Need advice on Germany/Austria trip

Apr 9th, 2002, 09:25 PM
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Need advice on Germany/Austria trip

We have been fortunate enough to secure a one week home exchange with a family from Ossiach, Carinthia, Austria (near Klagenfurt) in June. We would like to spend three weeks total in the area. Because we are using ff miles I was limited to flying in and out of Munich. I would appreciate any advice, opinions or insight. We are a family of 4 with two tennage sons. We won't do a lot of museums, but would enjoy bike rides, hikes, casual, inexpensive restaurants, castles and some history. We have a lot of hotel points with Hilton, Marriott and Hyatt, so are trying to use those as much as possible. Here is what is planned so far:
Arrive in Munich and spend two nights. Do you recommend any of the Hilton's there? Drive to Mainz and spend 3 nights exploring Mainz and Frankfurt. We're booked at the Mainz Hyatt.
Drive to Garmish and spend 3 nights. Booked at the Reniassance.
Drive to the home in Carinthia, Austria for 7 nights.
We then have 6 more days. Where should we go? East to Vienna/Budapest, or west, to Switzerland. Or should we stay in the same area of Austria and go to Salzburg? My concern with that is that it would be more of the same we experienced in Ossiach. Keep in mind we have to return to Munich to fly home. We greatly appreciate any help.
Thank you so much.
Apr 10th, 2002, 05:59 AM
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Almost too many questions (just kidding - - there's no such thing as too many questions - - but it may be part of the reason you're deep on "page two" and still no answers).

Here are a few quick thoughts.

1. You need books. Several of them. go to the library or bookstore or both. The internet complements books - - doesn't replace them.

2. Munich seems fine to fly in and out of, for your overall itinerary. A good, modern, pleasant airport.

3. I'd say forget Switzerland, stay in Austria - - or add Germany (or Slovenia? or Venice or the Dolomites, in Italy?) as much or as little as you'd like. And "we" (here on this forum) could use more info on Carinthia. doesn't get much reporting here. I've only passed by Klagenfurt (Salzburg to Venice), though people are always raving about how scenic this drive is (myself included).

And please keep coming back here with MORE questions, as your plans evolve.

Best wishes,

Apr 10th, 2002, 06:24 AM
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I'm very fond of Carinthia, I especially recommend a castle called Hochosterwitz. Otherwise, I'm not sure what to tell you. I'd be hitting the books to see what grabs me.
Apr 10th, 2002, 07:23 AM
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Apr 10th, 2002, 07:27 AM
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If you have teenage boys, check out Playcastle Tirol, in Seefeld
Austria (just outside of Innsbruck).

We chanced by it on a rainy day, my boys thought theyd died and gone to heaven:
a two story skating rink, with an escalator up and a ramp down, and various other ramps. A three story climbing wall. A skateboard bowl. A rollerblade hockey area. An obstacle course that hangs from the ceiling, which you negotiate while hanging in a strap contraption. An entire room of Segos. Another entire room with pillows on the floor, where they show movies. A huge room full of legos. Another huge room with model train. More stuff for little kids (like a wading pool with a sandy beach.)

They have a website. One price includes admission and skate rentals. I've never seen anything like it.

Innsbruck also has some nice mountain hikes and a sort of vertical zoo on the hillside.

Mainz is really nice for walking around, and the Gutenberg museum is interesting. I wouldn't bother with Frankfurt...
Apr 10th, 2002, 08:10 AM
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Thanks. You are all being SO helpful. This was my first time to this board and I'm amazed at your kindness to help us.
I think I'll hop over to the Spain, France and Australia boards where maybe I can help someone else!

Apr 10th, 2002, 08:21 AM
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I think that Klagenfort is a train switching center. I would imagine that you can find a number of day trips from there. I believe that you are within a couple of hours of Venice, and that, while not one of my favorites, would be interesting for the kids and adults as well.

Also, while in Munich do not miss the German Museum of Technology. While museums can be a bit stuffy, particularly for kids, this one is a great museum for the whole family.

Apr 10th, 2002, 11:37 AM
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Thanks for the kind words. I hope "we" can make you feel welcome.

One comment - - you already ARE on the "Spain" and "France" boards. It can be easy to think that there are multiple boards here on the Europe forum, and you can click on one country at the "front page" and create what might appear to be an "Austria" board etc.

But most of "us" enjoy the amalgam of everything all together - - and never on an individual country. "We" just think of this as a huge grab bag of all Europe, as in a tossed salad.
Apr 10th, 2002, 12:59 PM
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We spend our summer vacations not too far from your home exchange, in the countryside outside Knittelfeld. It's beautiful and peaceful. IF--only if--you happen to be driving up route 317 past Knittelfeld (which is not all that interesting itself), get off at the exit for Seckau and visit the monastery and have lunch (or dinner) at the excellent Hofwirt Haus Hotel. Great food, wine, and coffee and the village of Seckau is extremely pleasant for strolling and relaxing. The nearby small town of Gaal offers opportunities to try grass skiing at the Gaalerhof sport center (some of the Austrian ski team practice there) and has a funky little VW beetle museum. VW bug fans pile into Gaal most week-ends of the summer, so if you see a bunch of them on the road, that's were they're headed. The handsome Scottish Highland cattle grazing there end up on the plates of Vienna's finest restaurants.
You will probably be doing plenty of hikes--wear high socks or long pants. The ticks that carry Lyme disease are in the area. I don't think you have much to worry about, but be aware.
Definitely visit Graz and a day trip to Vienna is very doable.
Bring lots of sunscreen. Drink lots of Austrian wine and beer, especially the local beers, make sure you take home some Steiermark pumpkin oil (great on salads).
Apr 10th, 2002, 01:13 PM
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Go to the Hofbrau house in Munich.
Apr 10th, 2002, 03:26 PM
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zum Himmel.

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