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Redcurls Jun 23rd, 2001 08:29 PM

I jumped on an E-fare and now I need advice for a week in Germany in August
OK, maybe I was a little crazy, but yesterday when USAir sent me an Esaver fare of $359 round trip to Frankfort, I jumped on it. We had already taken our vacation for this year and only had a week left to use. We don't have a whole lot of time to research because we're going in two months and I need to get working on accommodations. We plan to rent a car and our main interest will be in experiencing scenic beauty which we love to photograph. We are not into big cities or museums. Can anyone help me with itinerary suggestions? Thanks so much!

karen Jun 24th, 2001 02:14 AM

Head south to Bavaria!!!! Munich is kind of a must, even though it is a city. But the city square (glockenspiel at noon) is great. Then, head for the hills. Go to Garmisch and Oberammergau (where they do the Passion Play every 10 years). In Oberammergau, all the houses are painted with frescoe designs on the outside. Nearby you can see Schloss Linderhof (the pink castle of crazy Ludwig) and Schloss Neuschwanstein (the "Disney" castle). You're also at the foot of the Alps. From Frankfurt it will take you about 6 hours, depending of course on how gutsy you are on the Autobahn and whether you hit a Stau (traffic jam).

Beth Jun 24th, 2001 04:03 AM

I'd recommend the Romantic Road itinerary along the Rhine, beautiful scenery and you may hit many little wine harvest festivals en route that time of year. Also, be sure to go Rothenburg ob de Tauber, the oldest walled city in Germany. You'll also be close to Heidelberg. If you do go to the Garmish area, be sure to check out the underground salt mines. You did the right thing to "jump," and may just have one of the best trips of your life!

Russ Jun 24th, 2001 05:32 AM

That's an incredible fare for August. Congrats. You're right - a week isn't much - and to make the best of your time, I think you ought to consider limiting your driving, especially at this very busy time of year when you're likely to be bumper-to-bumper with all the other tourists, as karen suggests.<BR><BR>There is some incredible scenery fairly close to Frankfurt that would make for some great photography. The airport is at the doorstep of the Rhine Valley (the area between Bingen and Koblenz is the most scenic) and not much further from the Mosel, Lahn, Saar, and Nahe River valleys too. The Rhine is the most dramatic; hike up the cliffside trails around St. Goar for spectacular views, tour some castles (Marksburg in Braubach, never destroyed, and Rheinfels Castle ruins in St. Goar are easy to find and open to the public,) and check out Boppard if you can, too (Roman Ruins, great river views from Vierseenblick lookout.) Except for larger Koblenz, the Rhine Gorge towns here are all charming and relaxing spots that you should enjoy.<BR><BR>On the Mosel, which flows into the Rhine at Koblenz, you really can't go wrong in terms of scenery. It's slightly more remote and sleepy than the Rhine; every town between about Cochem and Bernkastel has its own quiet charms, and there are several castles (Burg Eltz, between Cochem and Koblenz, and Reichsburg in Cochem, most notably) that add texture and make for an interesting tour.<BR><BR>The less-travelled Nahe River Valley is great too. From Bingen on the Rhine, follow it west, roughly, to the town of Idar-Oberstein (incredible "Felsenkirche", or cliffside church, which appears to have been carved from the rock itself) and the castles that tower just above it, and to the pretty resort town of Bad Münster am Stein.<BR>Further west near the French border is Saarburg, where a waterfall plunges through the center of town past outdoor cafes and beneath more castle ruins.<BR><BR>The Romantic Road (which does NOT include the Rhine but which does stretch from Würzburg south through Bavaria) and the far more distant region of southern Bavaria are both attractive areas, too, but I'd suggest avoiding these areas during the peak travel season, when they are quite impacted by tourists such as yourself. The Romantic Road in August has been described by some as an overhyped parking lot, and getting into Neuschwanstein is like waiting in a Russian bread line. Hit these places in the off-season sometime.<BR>

Betsy Jun 24th, 2001 07:59 AM

I agree witht he posts recommending the Rhine and Mosel Rivers. Its easy to get there with the train and very beautiful.I would recommend some time in Trier on the Mosel. It is relatively small at one time was the seat of power for the Roman Empire. It is difficult to find Roman ruins so complete outside of Italy. It is defintely worth 2 nights. The Romischer Kaiser is a very nice hotel in Trier right across from the Porta Negra, on the edge of the old town (and pedestrian center).I was there in '98 and it was $90 for a very large single room with a bath. Breakfast is included and their restaurant is known by locals for dinner. Have a great time

Ann Jun 24th, 2001 05:07 PM

Wow, this is tough. You have to decide, given that you want scenic beauty: the Alps, or the rivers. I agree with all the previous posters that you need to focus on one region, and though I love Bavaria more than anywhere, I think for a week's worth, I'd go with the rivers. You can easily drive up the Rhine river road, taking in all the castles enroute (lots of distance photo ops) and then cut across to the Mosel just south of Koblenz to spend your first night. Treis-Karden is perfect, but you may have a tough time getting a room there, so try my secret village of Muden, and a great little hotel on the river there, Hotel Sewenig. You can check it out at They have their own cellars, really good food, and is at the foot of the route to Burg Eltz but off the beaten track for tourists. One drawback: the village weinfest is 24-25 Aug. But from there, you can tour down the Mosel to Trier, spend a day there (I really like the hotel Kockelsberg, which sits above the city and from which you can watch the lights come on at all the monuments and churches in town while sitting on the terrace). Of course, Cochem and the Reichsburg is spectacular visually (I don't recommend staying there or touring the castle.. will be a real letdown after Burg Eltz, which is the real thing versus a rebuilt, Victorian-era furnished castle). The hills and valleys of the Eifel are also scenic, but you probably want to spend at least a couple of days back on the Rhine before you head home, to get some tours of the castles you observed on your first day, and to get some more photos closer up. All distances are close and you should have a wonderful trip, with winefests to stop and enjoy along the way. But do decide and get a room quickly... lots of people go to those winefests on both rivers.. Have a great time!

lisa Jun 25th, 2001 06:50 AM

I have been to the Rhine and Mosel area and I think it is perfect given that you are flying into &amp; out of Frankfurt and have one week. Very scenic -- vineyards, castles, quaint towns. Do some of it by boat and some by train. You can even rent bikes in some places. By the way, I saw those e-saver fares too and they gave me pause -- great fare for high season.

John Jun 25th, 2001 08:24 AM

I agree with the above posters.<BR><BR>But, if what you are after is a 'taste of Germany' in your week, you may want to think about two very different portions of the country that are reasonably close.<BR><BR>From Munich South to Innsbruck is some of the most picturesque country in the world. The drive from Munich to Fussen (castle country) is superb, and allows options for city and country photo ops.<BR><BR>The Rhine/Mosel rivers are wine country. They are worth doing and are close to Frankfurt. I would do two days there, that is enough to get a taste and a lot of scenery.<BR><BR>You will find these two areas give you a quality taste of Bavaria (and perhaps a bit of Austria) that are uniquely different.<BR><BR>Have a great trip.<BR>

Chris Jun 26th, 2001 03:38 PM

My wife and I did a week in Germany last August and the only part of the trip we did not like was the Rhine River region. I lived on the Rhine briefly as a child, but that part of our trip was the most boring. Granted, parts are lovely, but we started the river cruise and after about 30 minutes it all looked the same.<BR><BR>Now on to the parts I loved, the moutains and lakes. We spent several days in Germany and several days in Austria. I would spend a night in the town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany and also take the night watchman tour. I spent two nights there inside the walls at Hotel Gerberhaus, I loved again walking the cobblestone streets after all others went to bed. Catch a meal at the local outdoor cafe in the evening. We dined with seven older travelers from Switzerland. It was great.<BR><BR>The next morning we got up and drove about two hours down to the castles. We spent the evening in Reutte, Austria (Gutsohof zum Schluxen hotel), just a couple minutes away from the castles and the crowds associated with the Passion Play.<BR><BR>The next morning we drove over to Wolfganee Lake where spent a few nights and also visited Salzburg, Austria. That down was a bit too busy for me. <BR><BR>The entire lake region is lovely. The lakes are drink water quality. My wife and I took a small row boat out and rowed together on the lake. <BR><BR>I would not stray too far from Frankfort those last two days. We had a ten hour drive back across the country because of road construction everywhere. I would definitely spend the last night in Frankfort, as it is conforting to know you can reach your flight without hassle.<BR><BR>We used Europe by Car for our rental with no hassel. Make your reservations from the US.<BR><BR>If you do spend a night on the Rhine, I did love our hotel. It was the castle, Hotel Schoenburg in Oberwesel. It is a bit pricey, but the view of the outdoor meal overlooking the Rhine was priceless.<BR><BR>I went on to a currency converter site just a few days before we left and copied off a cheat sheet. I then reduced it down on a copy machine and had Kinko lamenate it for a quick wallet sized converter.<BR><BR>Buy a money belt if you do not have one. Came in handy keeping the tickets, passports and cash secure. I think we ordered ours from Eagle Bay. It arrived in the mail in just a couple of days.<BR><BR>If you need any help, feel free to contact me.

marion Jun 26th, 2001 07:44 PM

Hi there!<BR>I am a German native and I envy you on your trip. All the suggestions are great, but tourist places are scattered all over Germany and its a matter of what you like or dislike. Do you like castles, touristy places or a taste of great German wine. The Neuschwanstein Castle in Schwetzingen is nice. Baden Baden is a great touristy place containing ancient Roman Ruins and the wine and Rhine tours are nicest in Bad Bergzabern (by the Mosel River). You can't see it all in one week, so concentrate on a region you like. The Black Forest regions and Munich are the most touristy. Don't forget to hit Dachau, the famous concentration camp outside of Munich, if you are in the region *only if you are interested in that part of our sordit history

Lily Jun 27th, 2001 05:13 AM

What luck - you did the right thing to jump on that fare. We just came back from Germany on Sunday after spending 2 great weeks in Europe. Although we also visited France, Switzerland and Austria on our trip we spent 6 nights in the town of Fussen and made day car trips all over. It was very convenient from there to visit the Ludwig castles and travel the Romantic Road. Coming back to the same place each night worked well for us as we had 6 in our group. We stayed at a place called Suzanne's B & B for $64 a night, nice quaint farmhouse on the edge of town with a great breakfast. If you would like more info let me know.

justtrying Jun 27th, 2001 05:51 AM

Saw the fares too, but work may not allow us to go that early (sigh). One comment/question: I double checked my map and Frankfurt is further from Munich than I remembered, if that matters to you. What do some of the previous posters think of flying in/out of Frankfurt for purposes of visiting Munich, Salzburg, and Bavaria? Particularly for only a week. I believe it is about a 5-6 hour train ride, perhaps longer, from Frankfurt to Munich. Now, going down the Romantic road would break up the trek (stop in Wurzburg, Rothenburg,....), but coming back may be wasted time? Thoughts anyone? One last question: I've heard France "shuts down" in August (or is it September). Are there periods that Germany "shuts down" (for vacations, etc.)

Jennifer Jun 27th, 2001 06:37 AM

Hi, I'm thinking of buying one of these fares also. Any thoughts on hotel/car availability for late August, am I too late to make reservations at the good places, etc. Any thoughts? Thanks!

Sherry Jun 27th, 2001 09:21 AM

We went to Germany last month and went from Munich to Oberramagau,Linderhof Palace,Neuschwanstein Castle,into Innsbruck,on to Salzburg,Austria and then to Vienna. Took a cruise down the Danube from Krems to Melk.It's the most scenic and beautiful trip we have ever,ever been on. Innsbruck and Salzburg are so pure and untouched that you feel like you have been transported back a few hundred years.Loved Bavaria and the Aldstadt in Munich.

Curt Jun 27th, 2001 10:56 AM

If you plan on traveling by train, which is the easiest and most economical mode of transport, GET THERE EARLY so you can board the train as soon as it arrives. Often there are more people on the train than seats available. <BR><BR>Take this advice from someone who has had 50 fantastic experiences on the train, but will never forget the time I stood for 12 hours on the overnight train to Berlin because all the seats were taken.

Bob Jun 27th, 2001 01:51 PM

Arrive Fraonfurt. Drive to Rothenburg.Maybe 2-3 hours. Stay 2 nights at Reichs Kutchenmeister and do the Nightwatchmans tour.Explore the town and the area. Day trip to Nuremberg if time allows. This town fantastic at night.<BR><BR>Depart Rothenburg and drive the Romantic Road south. Maybe short stop in Dinkelsbuhl and then on to Garmisch.<BR><BR>Garmisch: Three nights. Hotel Hilleprandt. Tour the Linderhof castle, Oberammergau, Ettal Abbey and maybe a day trip to Neuschanstein. Kick back and enjoy the Alps area. Explore the mountains. Trip to the top of Zugspitz.<BR><BR>Depart Garmisch. Drive to Heidelberg. Do the castle tour and the old town. You can stay in Heidelberg on your last night in Germany as it is an easy 1 hour or so drive to airport and beats an airport hotel. <BR><BR>This leaves out Berchtesgaden and Salzburg, but you do not have the time unless you enjoy driving. Have fun. Do Bavaria. The Rhine is nice area, but not as good as Bavaria.

Emily Jun 29th, 2001 02:08 PM

OK, let's look at this a little differently. You say you only have one week, I presume in August, cause you said 2 months, and you don't like big cities. I personally would go directly to Berchtesgaden ( by plane, train or auto......) and stay in 1 place for the whole week. From this location, with a rental car, there's lots to see and do. You could do the train to Munich and Salzburg, visit Hallstadt by car, maybe St. Anton or St. Johann and not go nuts packing and unpacking. Good luck!!

Mie Jun 29th, 2001 10:13 PM

All the previous are of course wonderfull, but if you want to go of the beaten track, i would recommend sachsen (former GDR). Wonderfull scenery, only tourists you'll encounter are germans hollydaying in their own country. <BR>Drive from Frankfurt east, to erfurt, eisenach, then go to plauen.<BR>Drive from plauen to jössnitz.<BR>There they have a barrage with a nice lake behind it for swimming, surfing, sailing.... in the hills you can find a lot of often tiny villages, lots of cheap accomodation (go to the tourist info near the lake, they tell you exactly where they have free rooms). It's fun to get a B&amp;B here, people are still friendly since they don't really have any tourist overload. <BR>There are a lot of walking tours through woods and river valleys.<BR>It's really a very beautifull and still undiscovered by the masses.<BR>A 2 hour drive from joessnitz will take you into the "saechsische schweiz", where the typicall "schnitzereien" (folk art, beautifull woodwork) come from.<BR>Don't hesitate to mail me should you want more info, we went there two times on holliday 2 and 4 years ago and are planning to go again next year.<BR>Mie<BR>

Robert Jun 30th, 2001 06:40 AM

Don't be surprised to meet some very obnoxious and self surving people. I do not envey you. Pay a trip to Dachau down near Munich for a real sense of who these people are. I am not Jewish or a minority but you will be surprised at the racism you will find in Germany.<BR>I traveled alone all over Europe. I am female. I was able to lock my passanger car in every country during the night rides. I was a student in was only on a night train in Germany that the guy broke open the door before knocking to come into my cabin and was screaming in that already harsh spit slinging langauage of German.<BR><BR>You can still have a good trip but I think it helps if you know what you are up against. You will be coming across the sons and daughters of a community that was intent on wiping people out based on there ethnicity. It is not unheard of to be turned away from a bar if you are swarthy. Perhaps you will find a different Germany. Good Luck I hope you do. PS I am of very recent German Ancestory so I feel that my experiences are not clouded by well the world's hatred of their history.

Roberta Jun 30th, 2001 06:42 AM

That was Roberta the a was cut off

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