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Planning a trip to Germany

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Williamsport...
posts: 10
reviews: 3
Planning a trip to Germany

My husband and I are planning a trip to Germany next September to show his sisters were the family came from. I am German, we have been traveling quite a bit in Germany. I would like to recommend some books for my sisters in law to read to prepair themselfs to get the most out of this. Any recommendations?

Planning to travel to München, Linderhof, Wieskirche, Neuschwanstein, Rothenbur o.d.T. Mosel/ Rhein region.

Bautzen, Germany
posts: 814
1. Re: Planning a trip to Germany

>"Any recommendations?"

Yes. Travel to the places were the family comes from, not the hyped "must sees".

Las Vegas, Nevada
Destination Expert
for Stuttgart, Baden-Wurttemberg
posts: 12,188
reviews: 37
2. Re: Planning a trip to Germany

I'm with MartinN2807. In and around (within 100km or 60 miles) anywhere in Germany should easily be a week or two of excellent things to see and do. The local tourist offices should be able to provide you with a lot of free excellent information. Also, many places in Germany have websites of the form www.PLACENAME.de, just use the actual place name. This can be villages, towns, cities, localized area, regions, or German states preferably using the German spelling. Some may allow you to change the language to English but this usually means losing much of the website's content. These websites often offer information on upcoming special events such as festivals, some of which you might be interested in visiting.

And areas of Germany usually have many picture books (often trilingual) of them, of course simple to find in Germany, but harder to find in the US. Search on the Internet and order (Amazon is a possibility) a few such books of the area your ancestors are from. You'll find a lot of pictures of interesting local places to visit. Perhaps if you are by a good public library, they may have a few of such books, and inter-library loan could also be used.

Of course, it would help to know where they are from so actual practical suggestions can be made.

Bautzen, Germany
posts: 814
3. Re: Planning a trip to Germany

My answer was a bit short, so:

I suggested this because your family didn't come from Germany but from one of the many German states which later formed Germany. They most probably came from a state/region with a totally different culture. Maybe they weren't Catholics but Protestants? Maybe they weren't Bavarian peasants but Prussian officers? Maybe their home wasn't the big Bavarian kingdom but a tiny Thuringian duchy? Or a mighty Hanseatic city state and they were proud burghers? Maybe they were Rhinelanders pressed into Prussia?

In all these cases visiting the Romantic Road and the Bavarian castles will tell you nothing about your family.

Edited: 3:56 am, December 17, 2012
Williamsport...
posts: 10
reviews: 3
4. Re: Planning a trip to Germany

Thank you so much for your suggestions, planning is not my problem, I would like for them to be prepared, especially one who does not have any internet acsess but love to read.

I'll follow your suggestion and start looking at amazon.

Williamsport...
posts: 10
reviews: 3
5. Re: Planning a trip to Germany

I agree with you, we will visit Baisingen and Rottenburg, where the family comes from, but we also have favorite places that we would like to show them.

I would like some books for them to prepare (not guide books). They are avid readers and I find when we go on a trip and we read some books beforehand we are better prepared to appreciate what we see.

Williamsport...
posts: 10
reviews: 3
6. Re: Planning a trip to Germany

I understand what you are saying. We do have family history. We traced it back to 1626. We photographed the house my husband's great-great-grandfather built and made connections with distant cousins in Germany and we'll visit with them again on this trip.

Las Vegas, Nevada
Destination Expert
for Stuttgart, Baden-Wurttemberg
posts: 12,188
reviews: 37
7. Re: Planning a trip to Germany

So your ancestors are Swabian. Why not concentrate most of your sightseeing there in Baden-Wuerttemberg ( www.baden-wuerttemberg.de ; www.tourismus-bw.de ; www.schloesser-magazin.de/en ), the German state which is number two in tourism which has the most listed historic buildings, most spas, and a quarter of Germany's best restaurants and Michelin-starred ones. All of the websites can be changed to English somewhere on the page. However, go to the www.tourismus-bw.de website and stay in German and order Baden-Wuerttemberg erleben 2012 and/or 2013, and from the English part order any other publications that catch your eye. Besides topics that change every year, in the back are listings of tourist sights and things to do arranged by categories such as regions of the state, spas, castles and palaces, gardens and parks, scenic and historic railways, caves, sports and outdoor activities, art and culture, museums, tourist routes, amusement parks, and boat trips. My large scale map centered on Stuttgart ( www.stuttgart-tourist.de ) which is fairly close nearby has over 4000 places of interest to tourists of all types shown on it. There are many picture books on Baden-Wuerttemberg, most being trilingual.

Our favorite town in Germany to repeatedly visit is Tuebingen ( www.tuebingen.de ), very close to Rottenburg (which has a fairly nice oldtown but the interior of the old church has been desecrated in my wife's and my opinions by the addition of a modern interior). Tuebingen has hilly cobblestone streets, half-timbered houses, a castle, interesting nontourist shops, one of Germany's oldest universities, they pole boats on the Neckar River like at Oxford and Cambridge, and the nextdoor excellent well-preserved Bebenhausen Monastery (in www.schloesser-magazin.de/en ) is delightful to visit.

There are a number of interesting castles to visit nearby, the small moated one at Glatt at the edge of the Black Forest, and two fairytale-like ones, Hohenzollern ( www.burg-hohenzollern.com ) and Lichtenstein ( www.schloss-lichtenstein.de ). The Neckar River has weeks' worth of excellent places to visit from near its source at Rottweil ( www.rottweil.de ) which is this state's oldest town dating from Roman times, and continuing along downstream are such excellent places to visit as Horb ( www.horb.de ), Tuebingen ( www.tuebingen.de ), Esslingen ( www.esslingen.de ), Stuttgart ( www.stuttgart.de ), Ludwigsburg ( www.ludwigsburg.de ), Besigheim ( www.besigheim.de only in German), Lauffen ( www.lauffen.de only in German) , Bad Wimpfen ( www.badwimpfen.de ), Heidelberg ( www.heidelberg.de ) and Mannheim ( www.mannheim.de ).

These towns also sit between two low mountain ranges, my favorite part of Germany the Swabian Alb ( www.schwabischealb.de ) with its many castles and palaces, caves and excellent cliffside scenery, and the Black Forest ( www.schwarzwald-tourismus.info ). Lake Constance ( www.bodensee.eu ) isn't very far to the SSE, and the Swiss Alps are just across it.

Just some ideas of all the fabulous places that are easily on offer to visit in this area. Click on my name and view some of my many contributions for other ideas of excellent places to visit in this area. Also look at what I wrote in #1 and #3 of tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187293-i117-k5123… , #1 of tripadvisor.com/…37890749 , and tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187276-i703-k4853… .

And the nice thing about these places that I mention is that although they are all excellent to visit, they are not overrun by tourists and will have few foreign tourists so you can have a "real" German experience. Not one where you will hear more English, Japanese and Chinese spoken than German, and you have to cue up to see things making for a Disneyland-type experience.

Oh; i see that your trip is in September. It will be a lovely time to visit with the grapes ripening in the terraced vineyards along the Neckar River. A few excellent special events:

late August to beginning of September- Weindorf (Wine Village) in Stuttgart, probably the most attended wine festival in Germany- www.stuttgarter-weindorf.de

beginning September to early November- the world's largest pumpkin exhibition in the gardens of the palace at Ludwigsburg (Germany's largest perfectly preserved palace, it's all original) where over 400,000 pumpkins of over 450 varieties will be on display and there are large themed sculptures made from them as well as food and drink (champagne)- www.bluba.de

late September to early October- world's second largest beer festival, the Cannstatter Volksfest- www.cannstatter-volksfest.de

Baden-Wuerttemberg has over 4,500 special events a year, most of them festivals, so perhaps there are many more you could also attend.

Edited: 12:13 pm, December 17, 2012
Williamsport...
posts: 10
reviews: 3
8. Re: Planning a trip to Germany

Thank you, these suggestions are very helpful for the next trip my husband and I will do on our own. I am saving the websites for that and I appreciate the effort you put into this.

We have shown pictures of previous trips, so we are honoring their requests as far as the sites we will visit. I just thought somebody might have any ideas for books for them.

9. Re: Planning a trip to Germany

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