GERMANY is a country with such a variety of beautiful areas that have different landscapes and customs. It is very difficult to have a favourite part to visit and every year since we first visited Germany, about 35 years ago, we have gone back to many "Favourite Places". I will try and give you an idea of some on this page.
Like Austria a lot of areas in Germany especially when near to a See or Spa a town with Bad in front of it there is a Tourist Tax added to Camp Site Fees including when paying by ACSI Camping Card.
We have found this year that most Camp Sites now provide WiFi. Charges vary from Free to €1 per hour and when buying say 5 hours it lasts for 3 to 6 months. Others charge so many Euro's a Day expiring at midnight or for 24 Hours.
Bread is available on most camp sites in Germany everyday being ordered the day before at the Reception or Shop.
Electricity is metered on most Camp Sites in Germany and you will find you are allowed as per ACSI Camping Card 4 KW a day Free.
1. One nicety of Germany and Austria I have found is that lots of outside cafe areas have Blankets of different varieties on the chairs for their customers. In Bertchesgaden for instance (as photo below) they had all brightly coloured ones and on the top of the St. Anton Pass in Austria, they had sheepskin ones, you certainly need them on a cold day up there. Amazingly people do not run off with them.
If you travel to Germany via the French and Belgium Ports or the Tunnel through Belgium skirting Brussels, Liege, Spa and over the border near St Vith the first area you will come to is the Eifel. This is very attractive countryside high up with trees and rolling green fields. The first town you come to just off the pleasant motorway is Prum. Prum is a neat little town with an attractive centre on which stands a beautiful church, shops and restaurants (gasthofs). There are two good ACSI Camping Card caravan and camping sites in this area one here, Waldcamping Prum**** http://www.waldcamping-pruem.de/ where we first stopped but we think the better site is mentioned below being a 5* Site.
Going further down the motorway is the larger, town of Bitburg which is home to the famous Bitburger Brewery where you can get trips around. Bitburg has a good town centre and an area outside on which is Lidl's and Tooms a wonderful supermarket and just over the road a do it yourself store.
On the otherside of the motorway a few kilometres away is Oberweis where the excellent ACSI site of Prumtal Camping***** is situated http://www.pruemtal.de/ which is situated on the River Prum and has a 5 star restaurant, childrens play area, excellent free swimming pool, full sized football pitch, excellent toilet and washing facilities. All the grounds are well tended with grass like a lawn, open and hedged pitches in 4 sizes with EHU's. WiFi is available free on the site near to the restaurant. Further away, where the wifi does not reach, you can easily go up to the restaurant and sit in the reception/bar area and use your own laptop or the desk top provided. All the staff are very friendly and helpful. Food in the attractive restaurant/sunroom and on the outside terrace (adjacent to the pool) is excellent and very good value.
From here you can visit many small towns in the area plus Vianden in Luxemburg, 20 minutes down the road, with shops, restaurants and an amazing Castle overlooking the town and river running through. Of course there are 2 filling stations selling some of the cheapest fuel in Europe and worth a visit to fill up the car.
This is another very attractive area and a busy river with hotel boats and very large bardges travelling up and down. There are many lovely old towns to explore situated on the river front. To name some Bernkastel-Kues is a must to visit and Cochem others being Zell, home to Schwarz Katz Wine. and on the opposite side of the river following the sign, up a very steep hill, signposted to the Krankenhaus (Hospital) is a large shopping area with a super Globus indoor shopping area and do it yourself store. Other shops on the outside area are Lidl, Aldi, Deichmann (shoe store) and a filling station selling very reasonable diesel and petrol.
Back down on river level are many more attractive villages too many to mention all. The advantage of travelling up or down the Mosel River is that it has many bridges crossing from one side to the other.
Bernkastel is one of "our favourite places" both at Christmas for the Market and in the Spring/Summer season. The Town Centre is all cobbled stoned streets and beautiful timbered houses and shops. In the main square is the usual stone fountain and Ratskeller, a wonderful Conditorei (Cafe Hansen) where the Warmer Apfel Struedel mit sahnne (warm apple strudel with cream) coffee or cream cakes are a must to sample. Opposite side of the square to this is a little lane, if you go down there and turn left into Schannen Strasse is the family run "Hotel Moselblumchen" on the corner. The restaurant here is excellent, food good, reasonably priced and staff very friendly and helpful including the owners Herre Gommes-Hewer and his wife who's family have run this hotel for many, many years and generations. At the back of the hotel is another restaurant that opens up to another square leading back to the river. The very good information centre is just around the corner on the river front plus other shops and hotels.
Across the bridge is Kues and a few metres down to the left on the riverfront is a good caravan and camping site, Campingplatz Kueser Werth http://www.campingplatz-kueserwerth.de/ which we found very good and had a riverside pitch this is not an ACSI Camping Card site but is listed on the ACSI main site http://www.eurocampings.co.uk/ and in Caravan Club Europe 2.
The last place I will mention is the largest, Trier which actually a city, mentioned as the oldest in Germany and well worth a visit. You will now need an Umwelt Plakette to take your car into the centre carparks, info on this on another page of this website, or park on the P+R signposted on the outskirts of the city. An interesting Dom (Cathedral) here and many lovely shops including large stores of Kaufhof and Karlstadt, not forgetting Tchibo the little shop, one or two in every town in Germany and Austria, that has different products in every week and sells excellent coffee too.
At the end of the main street is the Porta Nigra very old gate building with the Tourist Info to the left of it.
This city and the rest of the Mosel can be reached for day trip from Oberweis site, Prumtal, too.
Another differnt area is the River Rhine, a much larger river with much faster running water, much busier on the water and on the roads running down each sides with very few bridges but many ferries to cross by, from Koblenz to Wiesbaden. Busy railways run down each side of the river too.
Some interesting places to visit are Koblenz and on the opposite side of the river high above is the large Fort of Ehrenbreitstein which is worth a visit it has a wonderful view over the corner on the Rhine where the Mosel meets it. A good restaurant where you can eat outside in good weather and view the river. Last year when we were there they were constructing a huge area for the National Garden Show in 2011.
Further down the river is St.Goarhausen with ferry to St. Goar. By road from St. Goarhausen is the Lorelei where there is a wonderful view over the Rhine and Lorelyblick Caravan Site at St Goar where we stopped for 4 nights, good site quite expensive as no ACSI Card taken. http://www.camping-lorelyblick.de/ but worth it for the situation and views of the boats and trains.
Rudesheim. This is a well known town to the Brits, a bit commerialized we think, but even so a nice town to visit there are three must do's here:-
1. Go to a restaurant and order a Rudesheimer Coffee, this is served in a special cup, white with a marooon pattern on with saucer to match. The Coffee is sometimes made at the table they put in the cup 3 sugar cubes topped with 4 cl. of Asbach Uralt Brandy. (this use to be distilled at the distillery in the town till it was closed recently.) Set alight the brandy with a long match and stir using a long spoon to disolve the sugar allowing it to burn for 1 minute. Fill cup with hot coffee to 2 cm below the rim and top with whipped cream sweetend with vanilla sugar. To finish, sprinkle with chocolate flakes.
2. A walk up the Drosselgasse (Thrush Street) in English if you look up to your left going up the street you will see a thrush sitting on a roof.
3. At the top of the street is the station for the Seilbahn (cable car) which you can catch to go up over the sloping vineyards to the Niederwald area. Then walk along the path past the famous Monument to the Jagdschloss hunting lodge, a lovely restaurant. Continue a few yards further on to the chairlift to ride down over the vineyards to Assmannhausen with a wonderful view over the Rhine valley and Rheinstein Castle. After alighting the chairlift you stroll down through the pretty village under the railway, and across the road to catch the boat, usually the Fater Rhine or the Bingen, back to Rudesheim passing the Mausturm (Mouse Tower) on you right. All this for 11 Euro's for the Round Trip per person. A real experience and not at all frightening.
A site we have stopped at on four occasions is Bruckenschanke Camping Platz at Hattenheim near to Rudesheim, not ACSI I am afraid. Showers etc updated for 2010. http://www.rheingau-campingplatz.de/ to get this in English use Google Translate on the Google Toolbar.
In 2010 we investigated an ACSI site close by here on the way to Rudesheim No. 471 in the Camping Card Book. The address is Am Campingplatz, Geisenheim. We went over to look at it and it looked really nice. The reason we did not stop there was that the Camping Card was not taken till later on in the month which was later than we were in the area. website http://www.rheingaucamping.de/
Have only been here once when our German friend took us to have a brief look around. Firstly we had a look at the shops and then to an Italian Restaurant for lunch afterwardsthen to the Dom which was a fine building both inside and out. Next stop was the Museum for Antike Schiffart (Roman-Germanic Museum). Entrance to this Museum is Free of Charge. This was so interesting with an array of relics of timber boats dug up in the area and some replicas, on show, which were so well built and authentic.
We first visited this area of the Rhine to meet up with some German friends from Essen who we had not seen for 18 years. We did not know what to expect of this region but were pleasantly surprised as is was very green and rural. We stopped at the ACSI Site, Rheincamping Meersbusch, Meersbusch/Lanst/Kierst, right on the opposite side of the Rhine to Dusseldorf. Near to the entrance to the site was a Car and Passenger Ferry to the Dusseldorf side of the River and a very nice Hotel. Website for site is www.rheincamping.de The owners were very friendly and helpful and the caravans are parked in two rows alongside the river. Office, Toilet, Showers and other facilities were very good, housed in portable buildings, this is due to they have to be moved off site in the Winter due to flooding and re-instated in the Spring every year. For photo's see Trip No. 7. 2010 page.
Well here is a beautiful area of this country that should not be missed. I will start with the central part of the Forest around the lovely town of Freudenstadt meaning friendly town in English. The square is central to the town of which the Rathaus (Town Hall) stands in the middle and the main carpark is now underneath this square. Around the four sides of the square are shops with arched covered walkway outside, so no getting wet if it rains and you want to browse the shops or call into The Ochsen for a coffee, drink or meal it serves excellent food and we have stayed there many times too, the rooms are great. Sorry when we went by the Ochsen in June this year it was all closed up.
There are two interesting places to visit in this area. The Biggest Cuckoo Clock at Schonau built my Herr Dold who's family to this day build cuckoo and grandfather clocks in Triberg. It is facinating to see the cuckoo appear on the hour and to go inside the clock and see the huge wooden works that drive the clock.
The second place nearby to Schonau, out in the country is Hexenlochmuhle. If you put this in to your Sat Nav it will take you right there, well our Tom Tom does. Even though we have been there many times we can never remember the way to it. There is a small parking area across the road and a wonderful restaurant inside plus the usual gift shops.
The three sites we have used in the Black Forest are in order of preference are :-Alisehof Scharzwald Camping***** Bad Rippoldsau. http://www.camping-online.de/ ACSI CC taken. Mid Black Forest
Terrassenccamping Herbolzheim**** at Herbolzheim http://www.laue-camp.de/ ACSI CC taken. Southern Black Forest handy for Freiberg, large city with good shopping.
Camping-Erbenwald, Liebelsberg, Newbulach. http://www.camping-erbenwald.de/ found in CClub Camping Europe 2. More Northern Black Forest.
One nice place and worth a visit in the Northern Black Forest is Baden Baden where we have visited and loved but not with the caravan.
This most interesting and unusual Museum to visit will fill up at least half a day. I was facinated by these old, huge farmhouses and thrilled to be able to explore them. Situated just outside Gutach the carpark is next to the B33 Bus Carpark. You take a ticket and hand it in when you pay for your entrance ticket and Parking is then Free. Short walk to the Museum over the river and past 2 or 3 shops selling Black Forest curios.
Entry fee is 6.50 Euro's for Adults and Senior Citizens. 3.50 Euro's for Children 6 - 17 years.
Open Daily from end March to begining of November daily 9 am -6 pm In August daily 9 am - 7 pm last entry hour before closing.
Restaurant open in Season 9 am -7 pm.
A very good guide can be brought in the Museum Shop which tells you all about each Farmhouse and the Construction and Inhabitants who lived in it.
The Farmhouses are fully furnished and there are different displays along the way and Animals in the nearly, last house.
This wonderful road runs from Wurzburg in the North to Fussen in the South and there are some wonderful old towns to visit all the way down. The old road has now been virtually replaced by a motorway/main road so you will need to go off to the towns of your choice. Over the 30 odd years we have been visiting Germany we have visited Wurzburg, Creglingen, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Schillingfurst, Feuctwangen, Dinkelsbuhl, Nordlingen, Donauworth, Augsberg, Schongau, Schwangau, Fussen. The favourites are Rothenburg and Hohenschwangau.
The later is the home of the Neuschwanstein Schloss (The Faireytale Castle) http://www.neuschwanstein.de/ This is a must visit if you are near the bottom end of the Strasse and a "favourite haunt" of ours together with Rothenburg, a real fairytale town where part of the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was filmed . The Website for this medieval, must visit town, is http://www.rothenburg.de/ An excellent Cafe, Restaurant, Konditorei to eat is the Baumeisterhaus (master builders house) just opposite the main square.
Another must do is Kathe Wohlfart's, Christmas Shop, a real "Aladins Cave" for all ages. Rooms full of traditional German Christmas Ornaments. The main shop is just a few doors down to the right of the Apoteke (the famous much photographed Chemist with the Fountain in front of it). There is usually a very old van parked outside and in the doorway to the shop is a huge Nutcracker.
No cars are allowed into the town during the hours of 11.am to 4. pm and 7pm to 6 am except if you have a hotel booking. Parking is good, 1 euro per hour or 5 euros for day (24 hours). There are plenty of carparks available just outside each gateway to the town.
To stay with a caravan nearby try Campingplatz Tauber-Idyll website. www.rothenburg.de/tauberidyll We really enjoyed staying here it was quiet, situated in the nearby village of Detwang, just a couple of miles from Rothenburg the owner and his wife were so kind and helpful and ran the site very well. Not an ACSI site but not an expensive site either. If you do stay here it is worth a peep inside the village church.
The area around this famous World War 2 town is as far south as you can go in Bavaria and Germany. It is a very pretty part with lakes and mountains. The largest lakes (sees in German) are the Chiemsee which is very interesting to visit as it has two islands in the middle of it the Fraueninsel, where there is a Benedictine Convent and you can walk all around the island. The Herreninsel on which stands two Palaces one a Benedictine Abbey and the other named the new Palace that King Ludwig 11 built, but did not live long enough to finish it. Note the wonderful fountains in the front of the Palace if you are fortunate to visit the islands. Boats can be caught at various villages around the Chiemsee and is a pleasant day out.
The other lake is the Konigsee, the highest, cleanest lake in Germany situated in the Berchtesgaden National Park, where you can catch an electric boat at Schonau to tour the lake visiting St Bartholoma Chapel. In the middle of the lake the boat guide will play the trumpet so you can here the amazing echo from the mountains. One of these mountains is the Watzmann 2nd highest in Bavaria. Here in Schonau is the worlds oldest permenant bobsleigh track built in 1968.
Now to the town of Berchtesgaden. A very pleasant town, underground carpark under the center of the shopping area where last year, in 2009, there was a large hole due to building a new Hotel with shops on the ground floor. Worth a walk around the town to look at the buildings and shops. Gasthaus Bier Adam is a good place to have a drink, snack or meal.
Visiting Bertchesgaden this year April 2010, a year on, the whole town center has changed no hole in the middle but a huge Hotel with shops on the ground floor. The old underground carpark is still there but extended to exit in the new town center. All the old shops that had to move temporarily, while the developement was going on, are back in new buildings on the where site they use to. Some nice new shops have opened too. June 6th was going to be the official opening day and a lot of the other shops and restaurants in the town were being decorated and renevated. Would think it looks very smart now. A new town centre looking very much like the old but with an extra street and a new hotel.
The Ealgles Nest and Document Museum.
If you follow the signs by the river to the Obersalzberg there are lots of places to visit. First the Museum of Documents on the Carpark, where you can then catch the bus (the only way you can visit the Eagles Nest) Opening early to mid May depending on the snow till October time. For return trip to the top it is 15.50 euros for Adults. 9 euros for children up to 14 years. First ascent at 8.55 am then every 25 minutes last run 16.00. We have been up many times and it is an experience after the winding route up on the bus you alight at a large carpark to walk up a cave passage and get on the brass lined lift with leather seats at each side, the same lift that Hitler took on the rare occasions he visited the Eagles Nest. When you reach the top you are in the Restaurant complexwhere you can have a coffee, drink, snack of full meal with wonderful views on all sides. If the weather is nice and warm to sit outside is best and take a walk up to the top of the mountain with an excellent view.
Documentation Center is open April-October. Monday-Sunday 9a.m-5p.m Nov.-March. Tuesday-Sunday 10am-3p.m
Website:- http://www.obersalzberg.de/ This Center is really interesting and should not be missed including a visit to the Bunkers there.
Futher on on the mountain road from the carpark is a turn off to the Hotel Turken where you can visit the Bunkers that led to Hitlers Berghof there is a small charge to decend into the bunkers which are very intersting. They are open from March 31st. 07 o'clock to 18.00 hrs with no day off. www.hotel-sum-tuerken.de/bunker.htm
From there back on the road again there is a turn off onto the entrance for the Rossfeld Panorama Pass. Charges:-Car and 2 persons 6.50 euro's Car and 4 persons 10.30 euros. www.rossfeldpanoramastrasse.de/ Certainly a nice trip to make and take a picnic, stop at the different layby's to take in the wonderful views and visit one of the many cafes dotted around the pass. If you catch the sign for the village of Buchenhohe you might like to make a trip up to it there is a nice little church and start of the chairlift to the skiing area and a nice little American owned restaurant, serving drinks, food and wonderful strudel and cakes. We have stayed in the flats up there in several years gone by before visiting the area with the caravan. Now it is back down the road to Berchtesgaden.
A few kilometres from Berchtesgaden there is this wonderful, picturesque village that must not be missed. Following the signposts, when you get to the village park the car on the side of the road, between the river and the road, opposite the first shops on your right and walk over the bridge right up through the houses then turn right back over the next bridge and back down the road to the car, having a look in the pretty church on the way. Plenty of eating places here and a few shops.
Bavaria is a very large area and split up into different parts. This part in the North we are visiting first is Franconia.
This a very attractive town situated on the Regnitz River with a population of 77,000 persons. Was one of the few cities not destroyd by bombs in WW 11 and is now on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The unusual Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) is built in the middle of the bridge spanning the Regnitz.
During the last week in August, Sandkerwa 6 day Folk Festival, is held to which 300,000 people attend over the period. A boat trip up the river is very enjoyable. The town square is very open and accommodates many nice shops, outdoor cafe's and restaurants.
Not far away from Bamburg is this small town Coburg with a population of 44,700 people. Their is a Castle here to explore but the town itself was home of a famous person in our history, Prince Albert, consort of Queen Victoria. In the town square is a statue of Price Albert. When we were there the whole of the town square was being dug up and new pavement being placed. Their are many shops to explore.
Outside the walls of this, smallest City in German, we stopped at a very nice Campsite, not ACSI, I am afraid but reasonably priced. The Site Sonnland Camping, www.camping-seiten.de/platz was set out in several, hedged, round areas, having 5 or 6 pitches in them all fully serviced which was very nice. Order your bread at the Office the day before and the owner delivered it in the morning around 8 am to your van, hanging the bag over the door handle.
To visit Sesslach by car just park your car outside the wall and walk through one of the Gates to explore this wonderful little city and enjoy a cuppa in one of the local cafe's.
Coburg and Bamburg are within reach of this site too.
Another interesting place in the area to visit is the M I Hummel factory on Coburger Strasse in Rodental. For anyone who collects these porcelain figures a trip around the factory is a must. www.mihummel.com/visit.asp
To the West is what was Eastern Germany and the very interesting town of Colditz and the famous WW 11 prison of Colditz Castle. To visit here we stopped at a Campsite just outside the town Campingplatz am Waldbad not ACSI CC but listed in CC Europe 2. www.colditz.de/camping This site was very good and very cheap when we were there in 2005 probably gone up in price now though.
The town still looked a little run down in 2005 with the largest Porcelain Factory now being closed down. Evidence of the Russian occupation was all around with the blocks of Flats outside of the centre of town.
To visit the Castle you can park in the Square and walk up a flight of steps to the entrance gate where you pay entrance to the area then you go through another passage and gateway to a forecourt. Guided tours are given and well worth doing. We had a lady who spoke excellent English and were accompanied by 3 English guys. Photo's below of the Castle and some of the artifacts in the Museum.
Two very good websites to view on Colditz Castle are:-