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Undecided travel plans

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Feb 18th, 2016, 11:15 AM
  #1
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Undecided travel plans

I've arranged to be in Europe for a month, from May 31 to June 30. The problem is that I'm not sure about where I want to go. However, underlying the trip is the fact that I want to visit places where I can speak only German--except for the time in Warsaw.

I know where I'll be during the first 2 and 1/2 weeks. I'll be in Berlin for 5 days, followed by the train to Warsaw.

Then I'll be in Warsaw for 5 days.

Next to Dresden for four days, followed by 3 or 4 days in Bad Schandau (for Saxon Switzerland), Zittau, Bautzen, and/or Görlitz.These little towns are places I've never visited. If I fell in love with any of these places, I could spend more time there.

I've spent time in Berlin, Warsaw, and Dresden in past years, but I didn't see everything I wanted to see.

I still have nine days free. I don't know where to go. Perhaps south. Murnau, Fussen, Mittenwald, Innsbruck, Reutte. I don't think I've been to any of those towns. I haven't seen Herrenchiemsee or Frauenchiemsee. I've been in this general area at times in the past, but it's been a long, long time. Like in the 60's, for some of the ski resort areas.

Suggestions?
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Feb 18th, 2016, 11:32 AM
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Come to think of it, if the ski resort area is part of an attractive town/village, that would be okay too.

Switzerland and Austria are okay.
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Feb 18th, 2016, 11:34 AM
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From Dresden to Torgau, small (nice - boring) town along the Elbe. Where Calvin was born or studied.
Or not Calvin, but rather Luther. Not the king, the older one....
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Feb 18th, 2016, 11:43 AM
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Alsace in France?

The Mosel Valley - Cochem is a real gem! Supposed you've been to the Rhine

How about tracking Luther in Luterstadt-Wittemberg on the way south from Berlin

How about Leipzig area with a string of cute towns - Erfurt a larger but neat city; Weimar a smaller town gem and Naumburg - even smaller and more old looking and then you have Watburg Castle in Eisenach where Luther hid out for some time - legend says the ink stains on his tiny room's walls are from when the Devil appeared to him and he threw his ink pot at him! Eisenach itself is an industrial auto town but not bad but no reason to go there but for the castle - all these 4 towns are like ducks in a row in a liner short line west of Leipzig.
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Feb 18th, 2016, 12:03 PM
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Innsbruck with day trip to the Stubai glacier and then the Achensee, probably staying in Pertisau. You get to ride the cog railway up from Jenbach and then take a steamer. Or Zell-am-See - visit Krimml waterfall and the Grossglockner mountain road.
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Feb 18th, 2016, 12:08 PM
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I thought Peg wants to stay where he/she can speak German.
Alsace is no more germanspeaking, some might speak a german dialect that nobody understands.
About the same for Austria.
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Feb 18th, 2016, 12:30 PM
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By Pegontheroad: "Switzerland and Austria are okay."

And who said anything about Alsace?
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Feb 18th, 2016, 12:40 PM
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Have you been to Leipzig? That's one of my favorite cities in that area, if you are going to be in Dresden 4 days, why not go to Leipzig for a few days, it's only about an 1.5 hours by train.

It's not exactly on the way from Dresden to Gorlitz, but with the time you have, it's not that far away.
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Feb 18th, 2016, 12:42 PM
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They speak French and Alsatian in Alsace.

I think I suggested this one of your earlier threads, but the Harz mountains are beautiful, and we found very few people who wanted to, or could, speak English once we got out in the smalltowns.
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Feb 18th, 2016, 01:09 PM
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I second Harz mountains. We too encountered very little English, and it's really beautiful.
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Feb 18th, 2016, 02:33 PM
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Some great suggestions here. I'd like to see Wartburg castle, though I am not a fan of Luther.

I've been to Leipzig (the city of heroes) twice, and I really liked it. I enjoyed the jugendstil (art nouveau) decorations on the arcade. Given my interest in the Cold War, I especially enjoyed my visits to the Stasi museum (das Museum in der Runden Ecke) and die Nicholaikirche, both of which were significant in the fall of the East German government.

It was from Leipzig that I took the bus to Castle Colditz, which was used as a WWII prison camp for allied "bad boys," who'd escaped from other camps.

The Harz....hmmm. Maybe I could take another trip to Wernigerode, as when I went in 2014, I was having trouble with my...ahem... digestion and was afraid to be away from a bathroom for any time. Anyway, I'd like to take the train up to the Brocken, and also see the DDR listening station/museum there.

I'd like to see the castle, too. I was intimidated by the walk to the castle, but now I see that there are ways to reach the castle other than walking.

Torgau...that's where the Americans and Russians met at the end of WWII. I spent a couple of days in Weimar in 2014. Nice town.

I have not seen Schloss Cochem, but Burg Eltz isn't too far away. A really cool castle.

Thursday: Your suggestions sound great. I plan on going to Innsbruck, but my past experience has been very limited.


An embarrassment of riches here!
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Feb 18th, 2016, 02:57 PM
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another vote here for Wernigerode and the Brocken - as we were walking down, we saw a sign indicating [I think] where the guards laid down their arms as the DDR was breathing its last.

Naumburg, [the small city that we have been to twice now on our legal exchanges] has very few english speakers, apart from the legal community that we visit, and the same applies to Halle which is a much bigger place; really all of what was the DDR is fertile ground as they were taught Russian not english.

Even Weimar which has many tourists is a very good place for speaking German [apart from the italian gelateria in the square by the Theatre where you're better off speaking italian!]
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Feb 18th, 2016, 03:08 PM
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You could make your way through Saxony and Thuringia towards the Harz. Just let me list a few names for you to check out, in addition to those that have already been mentioned:

The Ore Mountains: Freiberg, Annaberg-Buchholz, Augustusburg, Schwarzenberg (and many more)
Chemnitz (it's hardly known how much art nouveau architecture this city has!) and Zwickau
Plauen
Rudolstadt palace
Mühlhausen
Nordhausen
- if you like roses: the Rosarium in Sangerhausen should be marvellous in mid June
steam train across the Harz to Wernigerode
Goslar
Quedlinburg
Halle
Wolfenbüttel
Hildesheim
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Feb 18th, 2016, 03:28 PM
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For more on some of my visits to Austria see:

http://wilhelmswords.com/rtw2004/index.html - Lands of the Two-Headed Eagle - skip Hungary

http://wilhelmswords.com/eur2006/index.html - Awesome Austria
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Feb 18th, 2016, 04:22 PM
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I second your suggestion for Görlitz and also Pal's reco for Wittenberg. You might also think about Meissen and Weimar... and of course the Harz mountains. If you'll have a vehicle there are a lot of small towns such as Goslar that are actually in the mountains rather than just outside them like Wernigerode and Quedlinburg which we also love.

We'll be in Germany and Austria during your trip!
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Feb 19th, 2016, 02:39 AM
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If you want to work on your German language, my German professor said that there is German, spoken around Berlin, and a bunch of dialects. Maybe it's because he was a Berliner!

But he would not have wanted you to develop an Austrian or Schweizerdeutsch accent.
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Feb 19th, 2016, 05:58 AM
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Probably. Berlin's dialect is actually quite something...

The purest high German is spoken in the southern part of Lower Saxony around Hannover and Braunschweig.
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Feb 19th, 2016, 05:59 AM
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But I think Peg has already reached a level of language skills that allows her to deal with quite a bit of dialect!
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Feb 19th, 2016, 06:23 AM
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If you're in Hildesheim area, you could go a little farther north to Celle and even Bergen-Belsen. And the train station in Uelzen is worth a look-see, designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser.
Or maybe you've been to this area already?
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Feb 19th, 2016, 09:12 AM
  #20
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One of the girls in my class had spent a year in Switzerland. She was talking one day, and it finally dawned on me that she had a Swiss accent.

However, I've heard dialects of which I could not understand more than a couple of words. Sachsisch, for instance.

My friend and I were visiting acquaintances of hers. The mother was talking to me, but the only word I could catch was the occasional "nich" with no final t. The daughter came in and reminded her mother that she was speaking dialect. It didn't help much, though, because the mother went right on speaking dialect, and I went right on understanding very little.

The only dialect, if you can call it that, which I remember from Heidelberg is that people typically said "Zwo" instead of "zwei."
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