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GAS Pre-Tour inspiration ?

We are doing the GAS tour July 6th next year.

We’d love to hear recommendations for a couple of pre trip days. Paris? (Is it too hot and crowded?)
Rhine Valley?

We plan to fly in on Wednesday, trip starts Saturday at 4:00 in Trier.

Thank you!

Posted by
579 posts

Sorry what on earth does GAS stand for? Have looked through the tours but nothing fit... appologes if i am being slow

Posted by
7681 posts

Caro, its the Rick Steves tour Germany, Austria, Switzerland.

I'd plan to get to Trier at least on Friday so you have at least a part of the day there. I went in 2 nights early and did not get everything in that I wanted to see in Trier. You will have a walking tour of Trier but it is on a Sunday morning and you don't go in to anything. You'll meet the bus at the end of the walking tour and head for lunch along the river and then Burg Eltz castle. By the time you get back to Trier, the attractions are closed (restaurants are open.).

If you want to see the 3 historic churches/cathedrals, the Landesmuseum, Porta Nigra, the Roman Baths area etc, you may want to go Thursday night to Trier so you have most of 2 days.

I think you already know I went in to Paris but if you've just got 3 nights before the tour I'm not sure it would be worth it to me to spend just 2 nights in Paris, then have the 4-5 hour train ride from there to Trier. I'm thinking I left at maybe 915 or so and got in to Trier around 130? Not 100% sure!

Who knows about the French and train strikes next year! This year they really had an impact on travel thru April, May and June which is why if I planned to go in to Paris I'd have at least a flex day built in to get to the start of a tour.

Posted by
1846 posts

We started our GAS tour in Amsterdam for 5 days, then took the train from Centraal Staton to Trier. One quick and easy change. The train route was gorgeous! We very much enjoyed our pre tour days but there will be a lot of replies and recommendations to your post. The tour itself is wonderful. Have fun, no matter what you decide to do first!

Posted by
5013 posts

Eva, we flew into Frankfurt, and took the train to Bacharach for a couple of days in the middle Rhine area, before heading to Trier. Its kind of on the way, if you're flying into Frankfurt.

Posted by
40 posts

Yes, that sounds very relaxing. Where did you stay?

Posted by
5013 posts

Eva, we stayed at the Hotel zur Post in Bacharach, but have stayed other places there before. Lots of good choices in Bacharach, although I would consider staying in St Goar for more to see and do. Bacharach is small - about a 15 minute walk from one end to the other.

Posted by
769 posts

We spent 2 nights one day on the Rhine River in Bacharach at Hotel Zur Post and had a wonderful time! We used our day to see Rheinfels Castle in St. Goar, cruise back to Bacharach along the Rhine, did the RS walking tour of Bacharach and ended our day using a carousel wine tasting as our dinner with bread and a cheese plate added. Fabulous! And convenient as far as getting there from Frankfurt and to Trier.

Posted by
13 posts

I flew into Frankfurt two days before start of tour.

Europe day 1: Took local transport to Bingen and stayed 2 nights at NH Hotel Bingen (not best ever hotel, but good (maybe very good) location, easily walked to from Hauptbahnhoff). Walked around just a bit to get over jet lag.

Europe day 2: took a Rhine cruise from Bingen to St. Goar and then trekked up to Rheinfels ruins. Seemed to be a perfect jet lag day -- sit on top of boat to get sunlight, some hiking to top, and some great scenery on the cruise. Took boat back to Bingen.

Europe day 3: train from Bingen to Trier to join cruise. RS-provided directions from Trier bahnhof worked just fine.

Remaining days: Lots of fun.

With just few days before tour start, this worked just perfectly for us, easing us into the clock change and starting tour on good note. With more time (e.g., more days in Paris) Paris could be great option but always good to consider everything vis a vis total cost.

NOTE: I did consider starting in Paris but it was actually cheaper fly to Frankfurt (despite fact that my US>Frankfurt trip had stop in Paris). So, with a few days, this easy Rhine area start worked very well.

But Paris remains reasonably within budget, can you go wrong with Paris?

Posted by
8 posts

We spent two nights in St Goar at the Rheinhotel St Goar. The hotel has lovely rooms that overlook the Rhine River. It was fun to sit on our balcony and watch the river traffic. The hotel is conveniently located - just a short walk from the train station and just above the Rhine River boat dock. We took a short train ride to Bacharach and followed the RS walking tour, toured the Rheinfels Castle ruins in St Goar, visited the Lorelei on the opposite side of the river, and hiked to a small local winery in the neighboring valley. (This was recommended by the hotel owner and was lots of fun! We enjoyed our wine on an outdoor patio with local residents and the winery's chickens to keep us company - one of the kind of back door experiences that Rick encourages) We felt like the Rhine River Valley was a great introduction to Germany.

We rode the train to Trier the day before our tour started. The scenery was beautiful! We made a brief stop in Koblenz to see the spot where the Rhine and Mosel River meet (modestly interesting) and then had the remainder of the day and the next morning and early afternoon to explore the sites in Trier that are not included in the GAS tour.