Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Thoughts about Germany

Looking through the Germany guidebook, which I didn't earlier, some things have occurred to me, one of which could seriously reroute much of my trip: do I need to be in Munich for Oktoberfest?

1. My itinerary doesn't leave room for the 370-mile-long "Fairy Tale Road" (Märchenstrasse) of castles and picturesque villages from Frankfurt to Bremen. I could make a long detour, though - leaving Amsterdam, instead of going northeast to Copenhagen, maybe go southeast to Frankfurt instead and take a leisurely drive (as recommended), maybe 2 days, up to Bremen, picking up from there to Copenhagen. This area was the inspiration for the legends of Sleeping Beauty, Rumpelstiltskin, the Pied Piper, the Brothers Grimm's tales, Little Red Riding Hood and more. Something to consider.

2. Also not on the itinerary, but suggested in my comments, is the Romantic Road.The road stretches for 180 miles between Würzburg in the north (near Frankfurt) and Füssen (near Munich) in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps. On the way is a series of medieval villages and 2,000-year-old towns.

3. Based on my estimation of dates, I should be in Berlin on day 19. I'm getting to Europe with my frequent flier miles, and if I keep my London arrival then to minimize the amount of miles I use, I'd leave the US on Tuesday Sept. 6th, so Berlin would be Sept. 25th. However, Oktoberfest in Munich goes from Sept. 17 to Oct. 3, 2011, and there's no way I could do Prague, Budapest, Vienna, and Salzburg in just 7 days.

So, my question for anyone reading: how important is it for me to be in Munich during Oktoberfest, or can I get enough of the flavor in Berlin? If I "need" to be in Munich during that time, then I'll need a radical rearrangement of my stops. Here's my planned route.

This could work - maybe take the train from Amsterdam to Munich instead of Copenhagen, getting in on day 16 (Sept. 21st), then drive the Romantic Road and the Fairy Tale Road north from Munich to Bremen, picking back up on my itinerary going Bremen to Copenhagen. Then on the return, instead of going from Salzburg, Austria to Munich to Liechtenstein, I'd stay in Austria and go through Innsbruck instead.

If I do NOT rearrange my schedule to hit Oktoberfest in Munich, then maybe I could do one or both of these:
  • take the train from Amsterdam to Frankfurt, drive the Fairy Tale Road to Bremen and catch the train to Copenhagen to get back on my itinerary
  • drive the Romantic Road from Munich to Frankfurt, then take the train to Liechtenstein and pick up my itinerary from there
Anyone have any thoughts on Oktoberfest, and whether to do the Romantic & Fairy Tale Roads (one or both)?

1 comment:

  1. In regards to 2) - if you have a chance to visit Wuerzburg, do it. It is a beautiful city with lots of history. I would visit Wuerzburg every year when growing up and spending my time in the monastery there. I really got to know the city and always love going back.

    In regards to Oktoberfest. Let's put it this way - it's an experience. But you can have sausage and beer everyday in Munich. So, if you can do something else, I would.