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Germany: From the Mosel to Munich - A Detailed Trip Report

Germany: From the Mosel to Munich - A Detailed Trip Report

Mar 28th, 2008, 10:30 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,691
Sorry for the delay in posting the next installment. You know... sometimes life gets in the way of living.

missypie - We have no problem recommending any of the hotels we stayed at. Many of them we chose because we found them recommended here at Fodor's.

Perhaps we were most pleased with Gastehaus Edith in Rothenburg, because of the package deal which included the half-board. I think, also, since we couldn't find any recommendations for her hotel, we were a bit unsure about what to expect, but found ourselves pleasantly surprised and happy with her accomodations. Sometimes you just need to go out on a limb.

In addition to a delicious and abundant buffet breakfast, we were treated most graciously by the staff and proprietors of all of the hotels, some of them going out of their way to help make our stay extra special.

At the Hotel Weierich in Bamberg they served us champagne with breakfast, in honor of our 30th wedding anniversary. Peter, at the Pension Westfalia in Munich, was happy to hold our luggage for two nights while we toured southern Bavaria with only a small bag. We were thrilled when the proprietor at the Pension Albrecht in Hohenschwangau offered to make us scrambled eggs for breakfast.

The cheapest hotel we stayed at was the Hotel am Markt in St. Goar, which also had the cheapest room decorations. The armoire looked and opened like it had come from Ikea, and hadn't been assembled properly. But other than that, the room and bedding was clean, but sparse.

The room at the Alte Thorschenke in Cochem, with it's wooden canopy bed and other antiques, was really cool (will I ever get husband to sleep under a canopy again?). Our room at the Hotel Alpenrose in Mittenwald was decorated in typical Bavarian style (painted wood, beams). And Edith put us in the Egyptian room, which I thought a strange theme for Rothenburg, but none the less, it was nicely decorated with a sofa, and soft, fluffy towels that matched the decor (I think you can see the room on her website).

I hope I have a chance to get the next few days of our journey posted before the weekend is over. Please bear with me...

Robyn >-
artstuff is offline  
Mar 29th, 2008, 02:50 AM
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Day Ten (18 Oct, Thursday) - BAMBERG

Up until now we have had exceptionally nice weather for our journey, 70-80 degree (F) days with sunshine, a little cool in the evenings and mornings. But yesterday the clouds started to roll in, and this morning it was cold and dreary, and beginning to sprinkle outside.

Our hotel was conveniently located in the Alstadt section of Bamberg, so after bulking up on our traditional German buffet breakfast, we went around the corner and took the pedestrian bridge over the Regnitz River that leads to the Geyersworth Palace, and the Tourist Information Center. The footbridge provides the best place to view the Altes Rathaus (c.1460), and the half-timbered Rottmeisterhäuschen (c.1668), which juts out from the Rathaus, and seems to dangle over the river. It’s quite an impressive sight, and I’m sure would look even more amazing with the sun illuminating the wonderful paintings on the side of the Rathaus. But alas, it was a gloomy-gray, rainy day.

After picking up a map and purchasing our Bamberg guide from the TI, we retraced our steps across the river to the Domplatz, where we decided to first tour through the Bamberg Neue Residenz (c.1605-1703), which was included on our Bavarian Castle Pass.

However, when we tried to use the pass, the German clerk refused to honor it, but we couldn’t figure out why! Luckily, an English-speaking clerk showed up and explained that the date written on the back had expired! What?!?!?! It was supposed to be a pass for 14 days, and we just bought it yesterday!! It seems that when we purchased the ticket the day before at the Wurzburg Residenz, the clerk there wrote the wrong month on the ticket, using a 9 for September, instead of a 10 for October. The English-speaking clerk realized there was obviously an error, so they allowed us in to tour the palace. They did suggest that we find the receipt from purchasing the pass and carry it with us when using it in the future.

We joined a small German speaking tour, and found the Bamberg Neue Residenz most impressive, but not nearly as preserved or decorated as the Wurzburg Residenz. Like most of Bamberg, the Residenz did not suffer severe damage during WWII, so likewise, there wasn’t a lot of money being pumped into it, post-war, for restoration.

It was raining pretty heavy when we left the Residenz, so we quickly scooted across the street and entered the Imperial Cathedral of St. Peter and St. George (c.13th cent), through the Door of Grace (check out the “Cathedral Toad” outside). The Cathedral was quite crowded, unlike the Residenz, but we quickly found a little alter where we could light a candle for Karen, our dear friend who suffers from MS.

We tried to ingest what we were looking at, but I must confess, we don’t remember much of the Cathedral at all. We’re not even sure if we saw the Bamberg Rider. We both kept thinking about the screwed up Bavarian Castle Pass. We couldn’t get it off our mind. Since we still needed to use the pass for 6 more days, we had to deal with the wrong date issue, so we could relax, and get on with our holiday.

Back at our hotel room we searched for a receipt, but could not find one. We found a receipt for Euro 5,00 for a book that we bought at the same time, but the Euro 36,00 transaction for the pass was not listed anywhere. Sh*t! Now we’re really feeling screwed. We did, however, have our receipts from both the Wurzburg Residenz and the Marienburg Fortress, which showed yesterday’s date and zero amount charged for entrance.

So armed with our paperwork, we walked through the drizzling rain, back up to the Bamberg Residenz, to see if they could issue a new pass, or do something to correct the error. The German speaking clerk was the only one around, and he wanted no part of us. He more or less shooed us away. At this point, we were really getting frustrated, and feeling like we’ve been ripped off. We decided to go back to the Bamberg Tourist Information Center and see if they can suggest anything.

Well, a dozen roses for Frau Schmidt. She picked up the phone and called the Wurzburg Residenz and spoke with a Herr Eisenberg about our situation. He confirmed that our pass number had been sold yesterday, and that indeed, the clerk wrote the incorrect dates on the back. Frau Schmidt corrected the dates, and wrote a note in German on the pass, with Mr. Eisenberg’s name and number, and told us if anyone gave us any trouble using the pass, just to call Mr. Eisenberg. We were delighted as we left the TI. So now, we could finally get on with our holiday…

Our main mission in Bamberg was to check out some of their many breweries. Our other mission was to do a load or two of laundry. By now, it had stopped raining, so we quickly walked backed to our hotel, grabbed our laundry, then headed across town, over two rivers, to Untere Konigsstrass 28, and dropped our laundry at the Bamberger Waschsalon. We thought it was a do-it-yourself Laundromat, but the attendant seemed to want to do it for us, so we let her. It ended up costing us Euro 15,80 to have two loads washed and dried.

We chose this waschsalon because it was located down the street from several breweries that we wanted to visit, so our first stop was the Brauerei Spezial at Obere Konigstrasse 10, which has been around since 1536, and in the same family since 1898. B.J. ordered a Rauchbier and I ordered a Radler (mixture of Pils or Helles with lemon-lime soda), and we both ordered sausages, sauerkraut and bread for lunch. B.J. enjoyed his Rauchbier and found the smoky flavor to be much more prominent as he got to the bottom of the glass. And I really enjoyed my Radler, but then again, my soda of choice when I’m at home is a 7-up, so the beer and lemon-lime mixture was a good combination for me. We spent Euro 11,20 on lunch and drinks, and then we were on our way to the next brewery…

We didn’t have far to go, just down the street, at #38, the Bamberger Weissbierhaus. They had a sign outside, but when we opened the door, we found ourselves walking into the kitchen!?! Not sure if we had the right place, we went back out side, but could not find another open door that would take us into a bar/restaurant. Oh well, on to the next one. You can’t see them all, anyway.

We crossed Obere Konigstrasse and walked back down the street to #19/21, the Brauerei Fassla, where we had a heffe-weissen. I’ve had weiss beer out of a bottle back home, but there is something about a weissen on tap, in the proper glass, that really tastes delicious! Sitting there, watching the locals, we were feeling quite happy – we were on holiday, we were drinking good beer, it had stopped raining, the pass problem was out of the way, AND, we would have clean under ware and socks for the rest of our trip.

Afterwards, we wandered around the area between the two rivers, checking out the vendors on the Maximiliansplatz, walking down the Gruner Markt, and cutting through the University area to Little Venice. Okay, we made the mistake and approached Little Venice, looking at the backside of the houses. Not quite as impressive as looking at them from the front, across the Markusbrucke.

We eventually circled around and picked up our laundry. On the way back to the hotel, we passed by Schrelenka Braueri, so we decided to give it another try. Perhaps it wouldn’t be as crowded this afternoon… but it was, and still way too smoky. So we ended up, once again, down the street at Ambrausianum where I ordered a glass of white wine and B.J. ordered a glass of Helles on tap, which turned out to be his most favorite beer on the whole trip. His hat’s off to the brewmaster.

Back to the hotel to put our laundry away, then off to another brewery. This one was the Klosterbrau, located at Obere Muhlbrucke 3, which has been around since 1533, and in the same family since 1852! I ordered a Hefeweissen and B.J. ordered a Vollbier, which is a brown beer, and much darker than he is use to drinking. Between the smoky atmosphere, and the beer which he didn’t enjoy, B.J. started getting a bit woozy, and went outside for some fresh air, leaving me in the bar by myself to finish my beer. Which I did, and by the time I got outside, he was feeling much better.

Our hotel, the Weierich, has a restaurant downstairs, and we had noticed they were offering a special tonight – Rumpsteak with Pomme Frittes and salat for Euro 6.95 each. We had a delicious dinner with a couple of beers, for Euro 21,70 total. We particularly enjoyed talking with our waitress, when she had the time to spend with us. If I remember correctly, she was originally from the Ukraine (?) and married to a US serviceman stationed in Germany, and she was very excited about one day coming to the US. She was very intelligent and enthusiastic, and helped make our evening a very pleasant one. Afterwards we crawled up the stairs, where we collapsed in our very comfortable room.

Bamberg – www.bamberg.info
Hotel Weierich - http://www.hotel-weierich.de
Brauerei Spezial - http://www.brauerei-spezial.de/
Brauerei Fassla - http://www.faessla.de/englisch.phtml
Ambrausianum Brauerei - http://www.ambraeusianum.de/index1.html
Klosterbrau - http://www.klosterbraeu.de/Bamberg/index_micro.htm
Bamberg Beer Guide - http://www.franconiabeerguide.com/Ci...p?City=Bamberg
Laundromat - http://www.bamberger-waschsalon.de/
artstuff is offline  
Mar 29th, 2008, 06:33 AM
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Day Eleven (19 Oct, Friday, Rail Pass) - NUREMBERG, MUNICH

Today’s a travel day so we were up early to finish packing and grab breakfast. The woman from the hotel who we made our reservations with remembered that we were travelling for our 30th wedding anniversary, so she served us each a glass of champagne with breakfast. We were pleasantly surprised by this much appreciated added touch that certainly went beyond ordinary hospitality. Having never had champagne with breakfast, we giggled as we toasted to another 30 years together, at least (God willing).

The hotel called a taxi for us, and before we knew it we were whisking off to the train station, with the hotel key stashed in B.J.’s pocket. How embarrassing. The hotel staff was so generous to us just a few minutes ago, and now here we go, leaving with their key. Oh well, another one to mail back to the hotel when we get home.

We were on the train by 9:00, and arriving in Nürnberg at 9:30, where we stashed our luggage in the train station lockers. We followed the crowd through the tunnel passageway, which empties onto the Konigstrasse. It was cold outside and the skies were an ominous gray. We were glad for our winter coats, hats, and gloves.

We started our tour by walking past the medieval Mauthalle (c.1498), or toll hall, then past the Nassauer Haus, which is a medieval tower started in the 13th century as a two-story building. The rest of the floors, the oriel window and the four towers on the top were added during the 15th century.

Further down the road, at the St. Lorenzkirche (c.1260 & 1952), we found the small sculpture, located on the outside left corner of the church, depicting the devil catching a screaming, little child. We walked around the Tugendbrunnen (Well of Virtues), trying to identify the seven virtues: Faith (cross), Love (children), Hope (anchor), Magnanimity (lion), Moderation (jug and vessel), Patience (lamb), and Justice (blindfolded eyes, scales and sword).

We crossed the Pegnitz River, stopping to view the Heilig-Geist Spital (c.1339) which spans the waters, and then we passed by the Frauenkirche (c.1352-1361), which led us into the Hauptmarkt. We both stood quietly for a moment, reflecting out on this beautiful little Market Square, right in the middle of this lovely old city, and we felt a chill come over us. During the reign of the Third Reich, this square was called Adolf Hitler Platz, as it was here that Hitler reviewed his army troops during the Nürnberg Party Rallies. I flashed to my memories of the many pictures I’ve seen of Hitler’s army goose-stepping past him, and it was ‘here’ – so much hate, in such a lovely square. But that was the past…

One of the things that makes the Hauptmarkt so lovely is the 60-foot high, multi-tiered Schoner Brunnen (Beautiful Fountain, c.14th cent), which depicts 40 different saints, prophets, etc, including Moses, Alexander the Great & Julius Caesar (although we couldn’t tell who was who). The vivid colors on the ornamental iron work were just exquisite.

Legend has it that if you turn the golden ring, which is hidden in the metal latticework surrounding the fountain, it will bring you good luck. So off we went to find the ring and give it a twirl. We walked around the fountain several times and began to feel a little defeated when we couldn’t find that darn ring. Just as we were ready to give up, we spied a woman turning it, so we patiently waited for our turn, and then gave it a spin.

We proceeded to walk past the Altes Rathaus (c.1332) and the Gansemannchenbrunnen (Gooseman’s Fountain, c.1550), then ended up at St. Sebalduskirche (c.13th-14th cent), which was heavily damaged during WWII, but has since been completely restored. We ducked inside for a look around, and to warm ourselves up, and light a candle for Karen. We also found a very interesting exhibit about the impact that WWII had on the church and Nürnberg as a whole.

As we were making our way through the displays, an older German gentleman noticed our interest, and proceeded to take us on a tour of his history and highlights of the church. He knew only a few English words, which he would slowly intersperse with German words. I found I could actually grasp what he was trying to teach us (which quite impressed my husband). But, as his excitement grew with his explanations, he would start speaking very fast German, and I would have to raise my hands and shrug my shoulders to get him to start talking slow again. After 15-20 minutes of conversing in GermEnglish with this dear old man, we bid auf Wiedersehen, and we were on our way once again.

We exited St. Sebalduskirche, and noticed a young woman dressed in black, with her long hair pulled up on top of her head, sort of like Connie Conehead from the Saturday Night Live skit. As we made our way around the platz, looking for the entrance to the Felsengange (which we found, but was closed, bummer), we started seeing more “coneheads” roaming around, about a dozen of them, all university age, dressed in black, with the same odd hair-do, and a woman following them around, videotaping the group. We noticed the coneheads talking with other people who were walking through the platz, and after a brief encounter each one of the people continued on their way, with a smile on their face. My curiosity was piqued, so when a conehead approached me, I was anxious to know what was going on.

She slowly and quietly started walking next to me, leaned over and whispered in my ear, “You have nice hair”, then just as quietly and slowly, she walked away from me. Two different women approached B.J. in the same way, one telling him he had a nice smile; the other one told him he had nice eyes. Since the group of Coneheads seemed to be walking in the same direction that we were heading, towards the Kaiserburg, we had several minutes of interaction with them. A few of them stopped long enough to pose with B.J. for some photographs. I asked one of them if this was perhaps a performance art project, or sociology project for university, and she just walked away with a smile. I guess we’ll never really know what we participated in. But if you happen to see a video on You Tube with coneheads from Nürnberg, please let me know (we don’t have a fast enough connection or I’d check myself).

With all the weird activity surrounding us, we completely missed the sign pointing towards the entrance to the Kaiserburg. We ended up turning left when we should have made a right, and walked all around the castle wall trying to figure out how to get in. We came to the conclusion that we would not have made very good medieval marauders – we can’t even find the entrance to the castle when it’s marked with a sign. Our wrong turn did take us past the Albrecht Durer Haus (he lived here from 1509-1528), a wonderful half-timbered home turned into a museum, but we just didn’t have the time to go in.

We eventually found the path that leads up to the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle), where we used our Bavarian Castle Pass to gain entrance (no problem using it, thanks to Frau Schmidt and Herr Eisenburg). We toured through the Kaiserburg Museum, which had an interesting collection of castle artifacts, armor, weapons, and horsemanship items.

We spoke with a teenage son and his parents, who had just flown in from Minnesota, arriving in Germany a few hours earlier. The son was using his Langenscheidt Compact Dictionary to translate the all-German signs on the museum displays. I had to laugh because we have the same dictionary, which we schlepped with us during the entire adventure, and didn’t use once! This was the family’s first stop, and they were very excited about their upcoming adventures.

We spent the rest of the morning touring the museum, climbing the Sinwell Tower for a great view of Nürnberg, and just walking around the castle grounds. The Kaiserburg did offer a guided tour of the complex, but it was only in German, so we decided to pass.

After all, it was well after noon by now, and we were hungry, so we double-backed past the Albrecht Durer Haus, to the Braustubl ‘a Schwarzer Bauer in the Alstadthof complex (Bergstrasse 19), where we had lunch. We ordered a two-person Vesperplatte, which was not what we thought it would be, but we ate it anyway. The brewery, which is supposed to be the smallest one in the country, is on the premises. B.J. enjoyed their Hell on tap and I had a Wiessen. We also shared a glass of their special brewed beer schnapps. Total bill came to Euro 17,60.

Feeling warm and sated, we decided to start making our way back to the Bahnhof, by way of the Weinstadel and Henkersteg, the former wine depot and the Hangman’s Bridge. The Weinstadel was built in the mid 15th century to house lepers, and eventually became a wine depot in 1571. Right next door is the executioner’s home. The wooden footbridge was built in 1457, and the triple-arched Henkersteg was built in 1595!

It’s starting to rain, and of course, our umbrellas were safely stored in the luggage locker at the Bahnhof, so we used the store awnings as cover to dodge the raindrops. By the time we made our way to the Weisser Turm (c.13th cent) and the Ehekarusell (Marriage Carousel Fountain, 1984) it was pouring. We tried to look at some of the weird depictions on the sculpture – monsters, scary women, crazed men, and couples engaging in mayhem – but my glasses were covered with rain and we were both beginning to get really soaked.

We zigged and zagged our way through the streets, using the awnings as umbrellas, until we arrived at the Handwerkerhof, which is by the Bahnhof. We did a quick walk around, popping into some of the merchants’ buildings, then walked through the tunnel, retrieved our bags from the luggage locker and caught the 15:02 to Munich. We could have spent more time in Nürnberg, but we were happy to be out of the rain.

The train ride from Nürnberg to Munich is along one of the newest high-speed rail lines in Germany, which is equipped for line speeds up to 300 km/h. At one point my husband glanced up at the digital display on the ICE train, which is displayed in English and German, and he saw we were doing 178 miles/hour!

By the time we arrived in Munich an hour later it had stopped raining, but it was beginning to get much colder. We took a taxi (Euro 10,00) to our hotel, the Pension Westfalia, located at Mozartstrasse 23 (Euro 84,00/night), and took the elevator to the third floor, where Peter greeted us and helped us check into Room #63, a very large room with a double bed, table and chairs, two sofas and a large mural of houseplants above the headboard.

We took a few minutes to get settled in, and then we went out for a walk-about of our little neighborhood around the Goethe Platz, where you can easily pick up the U-bahn, and also where several roads intersect, most lined with little shops. We scoped out some restaurant possibilities for dinner, and shopped for some provisions (munchies, beer and wine) at the local Tengelmann grocery store, then headed back to our hotel room to inhale a bag of potato chips and relax with a glass of wine / beer while watching German T.V.

Later in the evening we ended up eating dinner at a little Italian restaurant, the Sicilia Antica, at Waltherstrasse 30, where we both had a salad and pizza. B.J. enjoyed a local brewed Hell, then a Wiessbier, and I had a Russe, which is a Wiessbier mixed with lemon/lime soda, like a 7-Up or Sprite. I had a Radler earlier in the trip, which is a Pils or Helles with 7-Up, but I found the Russe had a much more delightfully fresh taste – the kind of drink that would quench your thirst on a hot summer day. We spent Euro 25,50 on dinner, then headed back to the hotel for the evening, getting caught in a little shower of sleet.

Nürnberg - http://www.nuernberg.de/internet/portal_e/index.html
Altstadthof Brewery - http://www.altstadthof.de/index.php?id=11&L=1
Pension Westfalia - http://www.pension-westfalia.de/index2.html
artstuff is offline  
Mar 29th, 2008, 08:12 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,135
Hi Robyn

Really enjoying your TR. Your detailed descriptions of Bamberg and Nurnberg brought me back to my trip which I went about a year ago. Sorry the weather was cold and rainy. I had really nice weather when I was there last April. I guess I should take my husband to Bamberg sometime - he loves beer whereas I don't drink alcohol at all. He'll enjoy the brewery tours your described.

And I'm happy to see that the Bavarian Castle pass debacle was resolved.
yk is offline  
Mar 29th, 2008, 11:09 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,691
Day Twelve (20 Oct, Sat, Innenraum Partner Pass) - NYMPHENBURG, MUNICH

It felt good to sleep in this morning – no big rush to get to our sightseeing today in Munich. Besides, it was cold and dreary outside, and it felt so warm and comfy under our fluffy duvets, in our nice little cozy room. Last evening we had bought a colorful bouquet of flowers for our room at one of the local markets, testing out one of our new collapsible vases my friend, Phyllis, gave me as a birthday gift. It worked great! You run the flat plastic vase under hot water, until you can form it into the vase shape, then you run it under cold water, and it retains its shape.

Peter, the proprietor of the Pension Westfalia served us a very nice Bavarian breakfast, which included a large bowl of strawberry yogurt (love my yogurt in the morning) and a pre-packaged herb cream spread that tasted so delicious it caused me to eat more bread/rolls than usual. Having bulked up on breakfast, we were ready to start our exploration of Munich, so we took the quick walk to the Goerthe Platz, bought our Innenraum Partner pass for Euro 9,00 from the vending machine, and caught the U-Bahn to the Marienplatz.

Within minutes we were emerging onto the Marienplatz, with its ornately decorated Neues Rathaus (c.1867-1908), and hundreds of people, mostly tourists like us, snapping pictures and wandering about. We took photos of the Altes Rathaus (c.1474 & 1944) and the Virgin Mary monument, for whom the platz was named, then we checked our watches and realized we had some time to kill until 11:00, when the Glockenspiele (c1904) springs to life.

We walked down the street to the Frauenkirche (c.1474-94 & 1947-57), where we toured through the church and lit a candle for Karen. We took the time to stop and stand in the Teufelstritt (Devil’s Footprint). Legend has it that the Devil challenged the architect to build a nave without windows. When the architect led the devil to this spot from which the well-lit windows can not be seen, the devil stomped his foot in anger, leaving the Teufelstritt.

We were back on the Marienplatz by 11:00, along with hundreds and hundreds of other people, and found that three to four minutes of the Glockenspiele show was enough for us, so we walked down to the Viktualien Markt, which was a feast for the eyes, nose and palate. Unfortunately, we were still full from our hardy breakfast, and weren’t thinking of the next meal yet.

While doing research for our trip, we became fascinated with the bizarre life of King Ludwig, with his many castles, so a visit to Schloss Nymphenburg was a must. I thought I saw on my tram map that Tram #17 stopped at the Marienplatz, so we wandered all around looking for the tram sign, but couldn’t find it anywhere. We ended up walking down to the Karlsplatz, where we were able to board Tram #17 to Nymphenburg.

By the time we arrived 15 minutes later, it had begun to snow/sleet/rain, so we were glad we had our umbrellas with us this time. The castle complex is huge, and the hike down the driveway is quite long. They had drained some of the water ponds, for winter maintenance, I guess, so all the water fowl were huddling in a mud puddle. The entrance to the castle was covered with scaffolding, which was a bummer, but still a good thing, because that means there is restoration going on.

We stashed our day pack into one of the lockers and used our Bavarian Castle Pass to gain entrance to the Schloss, the Marstallmuseum, the Porcelain Museum, and the Amalienburg. We enjoyed walking through the many beautifully decorated rooms, amazed at the impeccable craftsmanship that went into the construction of this in-your-face opulence, at its finest. Everything was wonderful to look at, but at the same time, we thought about the disparity between rich and poor - will future generations be touring through Bill Gates’ house, ogling at his over-the-top devices? Of the hundreds of rooms that we seemed to wander through, our favorite was the Dog & Hunting Room in the Amalienburg, with the built-in dog houses encircling the room. Also, not to be missed, are the outrageously decorated carriages and sleighs, and Ludwig’s merry-go-round in the Marstallmuseum.

There was a light coating of snow/sleet covering the ground by the time we headed back to Munich. We figured we would take Tram #17 to the Marienplatz, to see where the tram stop was actually located, and grab some lunch/dinner at the Andechser am Dom. Well, we got off the tram at our stop, and walked all around, and nothing looked familiar. When we found ourselves walking along the Ring road, we knew we had definitely screwed up somewhere. Upon closer inspection of our tram map, we discovered the stop we got off was actually the Mariannenplatz.

No problem… we spot an entrance to the U or S-Bahn, and before we know it, we are once again emerging onto the Marienplatz, only this time there are thousands of people on the square, all walking in a thousand different directions. It was mass chaos. We bobbed our way through the crowd to Andechser am Dom, a little pub which is located behind the Frauenkirche, and recommended by someone on Fodors, only to find it too smoky and crowded to enter. We decide to go back to our quiet little neighborhood and eat at one of the restaurants we had scoped out the night before.

Well, who would have thought that everything would be closed on a Saturday night?!? We walked up and down all the little streets adjoining the Goethe Platz, past all the restaurants and little stores, and grocery mart, and everything was closed! Now where to go for dinner?

Back at our hotel room we checked our notes on Munich, which mentioned there was a good selection of restaurants around the Max Weber Platz, so off we went on a series of U-trains, only to strike out again. We couldn’t find much of anything open, sans Burger King, etc… By now we’re feeling very hungry, and very defeated. Usually we have to walk at least eight blocks around our hotel to find dinner, but this has to be an all-time high, or low, for us – we have now taken eight trains to find dinner!!!

Somehow we ended back at the Karlsplatz, where we walked down the Neuhauserstrasse, and stumbled into the Augustiner Grossgaststatte at #27, a nice bierhall/restaurant. We found seats at a table with a young couple and an older gentleman, and ordered up several Wiessbiers for both of us, and dinner – half a roasted chicken with herb stuffing and a salad for each – Euro 28,20 total.

Our table mates were eventually replaced by a young couple from outside Stuttgart, who came to Munich for the weekend. He spoke English very well, and has traveled to the United States several times on business, working for a company that refurbishes printing machines. We enjoyed spending the rest of the evening talking, and drinking our delicious Wiessbiers, served on tap in a wiessenglas, with a foamy head. Yum!

Munich - http://www.muenchen.de/home/60093/Homepage.html
Augustiner Grossgaststatte - www.augustiner-restaurant.com

artstuff is offline  
Mar 29th, 2008, 11:26 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,135
It seems odd that all these restaurants would be closed on a Saturday night. Was it a holiday?
yk is offline  
Mar 29th, 2008, 12:12 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,691
Hi yk -

I'm not familiar with all of Germany's holidays, but it was Saturday, October 20th when we found all the restaurants closed around the Goethe Platz. Maybe it's just conducive of the neighborhood.

By the way, you were one of the many people here at Fodor's who helped us in planning our trip to Germany, so I am thrilled that you are able to share in our memories also.

We had such a wonderful time on our journey, and I'm happy to share my experiences with everyone (hope others are still reading), but I must take a break now, and give my eyes a rest.

Only five more days to go....

Robyn >-
artstuff is offline  
Mar 29th, 2008, 04:10 PM
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Yes, Robyn, I am still reading. Loved your description of Bamberg, we were tossing up whether to spend a night there or not but now its definately
going into our itinerary.
Maudie is offline  
Mar 30th, 2008, 03:29 AM
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Day Thirteen (21 Oct, Sunday, Munchen XXL Partner Pass) – DACHAU, MUNICH

We awoke to a coating of snow/sleet on everything. Brrr… Everyone appeared surprised that it had snowed so early in the season. After breakfast we briskly walked to the U-Bahn station where we bought a München XXL Partner Pass for Euro 11, 80, and then set off to find the Munich Residenz, getting off at the Odeonsplatz. Somehow we ended up at a Numismatics Museum in error, which actually turned out to be a pretty interesting little museum anyway, with many coins dating back before the time of Christ.

By the time we found the correct entrance to the Munich Residenz (c.14th cent), it was raining pretty heavy, so we were happy to get inside. We used our Bavarian Castle Pass to gain entrance; we picked up an audio guide, and then spent several hours touring through the complex, checking out the Treasury first, which was just spectacular. The main attraction was the jewel-imbedded statue of St. George slaying the Dragon, which was just magnificent.

The actual Residenz was HUGE, room after room after room of gilded opulence, in all the colors of the rainbow. The Antiquarium was most impressive, particularly for its size and statuary. And we really liked the Grotto Hall, with the funky fountain configuration plastered with seashells, corals and stones. As an artist, I was thrilled to see that so many artisans were employed in the past, to decorate the rooms, and create the many masterpieces commissioned for the rich and privileged.

When we finally left the Residenz, it was later in the day than we had anticipated, but it had stopped raining, so we were able to pause for a quick look at the Feldherrnhalle before taking the U-Bahn to the Marienplatz.

There we grabbed some sandwiches to go, then boarded the S-2 train to Dachau, before transferring onto Bus 724 to the Concentration Camp – KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau. It had been raining off and on all day, and by the time we stepped off of the bus, it was pouring. We stopped at the information center, where we rented some audio guides. Armed with our umbrellas, audio guides, and map, we splashed our way through the puddles, and walked through “the gate”, the Jourhaus, where the somberness of the place really hit us, particularly enhanced by the gray skies and the cold rain.

We walked through the bunker house first, which served as the camp prison, and where torture and executions were conducted. The building consisted of a long hallway, with doors to tiny, little cells flanking both sides. As you walked down the hall you could pause at several of the rooms and read about the history of some of Dachau’s victims. It was a hauntingly moving experience – the aura of terror and death really permeated our senses.

The former maintenance building now houses an excellent museum, which documents the rise of Hitler and the Third Reich, through the liberation of the camp, and the aftermath of WWII. Some of the exhibits are painful to look at, but at the same time, it is necessary, so that we never forget.

We spent way too much time in the museum, and found ourselves with only ˝ hour left until they closed the memorial site for the day. They had already closed the crematorium, which was perhaps for the best. I’m sure I would have lost it completely if we had toured through the death chambers. Some things are best left unseen.

It had stopped raining, again, for the time being, so we did a quick tour through the two reconstructed barracks, of the original 34, that you can walk through. The barracks were built to house 200 prisoners per building, but by the end of the war they became overcrowded, with up to 2000 prisoners crammed into each unit. The remaining 32 barracks were torn down, but their foundations still remain, filled with stones, so you can envision the size of the camp (although small for 68,000 people!) The whole complex, which is vastly huge, just seems so out of place, nestled in the neighborhood of this tiny German town.

It was now almost 17:30, so B.J. rushed back to the information center before it closed to return the audio guides, and retrieve our driver’s licenses which we had to leave as collateral, while I took a few extra minutes to pause at the memorial sculpture. We have a family friend who was the only member of his family to survive Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, so this visit to Dachau had special meaning for me.

I met up with B.J. at the bus stop and we boarded Bus 724, which was waiting to take us back to the Bahnhof. We sat in the idling bus for 10 minutes, trying to get warm, and waiting to leave, when all of a sudden the bus stalls. The driver tried several times to restart it, to no avail. He finally ordered all of us off the bus, and said another one would arrive in 3-5 minutes. After standing outside for about 20 minutes, the crowd insisted we be allowed back on the broken bus, where it was warmer and dry. It took another 25 minutes before the replacement bus finally showed up and took us back to the train station. At least we were able to spend the time talking with two bio-tech engineers from San Francisco, who were in Germany on business, to buy equipment to set up a plant in Oregon. It was a very interesting conversation.

Back at the Marienplatz, and hungry and thirsty, we decided to try the Andechser Am Dom again. It was less smoky and less crowded, and we were able to share a very large table with four other people at the other end. We ordered some Heffewiessens (we’re getting spoiled having it on tap) and dinner – salad with sesame breaded fried chicken strips for me, and B.J. had sausages (3 plain, 3 spicy, 2 white) with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut – Euro 32,90 total. A nice couple from Maine, Marcia and Max (we think), ended up sharing the two extra seats at our end of the table, so we had a lovely evening chatting with them about travelling in Europe.

It was too early to call it a night, so we walked over to the infamous Hofbrauhaus. What a crazy, large, and loud place! We sat near the oomp-pah band, sharing a table with a couple, and their 21 year old son, from Portsmouth, England. The five of us had an enjoyable time sharing a lot of cultural information about both of our countries, and drinking beer – we each had two 0.50 liters of Heffewiessen, and ended up buying one of those cheesy key rings with my photo on it from the guy with the camera. The band was playing, the crowd was singing, some Oriental tourist was conducting the band, and some really old lady dressed in the traditional female garb, carrying a red thong, was trying to sit at people’s tables. What a crazy way to end the day.

Dachau Memorial Site - http://www.kz-gedenkstaette-dachau.de/
Hofbrauhaus - http://www.hofbraeuhaus.de/en/index_en.html
Munich Transportation - http://www.mvv-muenchen.de/en/index.html
Munich S & U-Bahn Map - http://efa.mvv-muenchen.de/mvv/netzplan_Umgebung.htm

artstuff is offline  
Mar 30th, 2008, 05:54 AM
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Thanks, Maudie, for hanging in there with me.

I'm sure you would not be sorry if you spent some time in Bamberg. Despite the rain, we found it to be a beautiful city, particularly in the Alstadt. We would definately recommend the Hotel Weierich.

If we didn't have the complication with the Bavarian Castle Pass, we probably would have made the trek up to St. Michael's Monastery. There's a brewery museum that we wanted to visit.

Robyn >-
artstuff is offline  
Mar 30th, 2008, 01:30 PM
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Robyn - Glad I was able to help. You helped me a lot in the last couple of years when I was planning trips to Amsterdam & Belgium. If you have more words of wisdom for Belgium, feel free to check my recent post (title Belgian Coast, Bruges, Damme) because husband and I probably will be heading to Belgium in Sept. He's a big beer drinker!
yk is offline  
Mar 30th, 2008, 03:53 PM
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Hi Robyn,
The Hotel Weierich was on my hit list so its great to get your recommendation.
You certainly filled your days well and I love that you took time out to sample the beer and wine!!!! Sounds like our sort of holiday.
Maudie is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2008, 07:10 AM
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I've emailed Edith's and the family suite is available for our dates. I guess I should snatch it up! If you get half board, do you get any choices of what you eat? One of my daughters is a very picky eater.
missypie is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2008, 07:46 AM
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Thanks for the detailed and easy to read trip report! And congrats on your wedding anniversary
TexasAggie is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2008, 09:07 AM
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artstuff--I'm really enjoying your report. Brings back so many fond memories of our trips to Bavaria.
Jake1 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2008, 11:42 AM
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Great report! Very readable and informative. Brought back memories of places I've been and made me want to return to visit some things I missed.
bdjtbenson is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2008, 11:53 AM
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This is a true classic that will be consulted again and again. Thanks so much for all the great info and the time you took to assemble and write all of this for us. On question on format--how do you make your headings and key words within the report bold?
I did that in Word but when I transferred it to the site here, the bolding all got lost.
JulieVikmanis is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2008, 01:43 PM
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Julie, here's the link for directions how to format your posts with HTML tags: bold, italics, underline, colors, and special characters

artstuff, I am really enjoying your report! We were on a 2 week trip in Germany when you started posting, so I'm just now finding it.

We stayed at the Weierich hotel in Bamberg and also found it nice. My daughter especially appreciated the computer with free internet access that was in the upstairs hallway. The weather was really cold when we were there, but I enjoyed my brief time walking the towns streets and poking into all the churches. We had a very short stop in Rothenburg o d T and will return there another time.

I love the way you arranged for a tour of your ancestral towns. On this most recent trip we visited a bunch of our villages (some no more than wide spots in the road) and I just had to imagine what these places were like.

I'm going to save your report for a future trip to Germany - you did a lot of things I'd love to do. I hope you give a little summary ranking the towns and sights!
noe847 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2008, 06:37 PM
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missypie - Our first and only half-board experience was with Edith, and she served a pre-set menu. We actually enjoyed not having to make any decisions about eating. We just showed up at 6:30 and she started serving us.

But I'm sure you could ask Edith ahead of time what she was planning on serving, so you don't have any surprises. Or perhaps you could e-mail her with a dietary request (i.e. vegetarian, no red meat, etc..). She was a very gracious host who I'm sure would try to accomodate her guests.

When are you planning on travelling to Germany?

Julie I type my report up in Word, then I cut and paste it into "post my reply"...then I do the bold editing, using the HTML formatting that noe847 refers to.

noe847 How cool that you were able to visit some of your family home towns also. It was such a rush for me to walk the same streets that my ancestors once trod upon, some 400 years ago. We really lucked out finding Barbara, our tour guide. She really helped to make our day extra special.

We completely missed the computer/internet connection at the Hotel Weireich. Our room was two flights up, in the front. Did we walk right past it?

yk As soon as I finish posting my Germany trip report I will again allow myself the pleasure of perusing other European threads, so I'll look for your Belgium thread then (since you have until September, and it better not take me that long to finish this report). In the mean time, In Brugge I can recommend de Garre as an excellent place for a glass of beer. It's located down a little alley off of the Markt. I'll have to dig out my notes and see if I have an address. Also check out the following link which is a very good European Beer Guide.


everyone else Thanks for stopping by and checking out my trip report. I love the fact that my memories are sparking memories in other travelers. Dream on...

Robyn >-
artstuff is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2008, 06:45 PM
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For some reason the link for the European Beer Guide didn't completely highlight in blue for "clicking & linking".

You will need to cut and paste the whole address (the blue and the black part) in order to open up the website.

Robyn >-
artstuff is offline  

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