My husband and I just got back from a bit of a whirlwind-but-fantastic trip of the western part of Germany and I wanted to share some random thoughts. Please pardon the helter-skelterness of this post (and wide, sweeping generalizations).
On our trip we visited (and had a car the entire trip): one night in Bonn (wish it had been more, we'll definitely go back), a quick stop in Aachen on our way to Monschau for 2 nights, 2 nights in Zell on the Mosel River, 2 nights in Bacharach on the Rhine River (supposed to be 3, but we left early, see below), a day in Strasbourg, France, with a drive through the Black Forest and dinner in Baden-Baden (wanted to put eyes on it to get a feel if we should return - we will), and one night in Heidelberg.
Now for the Random Notes portion:
1) German driving is exquisite. If there was a push to have one central driving school for the world, I'd nominate Germany to teach it.
2) Germans are among the friendliest people we've met. I mean, we usually meet friendly people wherever we travel, but the Germans by-and-large as a group are just so darn nice!
3) The language barrier was not nearly as challenging as I thought it could be. Whenever my husband and I would be in a pickle where we needed to communicate something using more than the 20 words we collectively know in German, we'd ask sprechen Sie Englisch? and invariably the person would humbly respond, "Yes, but only a little" and then proceed to launch into English with such fluency just shy of being a physics professor.