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Willards Apr 1st, 2006 08:52 PM

Germany/Alsace
 
My husband and I are planning the tale end of our european vacation to Germany this summer. We are flying into Frankfurt and renting a Porsche and driving to Mulhouse to see the Schlumpf Museum. We are staying two nights there and I would like to know some great places to go in the area. We leave for Weissach to have a tour of the Porsche factory and then drive to Heidelberg for the night. Any great places I should see along the way? The following day we go to Nurburgring to drive the race course. As you can see my husband is a car nut. Then only to return to Frankfurt to go home. Any suggestions of must sees would be greatly appreciated. Also if there are great restauants you can recommend for dinner.





traveller1959 Apr 2nd, 2006 04:18 AM

Sounds like a beautiful itinerary. My recommendations for Alsace:
Take the Porsche and drive the Route de Crete from Mulhouse via Cernay over the Grand Ballon to Col de la Schlucht and then down to Colmar. You may visit Colmar. On your way back, visit two or three of the picturesque wine villages. I recommend Eguisheim (just south of Colmar) and Gueberschwihr (not so touristy). In Rouffach, there is an excellent restaurant (Philippe Bohrer - Michelin star). Use the expressway to drive back to Mulhouse.
On the German side, your may visit Freiburg. On your way from Weissach to Heidelberg, you may visit Speyer which is close to Heidelberg (old town, famous cathedral) and use the rest of the day to see Heidelberg. Shall I mention that there is another Formula-One-race course (Hockenheim) very close to Heidelberg?
You will certainly enjoy the Nürburgring. It is nicely landscaped. However, if you have a weak stomach take a Dramamine before driving. On the way back, you may visit Maria Laach (volcanic lake, convent), Ahrweiler (old town, vineyards, landscape, Roman museum, excellent restaurants - I recommend Steinheuer in Heppingen, two Michelin stars).
In any case, drive to Frankfurt through the Rhine valley, starting at Koblenz. On the eastern bank, in Braubach, just south of Koblenz, you may visit the Marksburg, a good example of a true medieval castle. On your way south, you will come through many romantic wine villages and enjoy the scenery. Rüdesheim is particular picturesque, however touristy. Between Oestrich-Winkel and Eltville, you find Kloster Eberbach - the convent where "the Name of the Rose" was filmed. It is also famous for excellent Riesling. They have tastings. Also try the Riesling Sekt (sparkling wine). Then you are already close to Frankfurt. Do you need hotel recommendations?

Curious Apr 2nd, 2006 10:50 AM

"Rüdesheim is particular picturesque, however touristy."

When I think of Rudesheim, the last thing I picture is "picturesque". I consider it a very "touristy" dump. What do you find "picturesque" about Rudesheim?

Curious

traveller1959 Apr 2nd, 2006 12:25 PM

Of course, Rüdesheim is touristy. But the Drosselgasse has nice old houses and and cozy wine bars. And if you board the cableway and you are floating over the vineyards it is totally quiet and a very special feeling..
I just made some suggestions. Everybody must decide what to see according to one's own tastes. Kloster Eberbach will be completely different.
By the way, here is the website of Steinheuer's restaurant (just in German, but I am sure, they will accept reservations in English):
www.steinheuers.de

luvtotravel Apr 2nd, 2006 01:56 PM

You can read my trip report and view photos on my website:

http://www.travelswithdiane.homestea...ip2001pg5.html

We loved our hotel (Hotel Benz in Gengenbach, www.badenpage.de/hotel-benz) and restaurant so much in Germany that we had dinner there three nights in a row. Fabulous meal and reasonable prices.

Personally, I thought the food in Alsace was okay, but not outstanding. I remember we had a difficult time reading the menus.

luvtotravel Apr 2nd, 2006 02:03 PM

Sorry, it appears Hotel Benz has moved their website. Try this one: www.hotel-benz.de/Intro.htm

The inn is lovelier than the photos appear on their website.

adeben Apr 2nd, 2006 11:13 PM

The food in Alsace is so "OK" that the area has its own inset map in the Red Michelin Guide wherein the 'starred' restaurants are highlighted. Except for, perhaps, the area around Lyon, Alsace has the highest density of excellent restaurants in France. And, if you are interested in food, the menus are perfectly understandable. If you want one of the great lunches in the world, see if you can eat at the 3 Star 'Auberge De L'Ill' in the village of Illhaeusern near Colmar. You'll probably need to book some weeks in advance (mainly because the ambience, service and the food are all so 'OK'.)

luvtotravel Apr 4th, 2006 06:03 PM

adeben -- I can see I touched a nerve. There were three of us ladies traveling together, and none of us were impressed with the cuisine in Alsace. Maybe it was our restaurant choices. We were there for only a week.

mimosa Apr 4th, 2006 08:42 PM

Alsace I found beautiful but I did not like the food. The wine, the beer, however, are great.

HunyBadger May 8th, 2006 08:47 AM

Willards, have you rented a car in Frankfurt before? We did the Nordschleife last year (we too, are car nuts) and the hardest part was getting the car....(ok, so we were jet lagged and pretty rusty reading German so it took us a while to find the rental place.) The checkin is downstairs and a small walk along the outside of the terminal to get to the booths. Once you get the car though, the drive is easy along the autobahns. Oh, and get a good atlas when there...I felt that the maps I got in the US(Michelin) were not detailed enough. You can get maps at the Frankfurt airport.

One of our party drove Hokenheim and just loved it! We didn't stop there ourselves so I don't have first hand experience tho.

Just a quick note that the Nordschleife will be closed for a BMW CCA school Aug 14-16 this year. We did it last year and enjoyed it so much we are doing it again, this time with a euro delivery. Might want to check DTM and FormalaOne race schedules just to make sure you don't conflict with them.

Oh, yeah...one more thing about the rental car on the 'Ring...check your lugnuts after each lap. Most rentals are perfectly fine for the track but we found that after a number of laps the lugs got loose.

bellacqui May 9th, 2006 02:06 AM

The Alsace cuisine is a very specific blend of Southern German and Eastern French foods. THe classic Alsace dishes are really not to be enjoyed in the summer, are however more fit for a winter evening after a long walk in the woods. The sausages and smoked pork which tops the juniper-berry and white wine laden sauerkraut balances well with a strong Alsace Gewürtztraminer.

Another beautiful town in the Rheingau (I am an Eltville fan) is Kiedrich. Lovely positioning, set in the vineyards, alot of French/German flair.

Another lovely town on the drive through the Odenwald on the way to Heidelberg is Michelstadt.

Diana


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