german rail pass bonus questions

Apr 12th, 2003, 01:57 PM
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german rail pass bonus questions

With the german rail pass do you use a day of the pass if you take the Romantic road or the Castle road bus trip to be eligble for the discount? Or, do you just get a discount for having one. Can't seem to find the answer. My understanding is that you can use a day of the rail pass for the KD boats and pay no fee for using them for that day. Another question: We have never used a rail pass before just point to point in Italy, if you use a rail pass is it good for a calendar day or for 24 hours? I had a site that explained all of this on my OTHER computer which bit the dust. I have to chidren with comp science degrees where are they when you need them. Now I can't find the site address.
Kmarie is offline  
Apr 12th, 2003, 04:13 PM
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I'm a bit fuzzy on this, but my understanding is that any free railpass bonuses (like the K-D boats on the Rhine) require the use of a railpass day; discount bonuses (like the Romantic Road bus) do not.

I enthusiastically recommend a short (2-3 hours max) cruise on the Rhine somewhere between Bingen and Koblenz (you'll cover more territory per hour heading north - downstream - it's a swift current.) I also advise against the RR bus; the stops are too infrequent and too short; you get a whopping 2 hours in Rothenburg, but the other stops are a ridiculous 15 minutes long. You can get to several RR towns by train: Würzburg, Weikersheim, Rothenburg, Nördlingen, Landsberg, and Füssen among them. The Bayern Ticket (21 DM, weekdays, good for up to 5 people travelling together) is a daypass that covers the whole of Bavaria from near Hanau , not far east of Frankfurt, south, and it makes getting from town to town cheap as well (save your railpass for other areas and long-distance travel.)

The railpass is not a "24-hour pass"; it's basically good for one calendar day. However, it can be used for overnight journeys beginning in the evening on the previous day. You can board after 7 pm on Day 1 and stay on 'til midnight Day 2 by entering Day 2 on your pass. If you board prior to 7 pm, you'll need to pay extra for the leg of your travel prior 7 pm.
Russ is offline  
Apr 12th, 2003, 05:40 PM
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Thanks Russ,
Our plans so far are arrive Frankfurt: Train to Heidelberg, stay 2 nights, Travel by train to Rothenburg, stay 2 nights, RR bus to Fussen, stay 2 nights. Train to Munich, stay ? nights, Train to Berlin stay ? nights, train to Koblenz, stay 4 nights. train to Mainz, stay 1 night, leave. We have 6 nights for Munich to Berlin to Koblenz. We will stop in Whittenburg for an afternoon on the way to Berlin. We probably will do 4 in Munich and 2 in Berlin, but not sure. I just read my husband your post-- makes perfect sense to me not to take the RR bus I just have to convince him. He is an engineer so I have to put it all on paper--I'll be printing up 10 train schedules. Would you travel to Strasbourg (sp) while in Munich?
Thanks!!
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Apr 12th, 2003, 05:47 PM
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I mean Salzburg not Strasbourg.
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Apr 13th, 2003, 05:16 AM
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I'm going to adjust what I just told you about the RR bus.

If you're starting in Rothenburg and leaving in the afternoon for for Füssen, it might actually make sense to take the RR bus part of the way (to Nördlingen) and continue from there by train to Füssen. The bus leaves R'burg at around 2:30, gets into Dinkelsbühl for about a 45-minute stop (very short, but you're covering a lot of ground and don't have much time anyway), then arrives in Nördlingen at around 5:00. By way of comparison, the train for this leg takes you on a circuitous route that requires the same time overall and 2 or 3 changes of train, and doesn't even pass through Dinkelsbühl. So if Dinkelsbühl is a town you'd like to hit in the mid-afternoon, give the RR bus a shot, but from Nördlingen south, you'll find the train more convenient.

It's possible to see Salzburg in a day from Munich, but there are lots of other things to see that are sort of in between - Berchtesgaden, Königssee, Herrenchiemsee - so you might want to think about spending a night in the area and proceeding from there to Berlin (depending on how much you find time for.)

I'd recommend an outing to Andechs Monastery, a short train trip + hike just south of Munich. The S-bahn gets you to Herrsching, then you take a footpath up a hillside to the facility - and what a place! The chapel there is pretty, but it's the pilgrimage itself, with views of the Ammersee Lake and the Alps on a clear day, and the food there that make this a fun adventure. The monks there make beer, bake bread, and cook up some real traditional Bavarian food for visitors, and you can sit out on their sunny terrace and enjoy your meal in front of some terrific scenery.
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Apr 13th, 2003, 07:03 AM
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You might want to consider taking the Romantic Road bus from Rothenburg to Fuessen. If you take the train from Noerdlingen, you still have to change trains several times.

While train service in Germany is great, it often isn't the most convenient.

In reading your post, the following few thoughts come to mind:
Heidelberg is a good stop for your first night, but you might want to stay just one night. You can visit the castle upon your arrival. I don't know if there is that much to keep your interest for another day.
We enjoy visiting Rothenburg, but you might want to limit your stay to one night. Since you won't have a car, you will be limited as to what you can see and do outside of town. Be sure to take the Nightwatchman Tour in the evening.
If you stay only two nights in Fuessen, you will miss much in the area as Russ has stated. There is some bus service in the area to Ettal Abbey,Wieskirche, and Linderhof. However, I'm not sure how convenient it is.
Russ is right about the area around Munich. The church at Andechs monastery was undergoing renovation when we were there last spring. Hopefully the work is done by now. However, the restaurant was open.
Two nights in Berlin isn't enough time. There is so much to see and do there. It is quite a distance to travel for just one full day.
I'm not real positive on staying in Koblenz. There are so many towns south of Koblenz that are just a short train ride away.

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Apr 13th, 2003, 08:18 AM
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Regarding JoeE's post:

I agree with Joe's comments on Heidelberg, Berlin, and Koblenz; Koblenz is alright, but there are other towns, Boppard, St. Goar, Oberwesel among them, that make for more scenic and atmospheric bases. Koblenz has a slight strategic advantage if travelling by train, but only a slight one.

JoE says, "You might want toconsider taking the Romantic Road bus from Rothenburg to Fuessen. If you take the train from Noerdlingen, you still have to change trains several times."

It's a little more complicated, unfortunately. First off, as far as I know, there is only one bus to Füssen, and If you're coming from Rothenburg, you have to switch buses in Dinkelsbuehl immediately upon your arrival there, so you'll miss the town entirely. By continuing from Dinkelsbuehl (with the same bus you began on) to Nördlingen, then taking the train south from there, you'll get to see a little of D'buehl, you'll have a choice of departure times, and you'll cut the travel time between Noerdlingen from 4 hours to 2.5 hours.
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Apr 13th, 2003, 08:20 AM
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We do plan to visit Andechs Monastery. I have the web site and it looks great. Do I need to plan on a whole day?

2 nights in Heidelberg are set in stone. 2 nights in Rothenberg could change. We are still comtemplating a night between Rothenberg and Fussen or Fussen and Munich.

Originally we hadn't planned on a trip to Berlin. I am really beginning to feel we are trying to go to far too many areas. I agree it might not be worth the trip for the time we are going to spend there. We thought about a night train but ruled that out. We are not going to make hotel reservations in Berlin before we leave so we could easily change our plans.

Koblenz seems to be a good place for us. We have reservations for 4 nights and it seems easy for us to get around from there. We will just do day trips from there. But if we get there and find out differently we might change our plans.

Should we skip Berlin considering the length of time we have there? We are slow travelers!! More interested in quality then quantity.





Kmarie is offline  
Apr 13th, 2003, 08:25 AM
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The info I have on RR bus doesn't indicate a change of bus in Dinkelsbuehl. But that doesn't mean it isn't so. Would Dinkelsbuehl be worth a night or Nördlingen?
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Apr 13th, 2003, 12:06 PM
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Andechs. It's about 30-40 minutes on the S-bahn to Herrsching, about the same to hike up... I'd say at least half a day.

Yikes. The bus schedules have indeed changed! I located this schedule, which probably is the one you're using:

www.romantischestrasse.de/de/europabus.php3

and which shows both buses heading south out of Dinkelsb�hl at pretty much the same time now. Without the later bus, you won't have but a few minutes in Dinkelsbuehl, unfortunately. And without the sightseeing time, it looks like the bus between Rothenburg and Noerdlingen is slightly faster than the train. May as well take the bus as far as Noerdlingen if pasing through. It's been a long time since I was there; I remember Dinkelsb�hl as more interesting than N�rdlingen, but the transport issues are a factor since you can jet out of N�rdlingen on the train at just about any hour and Dinkelsb�hl would require some other regional bus to get you on to N'lingen.

I'd leave Berlin out until you have a bit more time - it's huge. It would be much easier to substitute W�rzburg and Bamberg, both great cities to visit in Northern Bavaria and basically on your route back north to Koblenz.
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