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elbegewa Jan 10th, 2009 04:47 PM

Suggestions for for Germany?
My wife and I are flying into Frankfurt in May and have 4 days and 4 nights on our own before meeting a group on the 5th day to fly to Ukraine (Bessarabian area) the following day. On the way back the group will stop in Stuttgart and surrounding areas for 3 days.

We’d like to go to one place for those first 4 days on our own and tour locally from there. Do you have any suggestions for those 4 days?

We’re trying to sort through the ideas we’ve come up with but are open to suggestions.

Our interests:
We are more interested in getting a feel for a place, than just look for visual “eye candy”. We enjoy both cities, small towns, natural sights, history and art museums, castles, old towns, etc.
We’re in our mid 60’s, very active, tend to be going strong all day long from early morning to mid evening – strong walkers, hikers, bicyclers, classical and folk music listeners. We’re budget conscious, so tend to stay in 2 to 3 star places, but splurge occasionally.
In 06 we went to the Bavarian Alps, Salzburg, Cesky Krumlov, Prague, Dresden, Olbernhau (my wife’s dad’s hometown), and Berlin on our first exploratory trip to Europe. After we retire in 2010 we hope to live a few months in Germany.

Some of the things we’re considering are either Trier, or the Neckar Valley, or the Bamberg / Würzburg / Nürnburg area, or something you’d suggest. Ideally (but unlikely?) we’d find an old schloß to stay at.

nytraveler Jan 10th, 2009 05:17 PM

Trier is good for a couple of days, but you can easily do some interesting day trips from there (Luxembourg, cute towns/castes along the Moselle) assuming you have a car.

We spent 4 nights in the are and enjoyed it a lot - but then we're history/museum/cathedral/castle buffs - and really love any Roman remains.

Dutch Jan 10th, 2009 06:14 PM

Franconia would be my recommendation. Bamberg would make a good base with a visit to Nurnberg and/or Coburg.

Aramis Jan 10th, 2009 06:37 PM

Another recommendation for the Oberfranken / Mittelfranken area. There are so many great and different places to see in a compact area;

Bamberg, Nurnberg, Wurzburg, Bayreuth, Coburg, Iphofen, Rothenburg, etc..

Nurnberg would probably make the best central base for that area.

DalaiLlama Jan 10th, 2009 08:59 PM

I propose Cologne - then you have the option of going up-river (see or staying in Cologne (cathedral, chocolate museum, etc.) or visiting other nearby targets depending on whim and weather. Cologne is a great city with lots of character.

Mainhattengirl Jan 11th, 2009 01:30 AM

Make Frankfurt your base. It is easy to pick up trains there and many towns are close by. Think Mainz, Wiesbaden, Heidelberg, Darmstadt, Bad Homburg, Giessen, Büdingen, and even Köln is only 55 min. away by the ICE, (but take the slow train for the best scenery!)

Frankfurt itself is very interesting. Lots of museums and art of course, but historically, many gems too. I like St. Leonhards, the Alt Nikolai and of course the Dom, where the emperors were crowned. One place you should not miss is the Holocaust Memorial Wall, extremely moving, with over 11,000 names of Frankfurts Jewish citizens on it that died at the hands of the Nazis. Right next to it is my favorite museum, the Judengasse with its cellar foundations from the Jewish ghetto dating back to the 1500's. Visit the Roman bath ruins, the gorgeous Old Opera house, and so many other things there isn't space here to mention them.

elbegewa Jan 11th, 2009 10:46 AM

Thanks. We are mulling over your suggestions ... it will be awhile before we decide.

All of the possibilities are still open. One of the many things we are considering is the following. Any comments? (Or we may still go to Frankonia or the Neckar)

One possibility is:
Day 1: driving from Frankfurt through the Lahn valley, staying one night in a small town somewhere near Koblenz on either the Lahn, Mosel, or Rhine
Day 2: driving and sightseeing from there along the Mosel to somewhere near Wittlich and staying 2 nights.
Day 3: we would drive into Trier
Day 4: drive quickly back to Frankfurt on the Autobahn.

Another possibility is:
Day 1: drive directly from Frankfurt to some place near Wittlich and stay 3 nights.
Day 2: explore from there to the Mosel
Day 3: drive into Trier.
Day 4:drive quickly back to Frankfurt on the Autobahn

Both cases would allow us to explore Frankfurt for 1/2 day on day 4 and 1/2 day on the next day prior to meeting our group.

So many choices to winnow.

Aramis Jan 11th, 2009 11:27 AM

The Mosel is certainly another good option.

Are you choosing Wittlich because it is close to Trier and "out" of the Mosel valley? I must admit I had never heard of it until your post so I don't know anything about it.

It is about 30 minutes from Wittlich to Trier, but only about 1 hour from Zell, Trarbach, or Cochem to Trier and 40 minutes from Kues,. as well.

There may be a Mosel expert who can advise more you on other places to stay that don't affect your time to get to Trier too much.

bettyk Jan 11th, 2009 01:01 PM

We stayed in Bernkastel-Kues last September and loved it. We visited Traben Tarbach, Trier and Echternach, Luxembourgh.

We have also stayed in Beilstein a couple of years ago and from there we visited Burg Eltz and Cochem.

We've stayed in Bad Wimpfen in the Neckar Valley and thought it was a gem! We did a day trip from BW to Schwaebisch Hall and Dinkelsbuehl.

We have stayed in Iphofen near Wurzburg and done day trips to Dettelbach and Karlstadt am Main, two wonderful small towns that most American tourists never visit.

If you are interested, you may want to look at our photo albums:

2007 Trip:

2006 Trip:

2005 Trip:

Any of your choices would be great. Germany is beautiful and I haven't been disappointed yet.

elbegewa Jan 17th, 2009 09:42 AM

Thanks to all of your help we're tentatively deciding on the beginnings of a plan for our trip in May. What are your thoughts and comments on it?

1. Sunday: arrive Frankfurt early morning, get hotel, spend the day touring Frankfurt. (Since we normally work wierd hours, on our 2 previous trips to Europe we found jet lag didn't bother us).
3. Overnight Frankfurt
4. Monday: drive to the Lahn Valley, spend the day exploring it.
5. Stay in a small hotel or pension in the lower Lahn or Koblenz areas as a "base" for the next few days.
6. Tuesday: explore the area near the place we are staying and tour the Mosel area. See Burgen Marksburg and Elz and wine country. See where Piesport comes from.
7. Wednesday: drive along the Rhein back to Frankfurt. Play it by ear how much time to spend on the Rhein, how much to spend in Frankfurt.
8. Thursday: meet up with our friends on our way to Ukraine and former Bessarabia.
9. On way home, spend a few days in Stuttgart area.

1. What are some "must sees" and what are some usually overlooked but potentially memorable things to do and see in Frankfurt and the Lahn Valley?
2. Any recommendations for accommodations to stay for a few nights in the lower Lahn / Koblenz area? We prefer small hotels or pensions, mid price range.

quokka Jan 17th, 2009 11:12 AM

Check my reply (yes it's me) about the Lahn valley on VT.

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