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Help plan my next trip to Germany

Well, not really plan. But, I take "potshots" at everyone else's trip, it's only fair I should submit my next one for comments.

Early next month I fly to Germany (FRA) for two weeks. My itinerary is:

I will land at FRA and go by train with a Rheinland-Pfalz-Ticket (€18 plus €3,60 for RMV ticket to Mainz) to Treis-Karden on the Mosel.

I will have 4 nights on the Mosel (€27 per night EZ/F) to see some of the famous wine towns and visit a few winetastings.

Then I travel by train (€29 Dauer-Spezial-Ticket) and bus to Braunlage in the Harz.

In the Harz, I expect to see the fachwerk buildings in Goslar and Wernigerode. I had wanted to go up to the top of the Brocken, but apparently the narrow-gauge, steam train to the top doesn't run after October. Will visit some of the small towns around the park.

After five nights in the Harz (€40 EZ/HP), I will travel by train ('nother €29 Dauer-Spezial-Ticket) to Bad Herrenalb, in the No. Black Forest outside of Karlsruhe.

Three night in Bad Herrenalb (€25 EZ/F), then by train (Rheinland-Pfalz-Ticket) to Mainz, where I will check out (stay at) Hotel Königshof (€62 EZ/F).

Leave the next day for home from FRA.

Posted by
3080 posts

Hi Lee,
It's obvious that you've done your homework--your itinerary sounds wonderful and you've found some great deals on transportation and hotels! I haven't been to any of these destinations but I'm inspired. It's fun to see a well-planned itinerary for one country--a great example of taking time to enjoy each destination. I really like the idea of taking trains so you won't need to deal with car rental and that you are spending 3-5 nights in each town. I see apple strudel in your future. Enjoy!

Posted by
18226 posts

BTW, Sharon, when I made my air reservations, I was offered a car rental for $491 for two weeks, for a car too small to drive on German highways, with no place to "hide" luggage, and with no collision coverage. That's the lowest car rental cost I have found Add ViaMichelins estimate of fuel cost of $183, and the total cost of having a car would have been $674.

I'll be doing this trip for about $155.

Posted by
441 posts

Lee,

Raileurope.com

:-)

Sorry, figured since you get that all the time on your posts for rail, figured it appropriate to recommend it to you for your trip! :-)

Looks like a great trip! If you make it into Cochem, we tasted wine at Weingut Rademacher (short walk from the train station). Wonderful wines that were very subdued and not overpowering sweet or dry. We spent some time talking to him and were humbled at how hard he worked and how nice a person he was. Have a great trip!

Posted by
3080 posts

The train sounds great--less complicated and less expensive. It's time consuming to research to plan a trip like this but it pays off in cost savings and fewer frustrations once you arrive. I hope that others inclined to plan for 5 countries in 2 weeks will follow your example!

Posted by
18226 posts

Interesting, JED. Using point to point ticket prices from the the Rail Europe website, plus Walkenried to Göttingen from Bahn.de, because RailEurope doesn't show it, I get €438 (about $613) for my trip. And I'm spending $155?

Posted by
10906 posts

Lee, you're one of your Germany experts so I think more will be able to learn from your itinerary than give advice.

But I'd like to make one suggestion for your next trip after this one...

Go somewhere besides Germany!!!!!! :)

Posted by
18226 posts

You sound like my wife.

Seriously, the important thing to me is the challenge, to have a "fighting chance" at the language. I don't speak anything but German, so it is always an exciting challenge to try to communicate in that language.

But I have a couple of other trips planned - from Frankfurt up the Rhein to Basel via the Alcase, and then to the Berner Oberland, and from Milan and Como Lago via Alto Agio to the Austrian Salzkammergut (Halstatt). But they all have a German language contingent. What can I say.

Posted by
5481 posts

Hi, Lee. I thought Goslar and Wernigerode were attractive and somewhat interesting but didn't see it as a 5-day destination unless you're doing some all-day hiking. If you need an extra town or two... Hildesheim is interesting - and of course Celle, Hameln and Rinteln (which has the most amazing buildings) aren't too much further.

Have a great trip.

Posted by
18226 posts

Harry,

How many cities, towns and villages in Germany have you visited so far?

Not counting the last century (1980s), and only towns that I have spent some time in (overnight, a meal, walked around), not towns that I have just "buzzed through" (changed trains, etc), about 60. Only five of those I would call major cities - Munich, Nürnberg, etc.

Posted by
8064 posts

What! You aren't going to stop for a while in Frankfurt so I can show you all the best sights??? See what you have been missing? I thought I would get the opportunity to change your mind about Frankfurt. Oh well, maybe next time. :-)

Posted by
1346 posts

Nothing really to offer except that we much enjoyed Goslar. For a about 18 months we lived in Bremerhaven and made trips south for meetings, etc. We always enjoyed a stopover in Goslar. In addition to the half-timber buildings, I really liked morning walks along a series of ponds and a stream meandering through town.

Not many American tourists.

Regards, Gary

Posted by
5 posts

I'm trying to suss out a trip to Europe next year, and, naturally, I'm trying to find the cheapest travel, hotel, etc.

Questions - what does the "EZ/F", or "EZ/HP" stand for when listed next to the place you are staying?

Also, are you using Bahn.de for all your point to point rail trips?

Thanks!

Posted by
18226 posts

"what does the "EZ/F", or "EZ/HP" stand for"

It's German. EZ/F is Einzelzimmer mit Frühstück, single room with breakfast. HP is Halb Pension, breakfast and dinner. Most likely you will see it as EZ for a single room, DZ as a double, then Ü/F, Übernachten mit Frühstück, overnight with breakfast.

I used the Bahn website to get €29 Dauer-Spezial tickets for Cochem to Bad Harzburg and Walkried to Karlsruhe. Bad Harzburg and Walkenried are towns on either side of the Harz, a national park; I'll use buses in the park. For FRA to Cochem and Karlsruhe to FRA, I will buy tickets from the automats in the stations. I'll use local Frankfurt transit tickets between FRA and Mainz, and €18 Rheinland-Pfalz-Tickets (all day passes) for Mainz to Cochem and Karlsruhe to Mainz.

For information on how to get rail and accommodation inexpensively in Germany, see my website.

Posted by
5 posts

Excellent, thanks for the info! I'm going to check out your website when I head home this evening!

Posted by
1 posts

HOLA, I´M TRYING TO PLAN A DAY TRIP WITH MY DAUGHTER (27 ) AND HER FRIEND. WE WILL DEPART FROM FRANKFURT HAHN ON NOV.7. WE WANTED TO VISIT THE ELTZ CASTLE BUT IT´S CLOSED NOV. - MARCH. WE NEED TO BE IN HEIDELBERG THAT EVENING. ANY SUGGESTIONS ??
MY THOUGHTS;EITHER HEAD TOWARDS KOBLENZ OR TRIER. WHICH DO YOU RECOMMEND???

Posted by
18226 posts

Kim, please read this, then post again.

You can change your post with the edit button.

Posted by
527 posts

Lee, you said you were arriving in Treis-Karden. What are you planning to do there? I've stayed at Hotel Brauer several times (I still don't know whether I was in Treis or in Karden) and rented a bicycle to bike along the Mosel for a couple days in 2004; LOVE that Radweg!

And -- you can venture out of Germany to the Bolzano/Bozen, Italy area and STILL speak German with everyone. I was there a week ago for the first time and loved it! Bike rental for 6 hours was an amazing 1 euro. Had the best ride along the river and through the apple orchards!

Posted by
74 posts

Hey Lee! Have you ever visited the region around the town of Landau in the Pfalz? It's located along the Suedlichen Weinstrasse. I'm planning to visit there next Spring. I've received several brochures on the area and the countryside looks beautiful. Lots of rolling hills, vineyards and quaint out of the way villages. Since you'll be near Karlsruhe it might be worth a visit. If you do get over that way I'd like to know what you think. Have a great trip!

Posted by
113 posts

I spent a great week on the Mosel, staying outside Cochem; it's cheap & easy to train anywhere along the river. So much to do - I loved Rick's favorite castle, Burg Eltz & the hike up - stop at the trailside hotel for a delicious sandwich and ate it by the river. Bike one way along the river to a wine town and take the boat back. In Cochem - which is tourist-packed, tho not with Americans - you can take a chair lift up and hike back down for a wine-tasting, see Rick's book. Beilstein is quite cute, also tourist-packed. Burg Eltz was my top pick - and NOT tourist packed when I was there, I only saw a couple of people on the hike; be sure to take an English tour of the castle, very interesting.

Posted by
18226 posts

According to their website, Burg Eltz closes Nov 1.

Posted by
100 posts

E. Rosenthal, the manager at Hotel Königshof speaks English well and if I recall correctly attended college in the US. He is very outgoing. Their Frühstück is not traditional German- more US/UK/German.

Theres an Italian restaurant down Schottstrasse ( Ariganello ?) that is tolerable if you don't want to wander far or it is late.

Posted by
70 posts

I agree with the earlier posting about Goslar and Wernigerode. We spent two nights, two days in the area Octpber 2007 and that was really enough time. The fachwerk buildings are a sight to see. There was a very interesting miniature tin figure museum in Golsar. It was amazing to see how the artists composed huge medieval battle scenes with tiny tin figurines. Also, we ate at a great restaurant that serves excellent wild meat dishes. I can't remember the name of it, but if you walk down the street to the left of the Kaiserworth Hotel (left as you look at the front of the hotel) it is on the right hand side. It has cozy booths in the bar area and the food is excellent. I had a mixed platter for dinner with venison, boar and some other wild meat. If I remember the name, I will post it.

On the Mosel, we stayed at the SA Prum winery in their guesthouse. The rooms were huge and beautiful, and built over the orginal wine cellars. The owner, "Raimund the Red" gave a tour and tasting of his wines. He was enjoyable and really made us feel welcome.

Have a great trip.

Posted by
18226 posts

OK, guys. This is it. I leave tomorrow evening (5th) for Frankfurt. If you want to follow my trip, I will post reports on my website.

Posted by
441 posts

Have a great trip Lee!! I'm jealous I'm not going too!

Posted by
8064 posts

Have a great flight and I hope the sun is shining when you land in Frankfurt tomorrow. It makes the red roofs on all the houses look so pretty. The leaves in the forests should still look lovely too.
Viel spass!