Where to stop along the way

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Apr 27th, 2016, 10:50 AM
  #1
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Where to stop along the way

Hello Fodorites,

In June, we will be driving from Garmisch-Partenkirchen to the Alsace region. We will be staying in Obernai. Based on viamichelin, the drive will be about 5 hours. We would like to stop some place worth checking out -- we enjoy walking around small, picturesque,or historical villages/towns. This is our first time in the region, and we just can't tell by looking at the map what towns are scenic and/or interesting. While we might find answers to this question from guidebooks and online, we would love to hear other travelers' ideas and experiences.
Thank you!
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Apr 28th, 2016, 04:45 AM
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Well, you were already right to choose Obernai as a base.

Really, Alsace is quite small and you will be able to visit all sorts of places from Obernai. I would recommend not missing Haut-Koenigsbourg and Mont Sainte-Odile.

There are plenty of picturesque towns and villages to visit, but basically they will all mostly look like Obernai.

If you are in Obernai over a weekend, you will see that it is invaded by German daytrippers on Saturday and Sunday coming to get a good choucroute and maybe buy some of the whirling and cuckoo clocks that you will see in all of the tourist shops.
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Apr 28th, 2016, 05:15 AM
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Lindau is quite nice.
http://www.inselwache.de/assets/images/Bild_Lindau.jpg

So is Schiltach, in the Kinzig River Valley (Black Forest.)
http://www.orte-bw.de/grafik/uploads..._2010_1040.JPG

Nearby, Gutach's Vogtsbauernhof lends an eye to rural traditions in the Black Forest:
http://www.orte-bw.de/grafik/uploads..._2010_1040.JPG
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Apr 28th, 2016, 05:16 AM
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Sorry, wrong link above for the Vogtsbauernhof open air museum. Here:

http://www.schwarzwald-geniessen.de/...pg?fl=18233846

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attracti...Wurttembe.html
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Apr 28th, 2016, 02:10 PM
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@Fussgaenger: Thank you for your suggestions. Schiltach is absolutely delightful and it just might fit the bill! The Open Air Museum is of interest to us as well, but I'm afraid we'll feel rushed as I think we'd need at least two hours to tour the place. We don't speak any German, do you think we can get by with just the pleasantries in small villages?
@Keruoac: I've seen you recommend Obernai in a couple of threads- so thank you! Thankfully we'll be there Monday thru Thurs.
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Apr 28th, 2016, 02:40 PM
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"We don't speak any German, do you think we can get by with just the pleasantries in small villages?"

The Black Forest towns keep their traditions and dialect, and overall, there might be fewer folks who learn English well than in urban areas, but you can generally expect hoteliers and most shopkeepers and restaurant personnel, people that routinely serve foreigners, to help you in English. Asians, Scandinavians, Middle Easterners, and visitors from all over the planet visit the Black Forest; like you, they typically speak not a word of German, but they usually know some English and hope to use it in Germany, so English is the most natural go-to language for any merchant or innkeeper when dealing with non-Germans.

"The Open Air Museum is of interest to us as well, but I'm afraid we'll feel rushed..."

So maybe you stay next door at the Rotbauernhof. If you really don't have time to squeeze in a visit from a short distance like that, you'll at least have a Black Forest farm experience. The summer bobsled run is next door as well.

http://www.bensbauernhof.com/rotbauernhofgutach.html

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Re...rttemberg.html

http://www.rotbauernhof.de/php/allro...ax=14&pfad=hof
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Apr 29th, 2016, 01:28 AM
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The Black Forest is the natural choice.

Another option for a stay in the Black Forest would be Triberg, with Germany's highest waterfalls, a historic museum and many cuckoo clock shops. Also close to the Vogtsbauernhof.

http://www.triberg.de/index.php?id=278

You won't be wrong with any of the above mentioned places. Just look for accomodation in the area which fits your needs.
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Apr 29th, 2016, 08:52 AM
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From the panorama on top of Mont Sainte Odile, you can still see the Black Forest. Very compact area!
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Apr 29th, 2016, 10:16 AM
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If this is a rental car, be aware that renting in Germany and dropping off in France can cost a small fortune.

I would concur with Obernai as a wonderful place to visit. As for the language issue, I speak reasonably good German but never found it all that useful in Alsace, as my Alsatian is nonexistent. French works, as does English for most places.
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Apr 29th, 2016, 11:57 AM
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Strasbourg is a great larger city - famous cathedral - old canalsin Petit Veniseand modern architecture in EU installations. But really in Alsace - just over the Rhine bridge from Germany.

In Germany I'd recommend Baden-Baden as a neat old spa - at one time about the most swank in Europe - the grand old casino is still there - replenish dwindling trip funds here and walk around the park-like setting the town sits in. Visit the various thermal establishments:

https://www.google.com/search?q=bade...HczBAP8QsAQIGw

Good point from St-Cirq about car dropping off - drop off in Germany and re-rent in France is the drop-ff fees for splitting two countries is dauntingly steep.

If going thru Colmar- a cute wine Alsace wine town look for in a round-about at a city entrance a scale-model of the Statue of Liberty- the original was cast in Colmar and shipped in piece to New Jersey where it sill stands on Liberty Island.

https://www.google.com/search?q=colm...Hc_xAPcQsAQIGw
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Apr 29th, 2016, 12:17 PM
  #11
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Thank you all so much for the enthusiastic and very helpful responses. We were just looking for a quick stop to break the 5-hr drive to Obernai. We'd love to see the Black Forest, but we decided to save it for another trip.
We will be dropping off the rental car in Dusseldorf. After the Alsace region, we'll drive up to Cochem, stay for a few days, then drive to Dusseldorf the day before we fly back to SFO.
@Keruoac: Yes, it was your mention of Mont Sainte Odile that piqued my interest in Obernai!
@PalenQ: Colmar is on our itinerary. Thank you!
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Apr 29th, 2016, 12:24 PM
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The actual closest dialect to Alsatian is Schweizerdeutsch. My friends from Zürich and Bern have no trouble at all communicating in Alsace (then again, they speak perfect French, too).

I am actually going to Colmar in about two weeks to see the Unterlinden museum which recently reopened. It was an important enough event for the president to make a special trip there for the inauguration..
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Apr 30th, 2016, 06:26 AM
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It was an important enough event for the president to make a special trip there for the inauguration..>

most French however these days I think would like to not see their very very unpopular President there?
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Apr 30th, 2016, 06:42 AM
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You have two possible route, a northern route via Ulm, Stuttgart (not recommended because of traffic congestions) and a southern route along the Bodensee and through the Black Forest via Titisee-Neustadt, Freiburg. Also, the southern route is more scenic.

The southern route offeres several options for quick stops:

- The stone age museum in Uhldingen at Bodensee (http://www.pfahlbauten.com/)
- Titisee with a picturesque Old Town (Titisee, not Neustadt) and a lake.
- Freiburg, a historic city.
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Apr 30th, 2016, 07:06 AM
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I just noticed that Google Maps does not show the route I meant. Instead, they suggest driving through Austria and Switzerland which would require to buy vignettes in both countries.

Viamichelin.com displays the route through the Black Forest. It is like this: Garmisch - Füssen - Kempten - along Bodensee (Friedrichshafen) - Stockach - Engen - then on B31 via Titisee-Neustadt, Freiburg - Riegel - Selestat

I strongly advise not to drive the A8 between Stuttgart and Karlsruhe - it is Germany's most congested motorway.
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