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Ideas for August 2018-Northern Germany or ??

Ideas for August 2018-Northern Germany or ??

May 7th, 2018, 12:36 PM
  #1  
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Ideas for August 2018-Northern Germany or ??

We were supposed to be spending this past spring in Spain and Portugal, but due to some last minute unforeseen medical issues, we have had to drastically change our dates, so we are now going to be spending July and August in Europe versus April May. So now I am doing some very last minute planning. As of now the the trip begins at the end of June with us attending a family wedding in Chambéry France near the Alps. After that we have worked out a house exchange for most of July in Aarhus Denmark. So we are trying to decide where to go in August. We will be driving and eventually will drive back to France near Bordeaux. We will have 23-27 days to visit some places and then arrive back in Bordeaux. We don't know northern and eastern Europe that well so thought I would look for some ideas here.

Here are some initial thoughts:

Maybe go spend a week in Berlin and explore more of northern and eastern Germany? I have been in Berlin one time the year the wall was taken down but my DH hasn't been there, so that could be interesting. I do know that it has changed drastically since then. What are other ideas for this part of the country? We do have a friend in Hamburg so will probably spend a night or two there.

Visit part of Poland-I know very little about Poland so would love to hear ideas of place to visit. So if anyone has experience visiting Poland I would love to hear about Gdansk or other cities or areas in the country to visit. We are not very demanding tourists. We generally rent apartments versus hotels and we are probably more interested in cities versus countryside but mostly interested in trying food, cafe culture, etc. versus spending lots of times in museums etc.

Explore more of the Nordic areas-I have been to Gothenberg, Stockholm and Helsinki but my DH hasn't visited there at all. And even though I keep mentioning big cities, we also love smaller cities or towns-we are not tied to having to be in a major city.

Explore more of Belgium and the Netherlands? We have been to Amsterdam and Brugges but don't know too much about other cities or scenic areas in these places.

We took a long driving trip to Slovenia Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary, so probably won't head towards Budapest again this time-although we did love that city! And we are not so interested in beaches because we are headed back to France to a beach destination near Bordeaux.

Anyway, I would love to hear some of your ideas. August is always a bit challenging since it is a major holiday month of course but we are open to lots of suggestions!
jpie is offline  
May 8th, 2018, 11:52 AM
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How about Switzerland? You seem to have given all the various possibilities yourself and all sound good.
PalenQ is offline  
May 8th, 2018, 12:28 PM
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Since you have a car you could perhaps follow the coast, explore the Wadden sea coast in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands, maybe visit an island or two if you can - they may well be full at that time of year as far as accomodation goes, but day trips can be done too. Then head on through Belgium and along the French coast.
We recently spent some time visitng the area west of Calais and loved the coast there, and we also love the Brittany coast (and inland Normandy/Brittany too).

Alternatively head to eastern Germany, and if you do try to get to Penemunde for the V2 rocket site and the amazing, insightful museum there, maybe go into Poland since you will be so close, before going through the Harz and pottering back west. I wouldn't think Berlin would be very enjoyable in the heat of the summer, but I could be wrong.

It will be peak holiday time for Europeans too so expect busy roads and accomodation. Avoid travelling on motorways at the weekends if you possibly can.
hetismij2 is offline  
May 8th, 2018, 12:50 PM
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There are wonderful castles and towns in Northern Germany plus the Harz mountains. You could drive down through this area to Berlin, spend a few days there, and then fly to Bordeaux which would avoid the French motorway traffic.
annhig is offline  
May 8th, 2018, 03:13 PM
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There are also car-trains that carry your car and you from Paris to points south - night trains but driving both ways would be a drag.
PalenQ is offline  
May 8th, 2018, 10:21 PM
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Berlin is never a bad idea, really, as long as you're prepared for possible August heat. Last August DD and I took a city break to Gdansk; but for the one day of torrential downpour, we surprised ourselves with how enjoyable we found the city. The architecture (we dubbed it "Polish Copenhagen") and history consumed a full day in Gdansk; our second full day was spent on a day trip to Malbork Castle.
fourfortravel is offline  
May 8th, 2018, 11:45 PM
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The OP has a residence in or near the Gironde, if I recall correctly, and has a car, so suggesting trains to the south of France is just not going to work. I love the fact that she has a house exchange in Aarhus - we did that once and it was a magical vacation (the town crier, the wonderful fish, the gorgeous beaches, the museum with the bog man....all so searingly memorable).

I think I like hetismij2's idea best because there are so many places on that stretch of northern coast that most people don't travel.

Alternatively, I like annhig's suggestion of the Harz mountains.
StCirq is offline  
May 9th, 2018, 03:44 AM
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A relatively short drive from Berlin to most of these places.
In Polish, but you can figure it out.
https://travelist.pl/magazyn/?p=5047
cdnyul is offline  
May 9th, 2018, 04:40 AM
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Follow the coast Berlin across to Hamburg, lots of interesting towns.
bilboburgler is offline  
May 9th, 2018, 05:16 AM
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More options making your decision even more difficult.

We found Berlin to be wonderful. Two other cities worth visiting are Leipzig and Dresden. South of Dresden is an area which get less traffic but which we found wonderful, the Ore Mountains. It is a beautiful know for toy and lace making.
Huggy is offline  
May 11th, 2018, 08:24 AM
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Thanks for all the great ideas! Sorry to be so slow in answering but I came down with a terrible cold and that same day our condo in Seattle got totally flooded due to a construction accident repairing the fire suppression system, so we have been living in a hotel for the past week! And I leave for Europe in a few weeks! Luckily my DH isn't joining me until later in June so hopefully can oversee the reconstruction of the disaster zone that is our condo at the moment!

Yes, St. Cirq, you are right, we have a family home in St. Palais sur Mer, south of La Rochelle and we always sign up for the Peugeot Open Europe car lease program since we stay many months, so we will be driving both ways. And I am excited that you like Aarhus. We will have three weeks there and hopefully will be able to explore the area.

We actually like long driving trips-we tend not to drive more than 4-5 hours a day and just take our time getting from one place to the next-one of the joys of being (mostly) retired. And since we won't be meeting our family back at the house in France til mid August that should give us a fair amount of time to go a bit east if we decide to do that. We will be leaving Aarhus on the 27th of July and don't need to be in St. Palais until around the 18th or so of August.

One reason I didn't mention Switzerland is that we don't love mountain driving, although might consider part of Switzerland for the return trip depending on where we go.

One last question. On the way to Aarhus, we need to stop for the night probably somewhere between Frankfurt closer to Hanover. On planning driving distance the natural stopping place looks to be around Hildesheim since it is around 5 hours from Strasbourg but we could go a little further if necessary. Does anyone know this area well enough to suggest a town or village that we should consider for the night in that area or is it worth pushing to go as far as Hanover?
jpie is offline  

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