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Germany Itinerary for July 2007:Advice Sought

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Germany Itinerary for July 2007:Advice Sought

Old Oct 15th, 2006, 11:52 AM
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Germany Itinerary for July 2007:Advice Sought

2 female teachers and one husband are ready to plan next summer's trip. We have 11 nights: Will fly into Frankfurt from California, then may either rent a car or do the train, depending on final itinerary.
At this point our rough draft includes:

Nights 1-2: Colchem (something closer to Frankfurt perhaps?)Bacharach maybe?

Nights 3-4 Rothenburg
Nights 5-6 Fussen or ??
Nights 7-8 Salzburg
Nights 9-11 Munich

Both the Mosel and the Romantic Road sound good to us. We've already spent time in other areas. We love wine (beer is good, too!),exploring castles, history, wandering and soaking up the ambience, trying local food, and checking out art/architecture.
Afterwards,husband flies home, and the 2 teachers continue on to Prague for 4 nights. We'll fly home from there.

I've read some great trip reports, scoured travel guides, and need help fine tuning our stay. Suggestions appreciated!
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Old Oct 16th, 2006, 04:28 AM
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Hi An,

>2 female teachers and one husband ...<

I thought that was more of a Utah or an Arkansas thing than CA.

It's about 2 hr by car from Frankfurt airport to Cochem. That's about my limit for driving jet-lagged.

Have you considered heading for Wurzburg (about 1 hr) for your first night(s) and traveling the Romantic Road toward Fuessen?

See
www.romanticroad.com/default.htm#index

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Old Oct 16th, 2006, 05:08 AM
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A couple of years ago, we stayed at the Auf Schoenburg Castle Hotel in Oberwesel on the Rhine River. It was one of the highlights of our trip.

Last year, we spent 3 days in Beilstein (a few miles from Cochem) on the Mosel at Hotel Haus Lipmann. Again, we had a wonderful stay. This is a beautiful part of the river. We did day trips to Cochem and Burg Eltz, a must see for anyone in the area.

This year, we stayed 3 days at the Rhein Hotel in Bacharach and loved this little town. We did day trips to St. Goar and Boppard where we took the chairlift for a lovely view of the Rhein and surrounding area.

All of the above were less than 2 hrs from Frankfurt Airport. And you can be in Rothenburg in less than 3 hrs from any of these locations.

From Bacharach, you could even make a stop in Bad Wimpfen (near Heidelberg on the Neckar River) for an hour or two and continue on to Rothenburg in plenty of time. (See viamichelin for details.) BW is one of my most favorite villages in Germany and well worth a stop.

I would suggest traveling by car. It is probably more cost efficient for 3 people traveling together and gives you more flexibility.
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Old Oct 16th, 2006, 01:26 PM
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Hi
Please consider jet lag, especially flying from CA to Germany. Think about your first day in frankfort. Enjoy your trip.
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Old Oct 16th, 2006, 01:34 PM
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When my fiance Sarah and I turned my buisness trip into a vacation in July I sort of followed this nice lady's itinerary.
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...t=0&dirtyBit=1
It was great and her pictures on her website http://seange.blogspot.com/2006_05_0...e_archive.html
are awesome (especially of King Ludwigs castle though I couldn't figure out how they got where they took the pictures). Definately spend a day or two in Salzburg and if you like classical music they have amazing shows at night. In Munich, there are soo many beautiful churches to go to, you could plan a day hike just for them. Have a great time and drink lots of Paulaner beer for me.
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Old Oct 16th, 2006, 01:48 PM
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I agree with Aiger, you may consider overnighting in Mainz which can be reached by a direct train (S bahn), at least it used to be. From Mainz you can get on the Rhine boat (DK) which can be boarded just east of the riverfront Hilton hotel. Plenty of reasonable hotels in Mainz and dinner at the Heiligen Geist which is an old church (Holy Ghost) that was converted into a restaurant(good German food & wine at very reasonable prices). Alteratively you can take the IC train (best value for speed/price) or the RE train which is the cheapest but slower. Either one will get you to Bacharach much faster than the snail speed Rhein cruise. For simplicity you can stay in Mainz and make Bacharach as a daytrip by returning by train to Mainz.

I'm not a fan of Cochem on the Mosel which you can also reach by train from the airport by changing train in Koblenz. Cochem to me feels too cheesy & the narrow streets are too overcrowded by local retirees who came by the busloads. Wall to wall people at certain times of the day. It is a nice town otherwise.

I would rent a car from there (Mainz/Koblenz train station)to go to Rothenburg. I particularly enjoyed my stop at a small village called Miltenberg just south of the freeway after Hanau/Frankfurt before you reach Asschaffenburg. We've stayed at the most attractive inn called Am Weinmarkt ($100 for the oriel suite including breakfast), very quaint & authentic; filled with attractive colorful woodwork buildings (Fachwerk). Alternatively, you can just make a day stop at Wurzburg to see the beautiful palace called Residenz before reaching Rothenburg.

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Old Oct 16th, 2006, 03:45 PM
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Wow, I am so very grateful for the impressive posts helping me with our itinerary.

Ira, good call about the 2 teachers and one husband comment
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Old Nov 24th, 2006, 07:39 PM
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Okay, I've finetuned the itinerary a little bit, but need to do more.

Arrive Frankfurt in a.m. Train to:
Bacharach- 2 nights (Pension Lettie)
Cochem- 2 nigths (Alte Thorschenke)
Rothenburg- 2 nights (Haus Karin)
then... and this is fuzzy-
Fussen for 1 night
Munich- 2 nights
Salzburg- 2 nights

Perhaps I will eliminate a stay in Salzburg, and just do a one-day visit by train from Munich?? Afterwards, we go to Prague by train.
Concerns- is it "too" much to spend the 2 days apiece in Bacharach, Cochem, and Rothenburg? I see that bacharach and Cochem are not far from each other.
Thanks for any input!
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Old Nov 25th, 2006, 04:51 AM
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Hi A,

Wouldn't it be better to visit Cochem then Bacharach on your way to Rothenburg (perhaps via Heidelberg)?

As you say, B and C are close together. You might want to stay in B and visit C as a daytrip.

You might want to consider making the Rothenburg to Fussen drive an overnight.
There is a lot to see on the Romantic Road. (see www.romanticroad.com)

>Perhaps I will eliminate a stay in Salzburg, and just do a one-day visit by train from Munich?? Afterwards, we go to Prague by train. <

It's more convenient to get to Prague from Munich. There is the 23:07 night train.

From Salzburg, you have to change trains in Munich to connect to the 23:07. otherwise you have the 04:47 direct train.

See www.bahn.de

Enjoy your visit.

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Old Nov 25th, 2006, 09:50 AM
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Glad to see you're visiting the Mosel. It was our favorite part of our visit to southern Germany.

Re Fussen, do you realy want to visit the town or do you just want to go to Neuschwanstein? If the latter, you can stay in the town of Hohenschwangau at the base of the hills where sit Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles. Maybe arrive there in late day after the drive from Rothenburg, see the castle(s) the next morning, then move on to Munich. (Another nearby stop is the Wieskirche, a beautiful Baroque church set in fields.)
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Old Nov 25th, 2006, 12:02 PM
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For the Fussen portion of your trip, I agree, if your goal is to see the castles, then staying in Hohenschwangau makes a lot of sense. There isn't a lot to the town, but it is right between the Ludwig castles and the views of each are great. We visited during the day (stayed in Reutte, Austria, right across the border, which was also good), and I was thinking that it would be a lot of fun to wander around the Hohenschwangau area early in the day or in the evenning after the day trippers had gone away. There is a really picturesque lake there plus the beautiful forest and mountains.

On the Munich versus Salsburg question, I haven't been to Salsburg, but I have been to Munich and loved it. So given that it is easier to get to Prague from Munich than Salsburg and Munich is such a cool city, I would stay in Munich the extra days and just spend more time time seeing that city.
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Old Nov 25th, 2006, 03:36 PM
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Hi,
Just my two cents here...If your just interested in seeing Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles, I'd stay in Fussen. We've been there twice and think it's a very nice old town, plus it's only a few miles away from the castles. I agree with seeing the Wieskirche, it is beautiful. Also, Andechs Monestary is a very worthwhile stop enroute to Munich. Good food and beer in their beer garden and yet another beautiful church.
www.andechs.de

Paul
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Old Nov 26th, 2006, 09:25 AM
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Wonderful input! Thanks for bringing up some good points and suggestions. Need to research one-way car rentals to decide where and when we can pick up a car and drop it off when we arrive Munich.
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 03:33 PM
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It's been almost four months since my first draft of the itinerary, now I'm looking at:
Nights 1-3: Bacharach (day trip to Cochem, etc)
Nights 4-5: Rothenburg
Nights 6-7: Fussen
Nights 8-9: Salzburg
Nights 10-11: Munich

This way we don't have any one-nighters. Is there reason to stay in Fussen 2 nights? Probably would get there the evening of the first night, do the castles the next day, explore other parts of the area, and last day take early train to Salzburg (via Munich?).
Trains sound good, but at some point it we'd like to rent a car for a few days. Any suggestions for which part?
As always, thanks for any tips!
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 04:41 PM
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Hi,
We happen to like Fussen, so my opinion would be that 2 nights (since you'll arrive late the first day) is good.
After the touring the two castles, maybe take a ride on the Tegelbergbahn and/or the luge ride (we had a blast) about a mile from castles. Nice outdoor restaurant/cafe at the top with beautiful Alp views.
www.stadt-fuessen.de
www.tegelbergbahn.de
www.hotel-hechten.com
We stayed at the Zum Hechten on two seperate trips, very nice place in the old center and easy (free) parking in the hotel lot.
As far as transportation...we love having a car in Bavaria and Austria. I would pick up a car at Frankfurt and return it in Munich. My view is that driving is quite easy and you can stop along the way whenever you want. Having the car (and maybe not using it) in Salzburg for the day and a half isn't the worst thing.
Oh, if you love wine, try a "Honig" wine at Gasthof Krone while in Fussen. Fantastic! Last trip we brought 4 bottles home with us.
www.krone-fuessen.de

Paul
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 10:38 AM
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Andeesue, my husband and I did a similar trip last July/August. We flew into Frankfurt, picked up our car rental in Kelsterbach, then drove to Cochem for two nights. We were able to visit Beilstein as well during this time. Beilstein is extremely small and only took us a 2/3 hours to see it and that included lunch. If you rented a car, you would definitely have enough time to stop and see other villages/towns along the Mosel/Rhein. The drive from Kelsterbach (10 minutes out of Frankfurt) to Cochem was fast and only took us 1.5 hours (w/o stopping). We stayed at the Alte Thorschenke in Cochem.

After Cochem we took the back roads towards Rothenburg (we had GPS thank god), passing Heidelberg and driving along the Neckar river and the not far off our path was Bad Wimpfen. We chose not to stop as to get to Rothenburg faster. We loved Rothenburg - what a gem of a village. Many say it's touristy, but we had never been so it was all new to us. We stayed at the Burg Hotel and I have to say this was my favorite hotel of the whole trip. Well, it's at least up there with our other favorite. We spent 2 nights in Rothenburg and found that to be plenty.

We then drove down the Romantic Road and made stops in Dinkelsbuhl and Nordlingen arriving in Munich early evening. We stayed at the Hotel Uhland in Munich. We were in Munich for two nights as well with a partial day trip to Dachau.

After Munich we took the scenic route (through Austria) down to Fussen making a pit stop in Oberammergau. In Fussen we stayed at Suzanne's B&B and spent a good part of one day at Neuschwanstein. A great place for dinner in Fussen is Ritterstub'n in the pedestria area. The best Tomato cream soup and cheese cream soup we ever had.

We then headed towards Meersburg and into Switzerland.

I have a 41 page (typed) journal of sorts that I wrote during our trip but I did not post it due to it being so long and very very detailed. If you have any questions on hotels, restaurants or anything else, I'd be more than happy to help if I can.

I received lots of great information from other posters on this board so I'm sure there is enough on here to keep you busy for awhile. Have fun in planning!
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Old Feb 8th, 2007, 06:41 AM
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Many thanks for the great suggestions, pja1 and katzen (and others' earlier posts). I just changed my hotel reservations so won't have any one-nighters. Figuring out when to pick up/drop off a rental car is my next task. Really don't want one for the entire time. Maybe the second day in Bacharach and drop off in Fussen, train to Munich/Salzburg...
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Old Feb 8th, 2007, 07:32 AM
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Sounds like a nice trip. A few suggested adjustments:

Salzburg is actually a good daytrip from Munich - train takes 1.75 - 2 hours each way, but days are long ins summer, and this can be done on a Bayern ticket - 27 Euros there and back, I think, for your whole party. Maybe just add one night to your stay in Munich.

This gives you one more day in the Rhine/Mosel region, a very good idea considering your first day will likely be shot by jet-lag and getting there. A car is convenient here for a short visit. But you can't really get a car in Bacharach, and driving there on jet lagged bottoms isn't the best plan. I'd suggest on day 1 heading to Koblenz by train (3 Euros each to Mainz, get a Rheinland-Pfalz ticket from there to Koblenz - 25 Euros for all 3 of you.) Check in, relax, nap, have a meal, and pick up a car that evening, park it at your hotel.

On day 2, head to your Bacharach (or other) hotel for 3 nights. I'd actually suggest "other" here. Bacharach doesn't require much time - attractive but not a lot to do or see there, not as centrally located for seeing the sights. Drive down the Rhine and see Bacharach, St. Goar, maybe Boppard, perhaps take a short Rhine cruise, then head to a Mosel town destination for nights 2-4. Cochem is actually a great base - more to do here. From there, you can head up to Burg Eltz (one of the top castle tours in Europe), Bernkastel (gorgeous wine village, albeit with summer tourists), Beilstein, and Trier, a good destination for teachers, with its interesting Roman history, ruins, and UNESCO World Heritage buildings. Bad Bertrich is a nearby spa town. Biking and hiking are excellent from nearby Bullay and Alf. Cochem itself has lots of atmosphere and good eateries, and its own castle too - good falconry show there.

Then drive to Rothenburg and on to Fuessen, or drop the car somewhere larger along the way.

That's what I'd do, anyway.

Have a good trip.

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Old Feb 8th, 2007, 07:35 AM
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Also, there are a number of summer wine and other festivals in the Rhine/Mosel area; what are your travel dates, exactly?
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Old Feb 8th, 2007, 02:32 PM
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Russ, we arrive Frankfurt July 4, and leave Munich July 15 for Prague. I'd love to know of any wine festivals!
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