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See more in Germany, or linger in Munich/Berner O/Austria?

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See more in Germany, or linger in Munich/Berner O/Austria?

Old Jun 20th, 2003, 09:53 PM
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See more in Germany, or linger in Munich/Berner O/Austria?

Hi. My husband and I are traveling to Germany/Austria/Switz for the first time on July 21 for 14 days/13 nts, probably flying into Frankfurt or Bern. The reason that I'm unsure of even this is that I can't decide between trying to pack it all in by seeing Munich/Rhine/Mosel areas in Germany plus Berner O and Salzburg/Hallstatt/Vienna. My other option is to limit the places we see in Germany to Munich and the Neuschwanstein area so that I can spend more time there, as well as spend more time in Austria. We love museums and cultural sites, but we are also crazy about good scenery. I imagine that the thing that I am least interested in doing is spending a lot of time touring the interior of castles or medieval villages (sorry, hope that doesn't offend anyone...)

Anyway, these are the options that I have thought through:
1. Packing it in: Drive from Frankfurt to Rhine/Mosel area (2 nts) to Berner O. (2 nts) to Munich (3 nts) and drop off car. Then, take train to Salzburg (2 nts) to Halstatt (1 nt) to Vienna (3 nts). In this case, I'd be flying into Frankfurt and flying out of Vienna. We'd have several days of long drives, but we'd see some incredible things, I know.

or

2. Skip most of Germany except for one night in Bavaria and 4 nights in Munich, so that we can linger more in Switzerland and Austria (as well as Munich): I'm thinking that in this case we would drive from Bern to Berner O. (2 nts.) to Neuschwanstein (1 nt.) to Munich (4 nts) and drop off the car, and then take train to Salzburg (2 nts) to Hallstatt (1 nts) to Vienna (3 nts). In this case, I would be flying into Bern and out of Vienna. We'd have fewer long days of driving, from my calculations, but we would miss the beautiful views of the castles and scenery along the Rhine and Mosel.

I'd really appreciate any advice or comments you have. Just getting this nailed down will get me a good nights sleep!
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Old Jun 20th, 2003, 11:51 PM
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make it the first option- four nights in Munich is too much, unless yo uare planning on going to the Opera at nights.
on the other hand I cannot comment on how worthwhile the Mosel region really is, as I have not been there. in any case three nights in Munich should be sufficient.
regards
hsv
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Old Jun 21st, 2003, 02:40 AM
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Unles you are absolutely devoted to driving have you at all considered traveling by train...all of these areas are easily reached, much more relaxing than driving, plenty of scenery, some not seen from the roads, and you can easily do the scenic parts of the Rhine by boat. Just a thought.
 
Old Jun 21st, 2003, 04:34 AM
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May I ask which of the three countries you find yourself dreaming about? The reason I ask is because I think you might want to consider planning a trip that begins at the Mosel and winds its way down the Rhine and then toward the Bavarian alps, then Salzburg, Halstatt, then down the Danube to Vienna. There is spectacular mountain scenery to be found, and 13 nights goes by pretty fast. My friends at SGFTWLS will not believe I've written this. But, unless this is a once in a lifetime thing, I'd save Switzerland until you can give it more time.

Now if, on the other hand, you are lukewarm about the Mosel and Rhine, then what about flying into Zurich or Geneve and out of Vienna? So many wonderful options, it's no wonder you can't sleep. J.


 
Old Jun 21st, 2003, 04:36 AM
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p.s. If you lean toward the second, then, like Bootman, I'd suggest that you consider training everywhere.
 
Old Jun 21st, 2003, 05:23 AM
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I, on the contrary, suggest driving!
Rhine/Mosel and then further south via the beautiful Bodensee (=Lake Constance) all the way to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, which is partly over the scenic Romantic Road. Don't miss alpine towns like Oberammergau, Mittenwald, etc. From there on drive eastwards to the Berchtesgaden area (just got back, it is stunning!) where Germany meets Austria, visit Salzburg and then on to Vienna. You'll have a wonderful holiday!
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Old Jun 21st, 2003, 10:25 AM
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Thanks to all of you for your suggestions! It sounds as if I shouldn't pass up on the Rhine and Mosel area. As to whether it's best to drive or take a train, I probably need to crunch the numbers to see which is less expensive. My first analysis was that it would be cheaper to rent--especially since we would have so many days of travel. If you have any thoughts on this, I'd love to hear them as well.

Thanks again!
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Old Jun 21st, 2003, 11:01 AM
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I would suggest staying many nites in the area around Berchtesgaden. Picking a small hotel or Gastatte in this area will be much cooler than staying in a hotel in Munich in July/August. I would then take a day trip by car to Hallstadt and when rain is forecasted, I would take the train to Munich for a day trip.You can also do day trips to Salzburg, Innsbruck, Chiemsee, etc. This way you won't have to pack and unpack every day or two.
Sounds like you will have a great trip no matter how you do it!
Good Luck!
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Old Jun 21st, 2003, 11:07 AM
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I much prefer driving because of the flexibility it gives in visiting countryside villages and places away from the cities. It gives the choice of meandering along the backroads for scenery or taking the fast path on the autobahn. You do need to watch out for potential high drop charges if you pick up the car in one country and drop in another, and take the time to learn the driving customs before hitting the road (the expectations of drivers in Germany is much higher than US in things like lane discipline and preparedness).

Consider cutting out Vienna and not heading farther east than Salzburg. While Vienna has a lot to offer, it's also quite a bit of additional travel distance.
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Old Jun 21st, 2003, 11:09 AM
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Hi Janjab:

14 days to play!! Lucky you!
I lean toward what Myriam said.

I have done this in 7 euro days...many times
Land Frankfurt
Rothenburg 2 nights (rest and have fun)
Garmisch 3 nights (see castles. Weischurch, ettal abby, Mittenwald, Oberamergau, Seefeld)
Munich 2 nights( no car needed here!)
Fly home from Munich

With the additional week you can easily add:
Salzburg
Berchesgarden
Hallstatt

Follow the "spine of the Alps" and you will not be disappointed!
John

I would also save Switzerland for next visit!
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Old Jun 21st, 2003, 11:17 AM
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janab,
I second the thought of renting a car- better flexibility plus:

idle along the Danube river from the Austrian border to Vienna- lovely scenery, lovely towns where you can stop for some glasses of Gruener Veltliner wine, visit the monastery called Kloster Krems- things you won't see when on a seedy train!
hsv
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Old Jun 21st, 2003, 01:46 PM
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Couple of thoughts:

A long drive after the flight would be very taxing. The suggestion to stop in Rothenburg of similar after Frankfurt seems wise. I wouldn't suggest driving to Munich the first day. (Personally, I would take the train instead of driving if it was just the two of you - less stress.)

I would spend just one night in Salzburg and none in Hallstadt. Spend the extra time in Vienna or the Rhine/Mosel areas.

Any way you choose you'll have a great time.




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Old Jun 21st, 2003, 02:42 PM
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Some travel is better by train, other by car. It just depends on what you want to do. On our German trip last June (2002), we started out by train. From FRA to Bamberg (3 nights) and then Bamberg to Munich (3 nights). We didn't want to have a car in either Bamberg or Munich--difficult to drive and park in both places. And we had no desire to check out the countryside at that time.

But from Munich, we rented a car as we wanted to take back roads away from the most travelled tourist routes, and the tourist destinations we were headed to weren't difficult for driving or parking. So we drove to Hohenschwangau to see Ludwig's castles there (2 nights). It was a very easy drive, and we made several stops between Munich and Hohenschwangau--something we would not have done by train.

From Hohenschwangau, we drove up the Romantic Road, again making several stops, to our castle hotel in the small town of Colmberg (2 nights), just a short drive east of Rothenburg. We spent part of one day checking out Rothenburg, and the other 1-1/2 days driving around back roads to more obscure points of interest. We found a lot of places where 2 Americans (especially when 1 of them is also Korean) were objects of great curiosity.

Upon leaving Colmberg, we had planned a leisurely drive to Beilstein on the Mosel, again with several stops on the way. But mother nature decided to be uncooperative, and the temperatures soared to the 100 degree F. range. So we turned on the car's A/C and drove directly to Beilstein.

Worked out great, as we were able to sit in the shade at our hotel and drink nicely chilled Mosel wines throughout the heat of the afternoon. We spent 3 nights in Beilstein--explored both banks of the Mosel from Beilstein to the Rhein. Meet my childhood German friend for an afternoon in Kobern-Gondorf. A car was ideal--very little traffic, easy driving.

Our last full day in Germany, we drove from Beilstein to Walldorf via the Rhein. Took the chairlift in Boppard to get a great view of the Rhein. Stayed in Walldorf as it was next to FRA and was cheap--50 euro double.

Everyplace we went with the car was free parking. Driving was never a problem as we didn't drive in any big cities or crowded towns (and I'm not a guy who loves to drive). We saw a lot of things we wouldn't have seen by train. BUT for the first part of the journey the train was ideal.

So we were in Germany 14 nights. We didn't feel at all rushed. Had plenty of time to explore outside the usual tourist areas. With the exception of one incident, everyone we met was great. And my high school/college German from 30+ years ago did come in handy a number of times.
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Old Jul 9th, 2003, 05:04 PM
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I would like to visit Munich for the Oktoberfest and Berlin. What are interesting towns to visit in the surrounding areas of Munich? How far is Bodensee from Munich? How far is Bodensee from Berlin? What towns are worth seeing on our way to Berlin? Would you recommend renting a car (for 2 people) or taking the train? How much would the train or car rental cost?
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Old Jul 9th, 2003, 05:50 PM
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provence97, I think you would be better off if you started your own thread and ask your particular questions. You will probably get more responses that suit your requests than tagging onto someone else's thread.

Just a thought.
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