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"Happy weekend" tickets for the Rhine area -- also, can I use these on K-D cruises?

"Happy weekend" tickets for the Rhine area -- also, can I use these on K-D cruises?

Sep 27th, 2004, 03:29 AM
  #1  
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"Happy weekend" tickets for the Rhine area -- also, can I use these on K-D cruises?

Hi, I know that this topic has been addressed many times, but could the experts please enlighten me on this again?

I'll arrive in Frankfurt this Saturday morning, and I'll take a train to Ruedesheim. I'll leave for Cologne some time on Sunday -- probably early afternoon.

1. Would it be worthwhile to purchase one of these "happy weekend" tickets? There'll be two of us.

2. I think that I can only use these tickets on "slow" trains -- are there train segments that I won't be able to use these tickets on? (I expect to take the train to Ruedesheim from FRA airport -- do I need to switch at FRA Hbf, by the way? I expect to take the train while exploring the Rhine Valley. Then I expect to take the train from Ruedesheim to Cologne.)

3. By the way, what's the best way to get to Cologne from Ruedesheim? I guess I can switch to a fast train in Frankfurt. Otherwise I switch in Koblenz (?). Is one way more economical than the other?

4. Can I use the train ticket for the KD cruises? I seem to remember that there are at least some discounts.

Thanks for your help!
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Sep 27th, 2004, 07:13 AM
  #2  
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ttt
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Sep 27th, 2004, 08:17 PM
  #3  
yk
 
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I don't know the actual answers to all you Qs, but I'll try (and topping it too)

1. The Happy Weekend ticket last until 3pm on the following day, I believe. So it'll be worthwhile if your trip from Ruedesheim to Cologne is before 3pm on Sunday. (check bahn's website - it's in German but I think that's what it says.)

2. If you take the "slow" trains, from FRA airport (Frankfurt Flughafen) to Ruedesheim, it involves taking the S bahn train S8 from Fra Flughafen to Wiesbaden Hbf, then change for an RB train to Ruedesheim. At least that's what DB's schedule suggests.

3. From Ruedesheim to Cologne - not sure. But if you want to use the Happy weekend ticket, you'll have to change in Koblenz. The price on DB's schedule is € 21,20 per person, so you'll save $ by getting the Happy weekend ticket.

4. I really don't think you'll get a discount on K-D, but won't hurt to try.

Didn't realize you're leaving this weekend, thought it's not til next week. Still taking the LSAT?
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Sep 28th, 2004, 02:57 AM
  #4  
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Hi yk, thanks for taking the time to look. I also looked on DB's website yesterday and I agree with what you suggest. It doesn't affect me, but my take is that the Happy Weekend ticket seems to be good for one day only (and not for the entire weekend) -- but since I'll be in Cologne by Sunday afternoon, it won't matter.

As far as the KD cruise is concerned, I did a search and found a old post by Russ, who said that the ticket can't be used on the cruise. He seems to be our German expert. But maybe I'll check again when I get there.

I decided to postpone the LSAT to December. It's much harder than I was expecting -- I'm doing quite poorly on the sample tests. I've a newly found respect for lawyers.
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Sep 28th, 2004, 05:50 AM
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If you're only going as far as Rudesheim on the first day, regular tickets from FRA Flughafen (airport) to R'heim (no stop in Frankfurt city) will cost 6 Euros each. Get them from the green/blue RMV ticket machines in the Regionalbahnhof at Frankfurt Airport. The Weekend ticket is not good on the boats, so only get the weekend ticket if you plan further travel by train on Saturday.

The weekend ticket is good until 3 a.m. the following morning. It will save some cash on Sunday if going to Cologne. You can buy one at the one ticket window in Rudesheim(if open) or from the ticket machines there, or in advance on the previous day from a counter in the Regionalbahnhof at the airport. You can ride the RE or RB trains (RE are fastest - fewer stops) from Rudesheim to Cologne with a change in Koblenz probably - no need to return to Frankfurt! The train follows the river nearly the entire way.
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Sep 28th, 2004, 06:05 AM
  #6  
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Thanks Russ!

I'll most probably be using the trains more on Saturday, so I should probably get the weekend ticket on Saturday. It'll be an incentive for me to get to Cologne before 3pm on Sunday. (It not, I'll get another weekend ticket.)

Now, another quick question -- as yk pointed out and the Bahn's website confirms this, one route from FRA airport to Ruedesheim suggests taking the S-Bahn to Wiesbaden station and then switching to a train. Is the weekend ticket good on the S-Bahn?

Thanks again.
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Sep 28th, 2004, 06:12 AM
  #7  
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Oops, silly me. I guess the Saturday ticket will run out at 3am on Sunday. So I'll need to buy a separate one on Sunday.

Whether I buy one on Saturday will depend on how much traveling I do on the train on Saturday, I guess. Are the
trains along the Rhine expensive? The Bahn website doesn't list the fare from Ruedesheim to Boppard, for example. I think that I only plan to go as far north as this, but I may use the train along both banks of the river at least once or twice.

But the ticket should save me about 10 Euros on Sunday, it looks like.

Thanks again!

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Sep 28th, 2004, 06:30 AM
  #8  
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Ok, while I don't really read German, the web page does say that the ticket is good on the S-Bahn:

http://www.bahn.de/d_regional/view/b...e_ticket.shtml
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Sep 28th, 2004, 06:44 AM
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It'll cost about 13 Euros one way per person to get from Rudesheim to Boppard Via Koblenz - so just get the weekend ticket and ride at whim.

I'd suggest a stop in Braubach (same side of river as Rudesheim and a bit south of Koblenz, to tour Marksburg Castle - maybe 20-25 minute uphill walk from the Braubach train station, or take the little shuttle up from the middle of town for a couple of Euros.) You can see plenty of castles from the river boats, but having a walk through is far more entertaining and educational.
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Sep 28th, 2004, 06:52 AM
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Oops -- I had to take Braubach and Marksburg off the list. Do you think that this should be left on?

While I'm a typically rushed traveler, even I can't figure out how I can possibly fit

1. Boppard chairlift
2. St. Goar (ruins)
3. Assmannshausen/Ruedesheim chairlift and cable car
4. Rhine cruise

in with Marksburg. It looks like round-trip travel time to Marksburg will be at least 2 hours. I think that I'll arrive in Ruedesheim around 1 on Saturday and I should probably leave for Cologne around 1 the next day. The hours for Marksburg are 10-5, I think.

Would you put Marksburg over any of the other attractions on the list already? I suppose if I really force myself, I can skip the Cologne museums, but I sort of want to see them. (I fly from Cologne to Lisbon on Monday morning.)

Thanks again.
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Sep 29th, 2004, 04:02 AM
  #11  
yk
 
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It just occured to me that you don't have Bonn on your list - don't know if you are planning to go or not. Don't miss it as you're a Beethoven fan! His house is open for touring.
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Sep 29th, 2004, 04:27 AM
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No, it's not on the list....

Well, one can only do so much, yk! I wish I could be at five places at the same time, sometimes.

Actually there's a Beethoven festival going on in Bonn. I did check the schedule, but I decided that none of the concerts seemed particularly interesting to me. I'll try not to look again. I fear that if I look I'll start to convince myself that I must go to Bonn.

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Sep 29th, 2004, 04:38 AM
  #13  
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Ok, maybe I'll put it on the list and see if I can squeeze it in (it seems unlikely -- but it's probably better for me to research it more). I remember reading an old post of yours that says that Bonn is a 20-minute train ride from Cologne. Does this sound right? Do the trains run frequently?

In the meantime, is there a "consensus" (if such a thing is possible) about Marksburg?
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Sep 29th, 2004, 04:45 AM
  #14  
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For anyone who happens to be reading this and interested in knowing more about the Beethoven festival, a list of performers and dates can be found here:

http://www.beethovenfest.de/programm.php

Gidon Kremer will be playing this weekend. Fortunately I've heard him twice so I'm feeling less urgent about going to the festival.

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Sep 29th, 2004, 04:56 AM
  #15  
yk
 
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Hi 111op-

I never made it up to Cologne. But it's a short train ride from Koblenz. We did that as a 1/2 day trip and returned to Koblenz to catch the K-D cruise. You probably can just get off at Bonn (when you're going from Koblenz to Cologne on Sunday) and spend 2-3 hours there.

I did tell you that you can spend your whole week in the Rhine area, but you didn't listen!
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Sep 29th, 2004, 05:08 AM
  #16  
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Oh, the train route is Koblenz-Bonn-Cologne? Interesting. It could be doable. Thanks.

Well, I know you can spend a week in the Rhine area, but you're talking to someone who's in the process of booking six hotels for a week (I'll have one more to book -- in Madrid)....

I guess the star attraction in Cologne is the Dom. I do want to be sure I see it. I'm reading conflicting reports about the hours though -- it's open very early (around 6:30) and closes late (around 7), but supposedly there're morning and evening services and it can't be viewed during those times. So it's making my scheduling difficult also. I don't want to miss risking this attraction.
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Sep 29th, 2004, 06:57 AM
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111op:
Review again your timeframe?
I would choose one chairlift or the other (Boppard/Assmannshausen), favoring A-hausen, so that you can more readily visit Ruedesheim.
I stayed for two weeks in St. Goar, and while the castle ruins/view are great, on a limited schedule, I would prefer Braubach/Marksburg castle--fully intact, a pleasant enough 20 minute walk up.
The Dom at Cologne opens daily at 6 am, but you are right, self-guided tours are not permitted during the regular 7 am, 8 am, 9 am, and 5 pm masses. It closes at 7:30 PM.
The German rail site is available in english (fyi) www.bahn.de click top right on 'International Guests'...hope this helps!
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Sep 29th, 2004, 07:11 AM
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Hi rach, thanks for the thoughts. Time frame: You won't believe it, but about 24 hours.... I should reach Ruedesheim around 1, and I should leave Ruedesheim late morning the next day (obviously this depends on what I end up seeing and deciding and doing). I arrive this Saturday.

So you don't think that the "four rivers view" (or whatever it's called?) from the Boppard chair lift is worth it, eh?

With my time constraints, I think that if I visit Marksburg I'll have to do this on Saturday afternoon. Basically this is more like a three-hour trip (just travel, including the walk to the castle, and excluding actual time to see the castle). Then I'll have to do whatever else I can squeeze in on Sunday morning.

So you still think that Marksburg is worth it? It requires a fairly big time commitment, which is why I'm leaning towards skipping it.

As far as the Dom is concerned, ideally I'll see it right before it closes on Sunday, but I'm fearing that the evening mass will basically last until it closes. I'm not a church fan, but I do plan to put it on the list. Since my flight for Lisbon leaves at 10:45 on Monday, there'll be no time to see the Dom before I leave on Monday. The ideal situation will be to arrive in Cologne as late as possible, with time to see the Dom and to quickly zip through the main museums (the Roman-German museum, Ludwig, etc.).

It sounds insane, I know. But I've done even more insane things before.


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Sep 29th, 2004, 07:19 AM
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It's funny -- I found an old thread dissing Ruedesheim as a big tourist *trap.* I guess I'm not going to worry about it now.
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Sep 29th, 2004, 09:04 AM
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Are you going in December then?
Do you already have reservations in the town of Ruedesheim?
Not to throw a kink into your plans, but I DID find Ruedesheim to be chock full of American tourists, and personally, not worth an overnight stay, but instead, a couple of hours. Heavy on tourist shops, cafes, a wine museum and I believe, some type of musical gadget museum...Oh, yeah, a McDonalds despoils the town.

I have not personally been to Boppard, only THROUGH it a number of times. It has Roman (?) bath ruins and a fairly good reputation though, not to mention the chairlift (ask Russ).
I also stayed for two weeks in the town of Bacharach, a wine-growing village along the left bank Rhine (Ruedesheim is on the right, with slightly more infrequent trains). I personally loved Bacharach with its city walls for walking, numerous cafes, adequate shopping. It may be too small for your tastes however. It is about 14 minutes by train to St. Goar with the castle ruins, and fairly close to Boppard as well, so this might be an alternative?
If you have a real interest in the museums of Koeln, I'd skip Marksburg as it 'costs' too much time.
Koeln museums include the ?AGFA photo,
Kathe Kolwitz Pacifism collection, and a neat Nazi museum (small, not well known) with original holding cells in the basement. Oh, and the chocolate factory along the river! Enjoy!
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