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GAS 2019!!

So excited!
I just booked for the July 6 2019 GAS tour.
My best friend Sarah and I will be celebrating our 60th on this adventure.
It is our first RS experience.

We’d love to hear from our future tour friends.
Happy Travels,
Eva

Posted by
7 posts

The GAS tour was the first Rick Steves tour that I took. You will love it. I did and now have been on 8 tours. Happy travels.

Posted by
574 posts

Yay!! have fun..... I am going on two but have not decided on my dates yet

Posted by
450 posts

You'll have the best time! Such a fantastic tour! So excited for you.

Posted by
11 posts

Be sure to look at the scrapbook winner from this year...Girlfriends Go To. It was done by my friend Kristi and it was a girlfriends trip on the GAS tour. We had a blast! You're going to love this tour!!!

Posted by
5879 posts

This is a fun tour!! I hope you all have enough time so that you can arrive at least the day before the tour starts, if not 2 days before. This is a busy tour so for me it works better to be over jet lag before it starts. Your arrival day will not have much time for seeing things in Trier. 2 nights gives you a full day plus a partial day on the day the tour starts. It also gives you some flex time to allow for flight delays.

Most people fly in to Frankfurt and generally take the train. I followed the advice of a scrapbook done the year before I traveled and flew in to Paris, then took the train to Trier via Saarbrüken. I’m retired so no problem with time. I spent a week in Paris.

Posted by
202 posts

I agree with an earlier poster. Look at the scrapbook from last year. It is very good and can give you some suggestions about what to do in your spare time. I also encourage you to watch some of the Rick Steves videos. There's some great shows on the different places you will see.

My husband and I flew in to Frankfurt and took the train to St Goar on the Rhine river. We stayed there 3 nights. We took the KD line to go up the river to see the castles on the Rhine and then the next day went down river to Koblenz on the same boat. Then took the train to Trier to start the tour. After the RS tour finished in Vienna we took the train to Rothenburg and spent 2 nights before taking the train back to Frankfurt to fly home.
This is a wonderful tour. One of my favorites. Enjoy the planning process for the next year. It's fun too.

Posted by
74 posts

Eva- we are considering this one as well, but most likely the tour beginning June 25! :)
Janet- thank you so much for your post! I was disappointed that this trip did not include the Romantic Rhine, and I think you just gave me a solution to that problem! Yay!!!

Posted by
7 posts

Very likely will be going on this tour myself (the July 6, 2019 trip), pending whether or not I end up buying a new house and having to move in around that timeframe -- will be finding out soon, LOL. If not, it'll probably be the July 20-August 2 tour instead (right before we go back to school).

Posted by
845 posts

My friend and I are planning on this tour but not till September. And I agree, look at Kristi’s scrapbook. She gives alot of great info and looks like so much fun!

Posted by
14 posts

Thanks to everyone for all the great tips!

We’ve decided to spend two days in the Rhine Valley before the tour. We found a nice Air BB in Bacharach, but we also like the Rhien Hotel in St,Goar.

Any opinions about which would be easiest for connections etc.? I understand from Bacharach we would need to take a short train ride to catch the boat for a cruise., but Bacharach looks a bit more interesting....

Posted by
202 posts

Eva,
When we took the GAS tour we took the train to St. Goar. When we got off the train it was a 2-3 min walk to the Rhein Hotel. The Hotel is directly across the street from the KD line that travels up and down the Rhine river. Email the hotel for their rates and if you decide to stay there call them directly to book it. The owner's name is Gil. He is very friendly and helpful. We reserved the balcony room on the second floor. We were able to sit on the balcony in the evening and watch the river traffic. When we checked in to the hotel he sat down with us and helped us line out our itinerary while we were there. He also told us about good restaurants and the best gelato in town and in Koblenz. We took the KD line from St. Goar up the river to Assmanhausen on the first day. The second day we took the KD line down to Koblenz, looked around the town, had some amazing gelato and took the train back to St. Goar. The next day we took the train to Trier to start the GAS tour. Bacharach also is an interesting town. I just haven't spent any time in the town. I've seen a lot of great information about it and it looks fun also.

Posted by
545 posts

We stayed in Bacharach and loved it. It is only a 10 minute train ride to St. Goar where you can see Rheinfels Castle and catch the boat for your cruise back to Bacharach.

Posted by
6 posts

We, too, stayed at the Rhine Hotel in St Goar and loved it. We also requested the balcony room and enjoyed watching the river traffic. If we were returning to the area, I would definitely chose the same hotel. The ease of transportation connections can't be beat.

Posted by
12 posts

Hi there, I booked one of the Oktoberfest timed trips...so excited! I am a single traveler and need my alone time at the end of the day, so I booked the single supplement. Has anyone else done the single supplement for the GAS tour? How was the quality of the rooms? Any words of wisdom? Thanks! :)

Posted by
1 posts

What Rick Steves books are helping you with your GAS tour

Posted by
5879 posts

Jill, I did the GAS (and all my RS tours as a single supplement). Rooms were fine. I think the smallest room was in Muerren and it had the European single bed BUT the view out the window was the Schilthorn as well as the Almendhubel funicular!! I think all the other rooms had double beds altho I can’t picture what my room looked like in BadenBaden....so that might have been a single as well.

Paula, the guide book for the GAS tour is a special one with parts taken from the Germany, Switzerland and Austria books. It’s on heavier paper than the regular guide books so slightly harder to pull sections out of.

Posted by
5166 posts

I understand from Bacharach we would need to take a short train ride to catch the boat for a cruise., but Bacharach looks a bit more interesting....

That's not entirely true. Many people recommend that you train to Bingen and start the cruise there rather than in Bacharach, but that's not necessary. I stayed in Bacharach and caught the boat right there, cruised to Boppard, then took the train to St Goar to see the castle, then took the train back to Bacharach. It was a wonderful day spent on the Rhine.

Posted by
14 posts

That's really helpful Nancy, thank you!!

Posted by
12 posts

Thanks Pam!

What is the typical start time for this fall GAS tour? Pre-planning guide says 1-6pm, but a more definitive time would be helpful for travel planning. :)

Posted by
12 posts

Another question...re: trains. Which train stations do I use in Frankfurt and Trier? I see several options for both when I search. Thanks!

Posted by
5879 posts

Jill for Trier you'd use the Trier Hbf or Hauptbahnhof which is the main train station.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trier_Hauptbahnhof

editing to add: I just looked at my folder from this tour and the meet-up time was 4PM. We met for about an hour, did introductions, got buddies and housekeeping stuff out of the way. We had a quick break, then left the hotel and did a short orientation walk on the way to the Welcome dinner which was held at a restaurant across from the Dom.

IF you are coming in to Trier this day, I'd get there as early as possible. There is a lot to see in Trier and you really don't go in anything on the walk with the local guide. It's Sunday AM and the churches will be having services. Then you leave for lunch along the Mosel (neat place!) and the tour of Burg Eltz. By the time you are back to Trier it's dinner!

Posted by
17016 posts

Which train stations do I use in Frankfurt

If you are in the city of Frankfurt itself, the most common station used is the Hbf (main station), although depending on where you are in city, there are some other train station. In addition there is a system of S-/U-Bahns to get you to the stations. At the airport (FRA), there are two stations, the Fernbahnhof, which is farther out and serves mostly long distance trains, such as the ICEs, and the Regionalbahnhof, which is close in and serves the S-Bahn and regional trains. To go to the Rhein gorge (Bacharach, St. Goar) or to Trier via Koblenz you want the Regionalbhf.

Posted by
94 posts

We did this tour 2 yrs ago. Our scrapbook is up documenting it. It's a great tour!

Once in a lifetime things to do: the baths in Baden Baden and as much mountainy nature you can get in Murren.

Posted by
14 posts

Thanks Justin,
Definitely looking forward to the ‘“mountainy scenery”

Posted by
10 posts

My daughter and I are booked on the same tour. This will be our 4th. We love Rick Steve's tour. She celebrated her birthday on a Rick Steve's tour in Rome and our tour guide had a birthday cake made for her, and another couple celebrated their anniversary while in Venice and they scheduled a special gondola ride for them. This made us a fan of Rick Steves tours for life. I do not believe that any other tour company would give you this type of special treatment. We will be staying in Bacharach a few days before the tour as well.

Happy Travels
Cindy

Posted by
12 posts

I'm doing the 9/28-10/11 trip...anyone else? Flying to London first to visit friends, then taking train from London to Trier to arrive the day before the tour starts. Has anyone else done this train trip before? I just love European trains and it's about the same amount of time if I were to fly London to Frankfurt (security, flight, train).

Posted by
5879 posts

I've done Paris to Trier via Saarbrucken by train and it was very easy. If you are taking the Eurostar to Paris you'll have to change train stations to Gare de l'Est but it's a shortish distance.

Posted by
26 posts

Just Booked! DH and I are beyond excited for our GAS tour that begins Sept 7! We are doing a few days pre in Bacharach and 4 post in Paris.

I am a real castle geek so the castles along the Rhine will be like a dream for me! I am also really interested in seeing 2018's scrapbooks? Is anyone else living vicariously though others travels, like I am ?

No Grumps here! Just wide grins!

Nancy

Posted by
7 posts

Will be traveling on the July 19 - August 2 GAS tour — just booked my flight this evening (got a great deal out of the blue on Lufthansa after keeping an eye on various fares) and am very much looking forward to this. I might’ve chosen a slightly-earlier departure date except for a couple of other life-commitments during the upcoming summer, plus I’m a teacher, so this particular window is pretty much the last one open to me during this summer before we finally head back to school.

Anyone else taking this trip too?

Posted by
12 posts

Question about laundry during this trip. While I'm totally down with using a launderette, which I did in Belgium last year in it (I found it fun in a dorky sort of way), there are times when I need to hang dry clothes in my hotel room because they can't go in the dryer. Do hotel rooms on the GAS tour typically have hangers in their closets? Or do I need to bring travel hangers? Sorry if that's a dumb question, but I need to be mindful of every bit of weight in my backpack. Thanks!

Posted by
193 posts

Jill, what I'd recommend in lieu of hangers is a travel clothesline. Takes up almost no room in suitcase, and attaches via suction cups to your hotel's shower. We use one to hang-dry clothes (overnight) we wash in the sink. Works great!

Posted by
5879 posts

I always pack a tubular plastic coat hanger. I have one that has a hook as well as slots on the top as it improves function for me. I also pack a couple of clothes pins. I can hang a shirt, from the hanger, add pants with the clothes pins and hang unders from the hook, lol!!

I tried the blow-up travel hangers but they didn't work for me. A friend uses them successfully but they just didn't stay inflated. I didn't like the clothesline as I felt like things dried better if I could get them out into the circulating air.

The hotels usually have coat hangers but sometimes they are the dumb ones that many hotels have that won't hang elsewhere.

Posted by
30 posts

Hey there! My family did this tour in May/June 2017 and was honored to meet Katy, who posted above about the scrapbook, and her friend Kristi that did the scrapbook. It was an amazing trip, one that is imprinted on my heart. Amazing scenery, wonderful people.

This tour did not have Eagle’s Nest included, much to my hubby and daughter’s dismay. We considered a day trip there from Salzburg but opted against it.

Enjoy. You’re gonna love it.

Posted by
30 posts

We also stayed in Bacharach for three nights before heading to Trier to start the tour. We fell in love with it, and say all the time that we would love to live there.

Posted by
14 posts

Thanks Holly,
Do you have any restaurant recommendations in Bacharach?

Posted by
26 posts

Anyone else booked for the Sept 7-20 GAS tour?

I have been reading scrapbooks and looking forward tot he crop from this last year! Loving Kristi Trainer's winning edition, lots of great restaurant and to do info on that one!

Nancy

Posted by
23 posts

We just booked the Sept 7 GAS tour. My confirmation says that there are fewer than 5 spots left and I have to wait 3-5 days for final confirmation. Has anyone else received a message like this and not been confirmed? Tentative plans are to arrive in Frankfurt a couple of days early and spend the time along the Rhine and stay 3 days after the tour to visit Prague.

Posted by
23 posts

Replying to Jill regarding laundry. We always bring a travel clothesline. It's braided rubber tubing, about 6' long with loops on each end. with 1 or 2 small keychain type carabiners it has all kinds of attachment options. No need for clothes pins. You just tuck the fabric of your garment between the braids. It doesn't weigh more than an ounce or two and takes up no space. https://www.amazon.com/FLEXO-LINE-Campers-Boaters-Travelers-Clothesline/dp/B071ZZMJ8Q?th=1

Posted by
26 posts

Hi Brian!

Nice to hear from someone else on the tour! It is starting to feel real now!

We likely may run into you then, as we are flying into Frankfurt via Paris and staying a few days in Bacharach before heading to Trier. I could not allow those castles on the Rhine and that wine to go unviewed or sampled...LOL.

Post tour we are heading back to Paris for a few days before heading back to Houston.

You say we, are you travelling with family or friends?

Nancy and Pete

Posted by
26 posts

Hi Eva,

Regarding restaurants in Bacharach, I think what I have been able to glean from reading scrapbooks and Tripadvisor is Stubers is one of the forces to be reckoned with. His menus look amazing. Have a look at Kristi Trainer's Scrapbook for where she and her two girlfriends dined.

I also have added AmMarkt in Saint Goar, PostHof Bacharach and wine tasting at Weingurt Kurt Heinrich as other possibles.

I am also waiting with anticipation for new scrapbooks to look over for more ideas!

Posted by
23 posts

Nancy, it will be my wife and I traveling. We haven't really planned the details of our time before or after the tour yet, so I'm not sure where we'll be staying. We'll have to start planning, looking at airline/airport options, etc. This will be our first group tour. I've always done all our trip planning myself. I welcome the opportunity to turn these duties over to Rick Steves & Co. for most of this trip! We're used to traveling light with only carry-on bags, and we're looking forward to a tour that travels this way.

Posted by
26 posts

Brian,

It is our first one too! We are very excited about it. I have always been the planner too, (sometimes a bit too much I admit!)
and there is still some to do on the post tour, but it will be nice to not have to worry about the hotels, sightseeing and navigation and just let our leaders do so.

Nancy

Posted by
12 posts

Nancy and Brian - We took our first RS tour last September. It is sooo much more relaxing and fun to have all the transportation and hotels etc. arranged for you. You'll have a great time! Enjoy!

Posted by
12 posts

I should also mention that we are booked for GAS in May. Anyone else??

Posted by
23 posts

We just got final confirmation for the Sept 7 GAS tour. When I booked the link said "Filling Fast" and it took a couple of days to make sure we were in. Now to start planning a couple of days along the Rhine before the tour and probably 3 days in Prague and/or an extra day in Vienna after the tour. Any recommendations welcome!

Posted by
26 posts

c.figura -Thank you! We are really looking forward to it!

Brian- That is great news...I would stay at Rhine Hotel in Bacharach (I am definitely going to Stubers Restaurant after reading Kristi Trainers blog. I did not make reservations there because they were not on my Chase points list. I have been trying to keep costs down so used our bank of saved points to hotels, secondary hops on airlines and a tour or three in Paris. We are staying at the Am Markt in Bacharach to sleep off our jet lag and Rhine river cruise. Staying 3 nights in Bacharach and then one night pre tour start in Trier. I have already confirmed that night with Hotel Residence Zuckerberg. They are VERY nice! Welcome to our tour!

Posted by
23 posts

I booked the 2 nights prior to the tour at Rhein-Hotel Bacharach. Still deciding what to do on the last day of the tour - spend an extra night in Vienna and head to Prague the following day or leave for Prague late in the day on the final tour day.

Posted by
845 posts

My friends and I decided to book the tour starting Oct 1. Anyone else out there who booked this date? We’re flying into Paris on Sept 28 and plan to arrive in Trier on the 30th. After the tour, we’re heading to Budapest. I’ve gotten so many great ideas from this forum and love looking at the scrapbooks. I’m borrowing Kristi’s idea of booking a single and a double room between 3 friends so we can take turns with a single room.

Posted by
23 posts

We are all set for the Sept 7 GAS tour. I just booked our flights. Fly to Frankfurt, train to Bacharach, 2 nights before the tour in Bacharach at the Rhein-Hotel, train from Bacharach to Trier, and 3 nights post tour in Prague at the Hotel Hastal Prague. We'll take a 4 hour train ride from Vienna to Prague on the afternoon that the tour ends, then fly home from Prague via Amsterdam.

Posted by
12 posts

Any fellow Geocachers on here? Anyone who's geocached on the GAS tour previously?

Posted by
110 posts

Eva, please accept my apologies if I repeat anything that's already been said.

We did the GAS tour last year and it was AMAZING. We were especially amazed by the Switzerland part of the tour. It was our fourth RS tour and it may have been the best (although I might just think that because it was the most recent). We have already booked tour number 5.

We spent two nights in Bacharach (Rhein Hotel) before the tour started; it broke up the travel between Frankfurt and Trier, and gave us a chance to see one of the most scenic stretches of the Rhine. Bacharach is about an hour north of Frankfurt by train, and Trier is about two hours from Bacharach by train (with a change in Koblenz). The two nights in Bacharach allowed us to take the boat ride up to St. Goar where we had lunch and browsed in the shops. For dinner, we dined at Stuber's, which is a fine restaurant in the Rhein Hotel.

While in Bacharach we stopped at St. Nicholas Catholic Parish Church but it was locked. A lady in the bookstore attached to the church was kind enough to unlock it for us, and we had the inside of the church all to ourselves for a few minutes.

After the tour, we spent one extra night in Vienna, and spent the day at Schonbrunn Palace.

Posted by
14 posts

Thanks Al,
I appreciate all the info. We currently have an ABB in Bacharach but I’m starting to think the Rhein Hotel in St. Goar might have a bit more personality.
The room available is on the third floor, anyone have opinions on this?

I wonder if it might be too hot...
I am really torn between St Goar and Bacharach. I get the impression that Bacharach May be more touristy?
Any info is appreciated!
Thanks,
Eva

Posted by
110 posts

Eva, you can't go wrong with either village. Whichever one you stay in, do take the boat ride to the other one. (The boats have commentary in multiple languages.) My opinion after just a couple of days in the area was that St. Goar has more shops, but Bacharach is prettier.

Posted by
14 posts

We decided to stay at the Rhein Hotel in St. Goar instead of Air BB in Bacharach.
I am cancelling the ABB today if anyone is interested . It does look sweet. It is hosted be Malgosia, she is a “super host”.
Eva

Posted by
10 posts

Was on this in late May 2018 when I took my nephew for college graduation gift. Fun trip!

Was pleased that I learned my lesson after Paris city tour and opted to arrive a few days early. Flew into Frankfurt and, upon arrival, took local train transport to Bingen. Walk around Bingen for a bit and dinner was enough for that day before early bedtime.

Next day in Bingen was our Rhine boat trip. Went to Saint Goar and climbed up to Rheinfels. Another good day and took boat back. We had debated about stopping in Baccarach to see extra town but hotel receptionist said "you've seen one Rhine town...." We didn't miss and enjoyed our day with castle watching from boat and hike to castle ruins.

Next day was train to Trier with walk to meet up hotel. All worked well and we had an enjoyable experience on the whole tour.

Really pleased with decision for our few days on our own pre-tour to ease in and get over jet lag. Few days at end of tour were fun, too (we went back to Bavaria and met some of our German cousins for the first time.)

Posted by
12 posts

General tour question...approx what time is breakfast everyday, tour start and what time do tours end each day?

Posted by
5879 posts

Jill, the various breakfast rooms are usually open at 7. Generally if it’s a bus day you’ll leave at 8 to 830 depending on your first stop. City tour days are sometimes a little later. It seems like Switzerland might have been earlier on the day we went up the Schilthorn (optional) just to catch good weather.

Some eat at the end of breakfast and head for the bus. I go down first, then head back to the room for a few minutes.