Jul 16th, 2001, 09:32 AM
Posts: n/a

My husband and I are going to the Bavaria/Munich area in late October. What are a few "must sees" while in that area of Germany? What should we avoid? We are also thinking about driving over to Austria. Thanks for any replies!
Jul 16th, 2001, 09:44 AM
wes fowler
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Drop me an Email and I'll forward a number of driving itineraries to you.
By taking these routes, youíll see three Bavarian castles including
Neuschwanstein and Linderhof, magnificent Baroque churches and monasteries, thirteen Alpine lakes, Germanyís highest Alpine mountain and scenery ranging from the dramatic to the serene and possibly a festival or two. You can also dip into Austria as well.
Jul 16th, 2001, 09:52 AM
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If you search for Germany, Munich, and Bavaria, you will find hundreds of posts answering your question.

Jul 16th, 2001, 09:57 AM
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Suggest you email Wes. He gave us great advice for a Spring trip.

Having said that . . . depending upon the time you have (and weather), portions of the Romantic Road are excellent in Bavaria. King Ludwigs castles are great and should not be missed.

A super drive is through Garmisch to Innsbruck and East to Salzburg. Tons of stuff to do along the way.

Have a great trip.
Jul 16th, 2001, 10:30 AM
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It doesn't get any better than Wes. I've been in that area numerous times, but the information and detail that Wes can provide is exceptional. Email him today.
Jul 17th, 2001, 12:52 AM
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Good Morning Wes -
I am having trouble using your email address so...
I saw your offer to help plan a Germany itinerary for another poster on Fodors Forum. I would like to spend two full weeks in Germany next April (latter two weeks of the month). I will be traveling with my husband and 3 kids (ages 8, 10, 12). The children will have nearly completed their study of the middle ages up through the renaissance and reformation. Therefore, any sights that bring that to life (e.g. castles) would be terrific. We are willing to fly through London and thereby switch to a flight to any city in Germany. Open jaws are also no problem. We will rent a car or take the train, whichever is more efficient. We would like to focus on historical and art sights. However we do very much enjoy scenic views as well (we hike here in New England frequently). Also, I think our family does best when we stay in one inn for a few nights, and do daytrips out of there. Switching hotels each night is sort of tough on kids. Finally, I should let you know that none of us have ever been to Germany before. Please let me know any suggestions for stops or itineraries that you may have. I sincerely appreciate your help.

Jul 17th, 2001, 05:59 AM
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I believe that Wes generally provides driving tour advice for southern Germany, so I'm certain he'll have some helful comments for that area and also for other places, perhaps, but I thought I'd toss in a few thoughts as well.

The Rhine/Mosel region of Germany would probably provide much of what you're looking for. Trier, near Luxembourg's border, is a showcase of Roman culture, a pleasant smaller city of about 80,000 where much (Roman baths, terrific Roman historical museum, cathedral begun under Constantine - see the "Schatzkammer", or "treasury" there - theatre, and more) is available to see within a compact area. There's a very nice town square for pedestrians only, with necessary services and the tourist office, right in the center of town near the Porta Nigra gate and the other sights. I can't imagine a more convenient place for a family of 5 to get in touch with history.

Just downstream, the Mosel has some of the best scenery in Germany and the best castle tour I know of - Burg Eltz, a real "knights' castle" near Moselkern - where the kids can see some incredible stuff in a castle that was never pillaged and that has been owned by the same family for some 800 years. Bernkastel, Cochem, and the other half-timbered, cobbled towns along the river provide scenic, almost enchanting places to visit and/or stay.

Further east, the Rhine has much to offer, too. The Cologne cathedral and the adjacent Wallraf-Richartz art museum there are tops. In St. Goar, south of Koblenz, the kids can crawl around the Rheinfels Castle ruins, hike down to the Loreley cliffs, or cross the river and catch a falconry show at Burg Maus Castle (not tours there - just a show inside the castle yard.) Just north of there in Braubach is Marksburg Castle, another tourable, undestroyed castle that's worth a visit. In April, you could tour the Rhine by cruise boat between Boppard or St. Goar in the north and Bingen in the south, and find your head spinning from all the castle watching.

So, I'd suggest staying about a week in one spot for this region - maybe Cochem - and doing daytrips from there. If you think you'll need 2 days for Trier, and you might, given your interests, you could spend 2 nights there and the 5 or so in a central spot along the Rhine (Boppard is a small, easy-to-negotiate town with plenty of services and its own set of Roman ruins.) You could do all this either by train or car, although the train will probably cost you less (about $18/day for virtually unlimited travel on the local trains for up to 5 people travelling together by getting a daypass) and be more convenient than a car when you're in town (I'd hate to worry about a car in Cologne when the cathedral and the museum are just steps from the train station!) Burg Eltz requires a 45-60 min. hike from Moselkern station, so a car is convenient there (but the hike is wonderful if you're in fairly good shape - my wife (47) and daughter (12) want to hike it again when we go back there in March.)

I'd think your interests might also take you to Berlin and/or Dresden, areas on which much has been written, of course, and you may also want to see nearby Lutherstadt-Wittenberg if the Reformation is important to you.

Consider apartment rentals - one in the Rhine/Mosel region and one in/near Berlin. You'll have a lot more room than in a hotel and it will probably cost you a fraction of what a hotel will. We stayed in a 2-br apartment in Cochem 2 summers ago for less than $40/night, and it was perfect for relaxing, a real home to return to after an arduous daytrip. The local tourist offices can be helpful with brochures of these places.

Hope this helps.
Jul 17th, 2001, 07:23 AM
wes fowler
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Staci,Well now, Russ has read my mind, at least that part of it still functioning! Many first time travelers to Germany look forward to the Bavarian castles of King Ludwig: Neuschwanstein, Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee, as well as Hohenschwangau, his birthplace. None are historic, all date from the 19th century. Upper Bavaria, where they are situated, is more aptly noted for its charming villages and the Baroque opulence of its churches and monasteries.

Russ is quite correct in suggesting a tour of the Rhine and Mosel valleys, well worth a week of your trip. The only thing I can add to his comments is the suggestion that the youngsters might enjoy the Museum of Toys on Nagelstrasse in Trier. Three floors of the building are devoted to everything from model railways to doll houses and rocking horses; toy soldiers to stuffed animals.

Iím tempted to suggest an alternative to Russís suggestions for your second week. Rather than Berlin or Dresden, consider the area around Wurzburg from which you could tour Rothenburg, Nordlingen, Dinkelsbuhl on the Romantic Road as well as Bamberg and Nurnberg and the Franconian wine district. While Berlin and Dresden are assuredly historic, wartime destruction prompted restoration, reconstruction and replication of many of their historic sites. The historic sites of Wurzburg, Bamberg and Nurnberg are much as they were in the 14th to 17th centuries. Castles and fortresses abound.

If youíre interested in a detailed suggested itinerary for this area of Bavaria and Franconia, drop me an Email (the address above is accurate) or respond here.

Jul 18th, 2001, 12:43 AM
Posts: n/a
Thank you so much Russ and Wes. Your suggestions are just what I was looking for. Now I can narrow down my focus and start studying the map. I will contact you again when the plans are further along. Staci
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