to each hostel to see if they have room. If not, you can very likely drop in and find a B&B for the same price or cheaper. I do that in Cochem regularly, where Frau Hilken (20 Löhrstrasse) has a wonderful little place with a great breakfast for about 20 Euros single per night.

Here are some other good B&B bets in the area:

Russ Oct 2nd, 2010 05:15 AM

Transportation: there's a daypass that might be worth purchasing called the Rheinland-Pfalz ticket single (20 Euros for one) if you're going to be traveling a lot on a given day. It's good throughout the entire region and covers all the transport I've described from Mainz on.

Schematic for the train routes covered by the pass:

Paul1950 Oct 6th, 2010 10:13 AM

I wouldn't spend one night in Rothenburg, let alone several days! It would get boring real fast as the entire Altstadt is totally a tourist enclave. I'm not saying it is not worth seeing, because they do maintain all the buildings very well so it has great photo ops, but I just don't see it as a "real place" to stay. And unless you have a car it really isn't very convenient to get to--not impossible or terribly difficult, just not as easy to reach as more interesting towns and cities.

bmw732002 Oct 6th, 2010 12:36 PM

Rothenburg not interesting?? Too many tourists??

as YogiBerra once said about a resturant:

"Nobody ever goes there anymore because it it too crowded!"

There is a reason for all those tourists!

But I do agree that one/two nights would be plenty ;-)


Mainhattengirl Oct 6th, 2010 09:07 PM

Russ gave you some outstanding suggestions. Mainz has some very beautiful and interesting sites to visit and it doesn't get very much good press for some reason. Do go to St. Stephens to see the Chagall windows. When you walk into the church it is like being immersed into a glowing blue world. Fabulous! Visit the cathedral which is 1000 years old. In the Römer passage, you can go to the Isis Temple that the city found a few years ago. The exhibition is interesting and free. There are plenty of museums in Mainz too.

For smaller towns around Frankfurt, consider Kronberg and its castle built in the 1200's, a lovely Alt Stadt and a great view as it is in the Taunus mountains. Or visit Bad Homburg and the Saalburg, a reconstructed Roman fort. Büdingen is my favorite small town, with its 8 sided castle walls and nice old town. There are dozens of lovely small towns all through the Taunus mountains and down into the Odenwald that you could easily visit.

Würzburg and Heidelberg are definetely worth visiting.

p.s. I decided to do the Frankfurt marathon too. Just registered 2 days ago. I will be middle aged lady walking really fast!

nz101 Oct 6th, 2010 11:43 PM

If I was in Frankfurt in three weeks,I'd join you for the marathon!

doriscbwong Oct 10th, 2010 05:34 AM

Thanks guys for all the suggestions!
Now I really regret for only staying a week in Germany after marathon! Simply too many fantastic places to visit!
I will keep my mind open, and will get more information when I reach Frankfurt. I think it is not a totally bad idea to explore and decide on the spot... follow the heart :-)
In a highly civilized place like Germany, I do not think there is too much problem of that :-)

nz101 Nov 3rd, 2010 08:55 PM

Dorischwong, would love to hear all about your trip, how the marathon went (I know someone else who competed, he said it was just fantastic) and what you decided to do for the rest of your time!!

PaulHahn Nov 4th, 2010 04:21 AM

I can't imagine anything much less interesting than staying several days in Rothenburg! It's pretty, but there isn't much to do except admire the buildings (takes a day at most), take photos, and look at the cutesy tourist shops. It would be even less interesting as a several-day stop in the off season than during the height of the tourist season.

doriscbwong Jan 23rd, 2011 09:59 PM

nz101... sorry... i didn't return to post for a while.

about the marathons, i did my pb in venice with 4:42:16, and then another pb in frankfurt with 4:37:16, and it was just one week time apart!

a really fantastic experience for me :-)

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