Need advice on itinerary for Germany

Aug 21st, 2014, 05:42 AM
  #1  
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Need advice on itinerary for Germany

We are in the early stages of planning a trip for fall 2015. We have already booked a barge on the Mosel beginning in early October. We'd like to tour mostly Germany for a couple of weeks before the barge; might consider more than a couple of weeks if we need to. Also realize we may not be able to do everything we would like to. So far, our "wish list" includes:
Berlin, Nuremberg, Bamberg, Wittenberg, Dresden, Bavaria (Eagle's Nest, Ludwig's castles, Berchtesgaden) and maybe Salzberg! We meet the barge people in Frankfurt.

We are in our 60s, active retirees, interested in history (especially WWII), architecture, church history, scenery, classical music, food, wine and beer.

Would so very much appreciate any advice regarding how long to allocate for each spot, the order of touring these places, what we might have to eliminate, etc. So much to see; wish time and money were unlimited!
peggionthego is offline  
Aug 21st, 2014, 05:52 AM
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How many days do you have to visit these cities?

For obvious reasons, Germany doesn't like to showcase its WWII related sites.

Nuremberg has the Nazi Documentation Center and it is very well done. Allow three hours plus an hour or two to tour the zeppelin field and parade grounds. Nuremberg also has the war trials museum at the Palace of Justice. Also allow about 3 hours for this.

I found a really good book that has the major WWII points of interest for Nuremberg and Franconia but I can't recall the title. If you're a WWII history buff, it is a must buy. I'll post the title when I get home.
sparkchaser is offline  
Aug 21st, 2014, 06:01 AM
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Thank you! Since the barge trip is a week, we had been thinking we'd allow two weeks for the other touring, so our trip would be a total of three weeks. But we would consider extending it (on the front end before the barge)and add some additional days. Certainly sounds like Nuremberg is a must for us. I would love the book title. Another book that has been recommended is On Hitler's Mountain.
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Aug 21st, 2014, 06:06 AM
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Nuremberg is worth at least two full days, maybe more depending on much WWII stuff you want to see (for example, there is a building that has not been completely deNazified and it's not on the beaten tourist path and ditto for the MAN plant where Tiger tanks were assembled).

If you love beer, Bamberg and the surrounding Fränkische Schweiz demand at least two days as there are hikes through the Fränkische Schweiz you can do that take you from brewery to brewery.

Since you want to see Eagle's Nest, you should plan to overnight in Salzburg and hit up the salt mine.
sparkchaser is offline  
Aug 21st, 2014, 06:10 AM
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Peg, take care which Frankfurt, there is one just to the south of the Mosel.

You will not want a car in Berlin, so pick up as you leave.

You are dodging about a bit. You could go onto Prague for instance, you could add Leipzig or Magdeburg as part of a the journey to Dresden. Wurzburg after Bamberg has some great wine while Bitberg (just north of Mosel) has some wonderful smoked beer.
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Aug 21st, 2014, 06:16 AM
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Würzburg is a great suggestion as the grape hrvest will have happened and the delicious nectar known as Federweißer will be available. Federweißer is made from the grapes deemed not to be good enough for wine: the grapes are put through a primary fermentation then bottled unfiltered with a breathable cap (this is why you do not store it on its side). The flavor varies quite a bit as does the amount of natural carbonation. Federweißer is traditionally eaten with onion cakes (Zwiebelkuchen). Both are specialties of Würzburg.
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Aug 21st, 2014, 06:33 AM
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Bilbo, thank you. Yes, we realize we are dodging about a bit which is why I need advice so we don't just careen all over Germany! We've been to both Prague and Budapest previously. I am wondering if we should omit Wittenberg or Dresden or both?? I think Nuremberg is only about 38 miles from Bamberg; maybe we could overnight how ever many nights we allocate in Bamberg? And thank you so much for the heads up about "two" Frankfurts! The map I'm using only shows one and I was assuming it's the one with the large airport. Will go over my barge info again to confirm where the pick up is.
peggionthego is offline  
Aug 21st, 2014, 06:39 AM
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Frankfurt am Main (Frankfurt on the Main), which happens to be the same Frankfurt where the international airport, is a big city located along the Main River.

The "other" Frankfurt is Frankfurt (Oder) which is a tiny town on the Polish border along the Oder River.

I bet your cruise is on the Main.
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Aug 21st, 2014, 06:49 AM
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I'm shortly leaving for Dresden, Potsdam, and Berlin. I have 5 days in Dresden, 2 in Potsdam, and 8 in Berlin.

From Frankfurt I've taken a day trip to Mainz which I loved, especially St. Stephens church with the amazing Chagall windows.
adrienne is offline  
Aug 21st, 2014, 06:51 AM
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But the airport at Frankfurt Hahn and is an internal to Europe airport and just minutes up the way. There are three ;-)

Bamberg took me a day and I had to do it twice as I forgot to put film in the camera so ran it the second time. Still a pleasant place to stop (and rest)
bilboburgler is offline  
Aug 21st, 2014, 07:55 AM
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OK, so the book is called PastFinder Nuremberg.

Amazon.com has it ( http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/300...XL2G2V7LPL2LJP ) but but it"s cheaper on Amazon.de ( http://www.amazon.de/PastFinder-Nure...dp/3000203303/ ) Actually, once you factor in shipping, Amazon.com might be the better (and faster) way to go.

There are also PastFinder guides for:

Munich: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/386...XNORS6PBYR4EXG

Berlin: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/386...3TC3KUWXQ5OP5U

Obersalzberg: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/386...MWOENSKWYCAGO2

I do not own any of those but based on the quality of the Nuremberg guide, I would say that they are must-haves.
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Aug 21st, 2014, 07:59 AM
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We were very disappointed in Wittenberg this summer as the churches are totally under construction. The public is only allowed in with a guided tour. There is one tour in the morning and another right after lunch. Time your visit or you will not be able to go inside either church. The town is very tiny. I would not spend a night here.
Images2 is offline  
Aug 21st, 2014, 08:06 AM
  #13  
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Reading more trip reports, I'm thinking Willenberg is the only place on my original list I'm willing to ditch at this stage. Reading trip reports on Dresden put it right back on the list.

Will check out the PastFinder travel guides. Thank you!
peggionthego is offline  
Aug 21st, 2014, 08:19 AM
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Have you considered Rothenburg ob der Tauber? Super cute German town. Yes, it's touristy but if you could stay a night, the town is romantic after the crowds left.

We took the Night Watchman tour, very entertaining and highly recommended:
http://www.nightwatchman.de/index.php?&sprache=ENG
carcassone is offline  
Aug 21st, 2014, 09:01 AM
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It's been decades, but I have been to Rothenburg before. For many years, I had a poster of it hanging in my home.
peggionthego is offline  
Aug 21st, 2014, 01:11 PM
  #16  
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With all the great advice I've gotten today and continuing research, I think the "bones" of our itinerary are as follows:

Berlin, including day trip to Potsdam
Train to Dresden
Train to Nuremberg, plan day trip to Bamberg
Drive to Fussen
Drive to Berchtesgaden
Drive to Salzburg
Fly to Frankfurt

We have not figured out how many nights to spend in each place! Would still be grateful for any guidance. Still look at 2 to 2 1/2 weeks.
peggionthego is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2014, 04:24 AM
  #17  
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Only tweak is that we may take the train from Nuremberg to Fussen and not pick up a rental car until Fussen. Also, thinking about renting an apartment in Berlin instead of staying in a hotel. We're also thinking of three weeks. So much to see and do!
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Aug 23rd, 2014, 04:56 AM
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If you still plan to tour the Berchtesgaden area and want to further your understanding of the Nazi rise and fall, suggest you visit the Documentation Center at Obersalzberg. The German government has created a very frank exhibit regarding this topic. Included is a visit to a portion of the underground bunker system. I have visited twice and learned a significant amount of information each time.

The Hotel Zum Turken has an additional exhibit of the bunker system which you can visit for a small fee.
Huggy is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2014, 01:08 PM
  #19  
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Thank you, Huggy! We are considering doing the David Harper tour; I wonder if that includes Obersalzberg??
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Aug 23rd, 2014, 01:36 PM
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Not sure about the tour but you can do this on your own as I did.
Huggy is offline  

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