Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Suggested driving routes for Baden-Wurttemburg

Suggested driving routes for Baden-Wurttemburg

Jan 7th, 2013, 02:36 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,691
Suggested driving routes for Baden-Wurttemburg

I'm in the process of planning a road trip in April through Baden-Wurttemburg, and would like some input on two of the days. I've been using viamichelin.com to map out our journeys, but what I'm looking for are ideas for places to stop and see during our drive. We're interested in castles, monasteries, churches, breweries, medieval towns, and quirky museums.

Driving day #1 - Tübingen to Meersburg
We'll be stopping in the morning to visit Schloss Lichtenstein (will visit Hohenzollern the day before), and would like to stop in Lindau for a walk-about before ending in Meersburg for the evening. Any suggestions for the drive from Lichenstein to Lindau?

Driving day #2 - Meersburg to Sissach, Switzerland
We'll spend the morning visiting Meersburg and possibly Mainau, and then will drive to Sissach, Switzerland, which is located just east of Basel, and right over the border from Germany. (I can trace my paternal roots back to the 1400's to this region). This is the route we really need help with. We will purchase a vinette (sp?) for driving in Switzerland (I'm assuming when we rent the car).

Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks!

Robyn
artstuff is offline  
Jan 8th, 2013, 05:24 AM
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,691
Topping - any suggested driving routes?

Robyn
artstuff is offline  
Jan 11th, 2013, 06:05 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,314
Hi Robyn, You are driving a lesser-known route in a lesser-known region of Germany, hence the lack of responses. On day 1 you might consider a small detour to Schloss Sigmaringen, which is another castle of the Hohenzollern family. I have not been inside but it is quite impressive from the outside:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigmaringen_Castle

Ravensburg is also a nice town to stop in, with 14 well-preserved medieval towers.

Lindau is not really on the way to Meersburg...but you probably know that already. I have not been to Lindau so I can't offer an opinion there. Meersburg is a lovely town, great for walking, and has a very interesting castle. Mainau is gorgeous and definitely worth a visit. Hopefully the tulips will be in bloom by the time of your visit...but sadly the roses will not be out yet.

Other than that, I suggest you do what my husband and I often did on the weekends when we lived in Stuttgart: we mapped out a route on the B-roads and just went for a scenic drive. Stop when you see something interesting! Here is an example from my blog of one we did that roughly follows the route you are taking (in reverse), including a lunch stop in Ravensburg:
http://www.temporaryhausfrau.blogspo...-bodensee.html
(We even took this drive in April so it will give you an idea of what it will look like when you are there.)

I can't help much with day 2, other than to suggest that you do spend some time on Mainau. Yes you will need to get the vignette. You will need to purchase this at a gas station or at the border. Good luck tracing your family roots!
hausfrau is offline  
Jan 11th, 2013, 06:05 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,314
Hi Robyn, You are driving a lesser-known route in a lesser-known region of Germany, hence the lack of responses. On day 1 you might consider a small detour to Schloss Sigmaringen, which is another castle of the Hohenzollern family. I have not been inside but it is quite impressive from the outside:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigmaringen_Castle

Ravensburg is also a nice town to stop in, with 14 well-preserved medieval towers.

Lindau is not really on the way to Meersburg...but you probably know that already. I have not been to Lindau so I can't offer an opinion there. Meersburg is a lovely town, great for walking, and has a very interesting castle. Mainau is gorgeous and definitely worth a visit. Hopefully the tulips will be in bloom by the time of your visit...but sadly the roses will not be out yet.

Other than that, I suggest you do what my husband and I often did on the weekends when we lived in Stuttgart: we mapped out a route on the B-roads and just went for a scenic drive. Stop when you see something interesting! Here is an example from my blog of one we did that roughly follows the route you are taking (in reverse), including a lunch stop in Ravensburg:
http://www.temporaryhausfrau.blogspo...-bodensee.html
(We even took this drive in April so it will give you an idea of what it will look like when you are there.)

I can't help much with day 2, other than to suggest that you do spend some time on Mainau. Yes you will need to get the vignette. You will need to purchase this at a gas station or at the border. Good luck tracing your family roots!
hausfrau is offline  
Jan 11th, 2013, 06:15 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,314
Woah...had an error there and it posted my response twice.

Since you are interested in quirky museums you might also like the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen:
http://www.zeppelin-museum.de/home_en.0.html
hausfrau is offline  
Jan 12th, 2013, 04:14 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,869
this post lists a couple of routes
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic....html#19498810
bigtyke is offline  
Jan 14th, 2013, 07:12 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,691
Thank you, hausefrau & bigtyke, for your responses. I was beginning to give up hope for some suggestions, then the two of you surprised me and came through with some excellent information.

bigtyke - I mapped out the suggested routes through the Swabian Alb and will definately incorporate the latter route on our travels from Tübingen to Meersburg. My husband is looking forward to seeing the "highest concentration of castle ruins in Germany".

hausfrau - I really enjoyed reading your blogspot links. They were very well written and informative. I poked around and read some of your other blogs, particularly the castle ones. My husband is really intrigued by Hohenurach, but I don't know if we'll have time to visit. How much time did you allow?... a half hour each way to hike up and down, then another half hour to explore? We also want to visit Hohenzollern and Lichtenstein, but are debating whether to pay the admission price and tour the castles, or just do a walk-about the outside. If you have visited, could you share your impressions with me? BTW, how lucky of you and your husband to be able to spend time living in Europe and touring around as you did.

Everyone else - I'm still looking for suggested routes/places to see between Meersburg and Basel (Sissach), Switzerland. Maybe Schaffhausen, or Radolfzell, or Rheinfalls? Any suggestions?...

Robyn
artstuff is offline  
Jan 15th, 2013, 12:51 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,070
Überlingen, Birnau pilgrimage church, the prehistoric museum village of Unteruhldingen, Mainau Island, Konstanz, Reichenau Island, the volcanoes of Hegau with Hohentwiel castle ruin (to show you a real caastle after all that 19th century stuff), Stein am Rhein with the painted houses, Schaffhausen's old town and castle, the Rhine falls, the abbey churches of Rheinau and Königsfelden, Säckingen with the wooden bridge, the old towns like Rheinfelden (the Swiss part) or Liestal, Roman excavations of Augusta Raurica in Augst, the Jura hills, or a tour through the Southern Black Forest, for example via Schluchsee and St. Blasien. There is enough on that route to fill at least 4 days, so pick two or three of these.
quokka is offline  
Jan 15th, 2013, 01:09 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,314
Glad you liked my blog! It's been a long time since I (or anyone for that matter) have looked at it and it was fun to reminisce a little while I was looking for that post. You are going to a beautiful part of Germany at one of my favorite times of year.

bigtyke's link gives some very good suggestions. I forgot about the Donau Valley - we did that route too and it is lovely.

Hohenurach is quite spectacular. A true ruin with lots of nooks and crannies to explore. I can't remember exactly how long the hike took, but I think a couple hours would be good for a visit.

Between Hohenzollern and Lichtenstein, I would say Hohenzollern has the much more interesting interior. I went there several times and it is hands down one of my all-time favorite restored castles (and I've seen a LOT of castles). At the time I lived there they did not offer English tours; I am not sure if that has changed. If the tours are still only in German you can buy an English guidebook at the gift shop and follow along; the tour is worth it. You can also pay a Euro to see the catacombs underneath the castle.

Lichtenstein is very picturesque but has less to see inside. It is more of a hunting lodge than a true castle. You can easily do a little walkabout and get great views of the castle without going inside. I'm pretty sure you can get onto the grounds without doing a tour.

Unfortunately I only blogged our last year in Germany so I can't refer you to my tours of Hohenzollern or Lichtenstein, but they are definitely both worth a visit.
hausfrau is offline  
Jan 16th, 2013, 04:48 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,691
Thank you quokka for your excellent suggestions. I have put dots on my map for some of the places, and now I can connect them to make my route to Sissach. We are particularly interested in Hohentwiel, perched high on the volcanic protuberance. And I had forgotten about Stein am Rhine - I was confusing that town with Schaffhausen. I've been doing a LOT of research for this trip, and sometimes the brain goes into overload, so thanks for setting me straight. We would have been standing perplexed in Schaffhausen, looking for the pretty painted houses.

Hausfrau, I appreciate you taking the time to critique the two castles. Oddly, we were planning on doing the opposite of what you suggested. We were going to tour the inside of Lichtenstein, but at Hohenzollern we were only going to tour the outside. We prefer medieval castles to the more oppulent castles, so that's why we were leaning that way (plus, Lichtenstein is a self-guided tour). But now you have us thinking... we'll probably spend the time to tour the inside of Hohenzollern.

I'm hoping we can fit a hike up to Hohenurach. It depends mostly on the weather and how we feel on the day that we're planning to be in the vicinity. I think our favorite castles to explore are castle ruins, that's why Hohenurach and Hohentwiel appeal to us. And after doing a little research last night, I have found that the two castles are related! Apparently the father of the Duke of Hohentwiel went insane and was imprisoned at Hohenurach. You got to love history...

We had 4 inches of heavy, wet snow last night, so I must go now and help to clear the 1/4 mile long driveway so I can get to work. Thank you hausfrau, quokka and bigtyke for your help in our planning. You will be fondly remembered as we visit this area of Germany.

Robyn
artstuff is offline  
Jan 16th, 2013, 09:47 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,314
Yes, do tour Hohenzollern. It has a lot more history than Lichtenstein, since it was an active fortress. And it's pretty cool that it is still a royal residence. You can easily look past the fancy turrets and see what an amazing place it must have been in its day. Also the restaurant is fantastic, or at least it was 5 years ago (the one at the castle itself, not the snack bar in the parking lot).

Just to complicate matters, another really interesting ruin in the area is Burg Hohenneuffen, a bit further east of Tuebingen and north of Bad Urach. It's most easily reached off of the A8, exiting at Kirchheim unter Teck, but you could also get to it on the B-roads from Tuebingen. It does have a restaurant inside the walls so it is not quite as atmospheric as Hohenurach, but the views of the surrounding Alb are astounding - especially gorgeous in the springtime! It is reached via a short level trail, so you would need less time (and energy) to visit it. One of my most favorite memories of Germany is taking my dog Cody up to Hohenneuffen while my brother was visiting, and letting Cody run around with another dog that he found amidst the ruins. I don't know any other American dogs that have visited multiple German castles!
hausfrau is offline  
Jan 20th, 2013, 07:42 AM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,691
Sorry for the delay in responding... that horrible flu bug invaded my body on Thursday, and had me flat out for the last several days.

Ironically, hausfrau, I already had Hohenneuffen on our map as a castle ruin to visit! I checked it out on Google Earth, and being able to drive up the hill to the castle made it a no-brainer for us. I'm glad to hear you confirming my assumptions of having an easy access with the short level trail.

Yes, we will definately tour the inside of Hohenzollern. Thanks for persuading us to do so. I think our reluctance at first was from an overload of oppulent castles on our last trip to Germany. We visited 4 of Ludwig's castles, plus the Residences in Würzburg, Bamberg and Munich! But I can't imagine Hohenzollern will be as lavish as any of those.

BTW, how lucky for you and your dog to be able to spend time together in Germany. We have a wirehaired dachshund, who would fit in perfect over there... (I miss him when we travel).

Robyn
artstuff is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:08 PM.