Help please, early Nov trip to Germany

Feb 15th, 2010, 07:31 PM
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Help please, early Nov trip to Germany

I need some help with our early Nov trip to Germany. We will fly into FRA on Nov 5th and rent a car. The plan is to drive to Regensburg for a two nights, then on to Salzburg for 2 two nights. From there we head to Berchtesgaden for a night and spend three days working our way across the German alpine road to Lindau.

At this point we would like to go to Luzern then back up to Strasbourg for a few days. From there, we will go back to FRA. Drop the car and take an afternoon flight to Rome on Nov 17.

My big question will/can there be problems with snow and ice on the Bavaria or through Switzerland? We love driving in Europe, spent three weeks touring in May, but we have never been to this area this late in the year..

We plan to stop and find a place some nights...assume that this won’t be a problem this time of year in Bavaria? But would like some ideas for lodging in Regensburg, Salzburg, Luzern and Strasbourg, someplace with arrangements for a car, well located for walking and in the low 200 euro range (or less).

Thanks for the help.
cwn is offline  
Feb 15th, 2010, 08:35 PM
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If you are flying from the US to Frankfurt, I might suggest that Regensburg is too far to drive the first day when you will be tired from jet lag. While 3+ hrs might not seem that long, by the time you retrieve your luggage, go through Immigration and navigate the airport to pick up your rental car, you will be adding another hour to your schedule.

I'll leave it to others as far as the road conditions at that time of year as the latest we've driven in Germany is early October.

Regarding accommodations, I can recommend the Hotel Wittelsbach in Berchtesgaden, very conveniently located with parking right behind the hotel.

In Luzern, we've always stayed at the Des Balances. It's a lovely hotel, overlooking the River Reuss, and might be within your budget, especially at that time of year. They have valet parking.
bettyk is offline  
Feb 15th, 2010, 09:19 PM
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I will check Wittelsbach. I was looking at Des Balances, glad for the positive words.

We will arrive in FRA in the morning after a non-stop from Houston. We are not affected by jet-lag until about the third day if at all. So our plan is to be in Regensburg by about 2pm, but if we are tired, we will stop a little sooner.
cwn is offline  
Feb 15th, 2010, 10:33 PM
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With the usual caveat that no one can foresee the weather from Nov 5-17, 2010:

November is the month for cable car maintenance due to the fact that there is usually not much snow worth talking about.

But you need to make sure that you reserve a car with winter tires. Snow chains are optional, since you will not be travelling on byways or in higher elevations.

Even the German Alpine Road is in fact a major national highway and not only a scenic tourist road that gets closed down at the first inch of snow.

There is always a chance for some black ice in exposed areas, mostly in the early morning hours, but that would also not be uncommon in May as well when you are in the mountains.

Real mountain pass roads (at 6,000 ft elevation and above) are usually already closed in November, but you don't need to travel on one on the trip you have planned.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Feb 16th, 2010, 12:06 PM
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Thanks for the comments. I was wandering if we should be sure to get winter tires. I guess those are like the snow tires we used in Santa fe, New Mexico. Do the Swiss moterways get closed for snow offen?

We would like to drive to Luzern on the way to Strasbourg, but can go through Germany if the weather is bad. Guess as always when traveling, we will hope for the best and enjoy what we get!!

Thanks for the help.
cwn is offline  
Feb 16th, 2010, 12:18 PM
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Oh, I love Santa Fe! The city of light. Perfect climate year-round. Blue skies, crisp air. Why do you leave Santa Fe in November?

I am very sorry to say that, but November is our ugliest month here in Germany. Expect dark, dreary days, cold and wet, foggy and rainy. Chance is low that you see mountains, they will be in clouds.

I remember one November when it was continuously raining for three weeks without one minute interruption. Just 6 hours of dim daylight in November. No leaves on the trees. Everything grey and dirty. Definitely no time for sightseeing.

In November, we spend most of the time indoors, sipping hot chocolate in the afternoons. November is a good month for museums, not for scenic drives.

Seriously, I am not sure if the alpine road is a good idea this time of year. Think about spending your time in towns, e.g. on the Romantic Road.
Echnaton is offline  
Feb 16th, 2010, 12:46 PM
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Again, do not hope or fear for snow. You will be traveling in elevations of around 400-600 meters mostly (times 3 for feet). You cannot compare the Alps to the Rockies where even the valleys are at 4000ft or more.
Winter tires are a necessary precaution, and you should find it under "Options" when booking a rental car.
The Swiss motorways *may* be closed for a short time after a blizzard, but unlike other countries in Europe, those guys are fully equipped with snow plows etc. Those motorways are major European arteries that have to stay open, regardless which month of the year there is.
November is NOT winter here (or elsewhere). It's fall, and Echnaton described the usual weather accurately.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Feb 16th, 2010, 01:34 PM
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Thanks for the weather comments

Hmmmm....we have to be in Rome by the 17th and Athens by the 20th and can break our flight for about 12 days in Frankfurt. We always like to take full advantage of any flight to Europe, so we have Germany and the border countries for a visit in early Nov.

Husband wants to visit Salzburg and the surrounding villages, I on the other hand want some time in Strasbourg and surrounds. The Alpine Road seemed like a good way to drive through small villages and avoid the motorways. We visited several of the villages along the Romantic Road, the Mosel and the Rhine in May so were looking for some a little different to joke around in.

We visited some of the Christmas Markets in villages around Munich in late Nov a few years back and I only remember the weather as cool to cold and damp....much like the weather where we live now. Unfortunately that is not Santa Fe, one of my all time favorite places to live and the visit.

I am open for suggestions....


Thanks for your comments. That is what we thought about the motorways. We will be sure to get the proper tires.

At this point, unless I figure out a better plan, we will go with what we have and adjust the routes from place to place as needed based on the weather. A lazy afternoon sipping hot chocolate in a cozy inn is not a bad way to visit!
cwn is offline  
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