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Recently went to Germany
Old 09-13-2011, 06:52 PM   #1
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Recently went to Germany

Wife and I celebrated our 15th anniversary in Germany in May. We flew into Munich, then basically spent 2 days each in 7 different cities, making a clockwise circle around the Black Forest.

Cities visited included: Munich, Fussen, Garmish-Partenkirchen, Konstanz, Triberg, Freiburg, Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, then Munich again.

First couple days were stressful due to language barriers, unfamiliar street signs (yes, we drove), and some unusual cultural things (almost no restaurants in Germany are open between 2-5 pm). After we learned the basics, had a great time.

My favorite thing was to stand on the Zugspitze and look DOWN on the clouds. But I must admit the castle of Neuschwanstein was pretty amazing too.

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Old 09-13-2011, 08:43 PM   #2
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Great photos! I am glad you had a good time.
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Old 09-14-2011, 01:54 AM   #3
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Thanks for posting. Good to hear that you enjoyed your stay.
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:47 PM   #4
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Any more pics, or ins/outs/dos/don'ts for this trip would be appreciated. Considering a trip to this region next year.
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:47 PM   #5
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Great pics. I was in Germany in 92. It seemed I got yelled at a lot by the Germans. I traveled in Germany for 7 days, same thing everywhere in Germany it seemed. I was traveling around the world that year. Actually did the backpack thing at age 40. It turned out to be one of my least favorite countries. I got along with the Germans I met traveling but in their own country, not so much. And guess what, I loved the French in their own country. Surprised me!
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HFWR View Post
Any more pics, or ins/outs/dos/don'ts for this trip would be appreciated. Considering a trip to this region next year.
I have over 1,000 photos..can you be more specific?

As for ins/outs/dos/don'ts....

1) We had a rental car. It was nice to go where you want, when you want. Trains are less stressful, but less flexible. However, you won't need a car in Munich...use public transport or walk.

2) Go see different types of castles...there are ones in ruins also, and I actually found those even more interesting...no tour guides, free to visit (see pic below)

3) My favorite city was Fussen...close to several great things. My least favorite was Neustadt un der Weinstrasse...not much to do there.

4) If you drive, ask the rental agency for the page of German traffic signs, and sit there in the lobby and study them for 10 minutes. Also ask them how the parking works...they give you a blue placard you can place in your window and park free, but the length of time you park free varies by city.

5) The Zugspitze is an all-day event...make sure they are open the day you want to go by calling in advance. It's complicated, but Google is your friend...just leave the whole day open, start early, and you'll be fine.

6) If you don't speak German, save yourself some stress. At restaurants, ask for an English menu. IF they don't have, ask if you can have a server that speaks English.

7) Putting down your knife while eating is considered rude...keep it in your hand.

8) Don't wear gym shoes, they don't fit the fashion scene and you'll be stared at.

9) Everything except beer is expensive.

10) Buy as much as you can on credit card, you get the lowest fees and best rates that way. If you need cash, go to a money mover that handles your bank...you get a good rate that way. Don't buy currency in the airports, fees are HUGE.

11) To find someone who speaks English, ask the younger people...English is required in their schools, but only for about the past 15-20 years...so elderly people largely don't speak it.

12) If you want, you can easily see Austria and Switzerland while there...but our schedule was simply too full.

13) Take both a transformer and power adapters if you need to use your electric items. If you have an electric razor...be careful to switch it to 220V unless it's set up already to handle either...read the manual.

14) Restaurants close after lunch, and don't open until dinner. You can't go into a restaurant at 3:15 pm...they won't be open. The actual hours vary a bit, but typically 2-5 pm they are closed.

Anything else?

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Old 09-19-2011, 06:52 PM   #7
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What to do depends on what you like. I like beer, castles, sports, cars, etc...so we went to BMW museum, loads of castles, drank lots of beer, and went to the Olympic grounds in Munich.

If you like art, you'd select different things. If you enjoy spas, they have some of the nicest spa towns in the world, such as Baden Baden. You can soak in salt waters naked...very common, but we did not do.

Munich reminded me of NYC, too busy, noisy, traffic, lots of concrete, etc. I preferred the smaller towns out of the way. Rothenburg is the olest midieval city in Germany, see the criminal museum there for some gruesome torture techniques.
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:55 PM   #8
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HFWR,

One money saving technique for us was the Bavarian region pass. Your entire family gets an all day unlimited ticket in Bavaria/Salzburg for Euro 29 (as of early 2008). I didn't find this info anywhere in any of the guidebooks or posted anywhere. A nice Deutche Bahn attendant told us about this when we were getting ready to buy tickets.

We also really enjoyed Wurzburg. Humongous fort in the middle of the town, some pretty cool cathedrals and museums. Bamberg is another place you might want to look into.

I hope you like meat and lots of it!
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:10 PM   #9
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In my last job, that involved a lot of international travel, I have found the guide books by Lonely Planet quite useful for money saving tips and cultural know-how.

When I was given an iPhone by my employer, I was able to access Lonely Planet through their apps. Until I retired, they did help out quite a bit.
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