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marcopolko - I want to know more about Grosse River Valley

Orange, California
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marcopolko - I want to know more about Grosse River Valley

"the two fairytale-like castles of the Schwaebische Alb, Lichtenstein and Hohenzollern (Hechingen), the Bear's Cave near Lichtenstein castle, the Marbach stables, the largest castle ruins of the Schwaebische Alb, Hohenneuffen, then through the idyllic Grosse Lauter Valley with its cliffs and one of the highest concentration of castle ruins in Germany for a possible canoe trip, and then see the Baroque churches, monasteries and palace of Oberschwaben (Upper Swabia). www.oberschwaben-tourismus.de www.barockstrasse.org Then Fuessen is a fairly short distance away"

You gave me this advice about a week ago, and I really like it, but I am having trouble locating some of this area. Can you tell me which roads to use if I was coming north from Fussen toward Stuttgart? Thank you!

We have firmed up all but 2 days/nights of our 17 day adventure, and I want to get this done as we are leaving on Monday!!

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1. Re: marcopolko - I want to know more about Grosse River Valley

We detoured on our way back home from Biberach an der Riss to Stuttgart yesterday afternoon to drive through the Grosse Lauter River Valley. The drive was pleasant as always, and there was the beginning of some nice fall color, which in a week or two should be really spectacular.

From Fuessen, connect with the A7 freeway a little to the NW, and take it to the exit for Ochsenhausen and/or Biberach an der Riss (Hwy 312) and proceed to those places. The view of Ochsenhausen monastery is nice approaching from this direction and its also a nice place to visit with a lovely Baroque church, but you'll be driving by many more nice Baroque churches and monasteries. (If it's lunch time, I would recommend going to the brewery in Ummendorf (my wife's home village) which will be signposted along the way for lunch because they have excellent food (superb maultaschen and beer). There's also a lovely baroque church across from the brewery, and Biberach has my favorite one, perhaps because I was married in it a few years ago.

Now, basically, there are 3 ways you can go, probably the easiest to describe is simply staying on Hwy 312 to Riedlingen (pleasant town on the Danube) and then on to Zwiefalten (definitely see the lovely church at the former monastery there) and after you pass the monastery there will be a brown sign for the Grosse Lauter which you can follow. At Hayingen, unfortunately there will not be a brown sign, but just take the road to Indelhausen on the river, and just keep upstream to the stables at Marbach. There is also an old Jewish cemetary just off the way if that would interest you.

Alternatively, you can take Hwy 465 to Ehingen from Biberach, and there Hwy 311 toward Riedlingen. Lovely Baroque palace Schloss Monchental with its art collection is just a short detour off of the main road. At Obermarchtal (another lovely Baroque church and monastery) take the road to the NW toward Hayingen, then at the crossroads turn right , and then the left fork of the road will take you up along the river. There is at least one town along this way that has a communal bake house which most places used to have.

Biberach, Riedlingen, and Ehingen are the three corners of an equilateral triangle. As the Grosse Lauter River lies on the midpoint of the Riedlingen-Ehingen side, the shortest way there from Biberach are on the good backroads leading to Munderkingen, Birkenhard, Assmannshardt, Oberstadion (if you go this route definitely stop in the church, they have the unheard of number of something like nine Gothic altars and four Baroque ones), Unterstadion, Munderkingen, Untermarchtal, then left on 311 the short distance to Obermarchtal and from there use the Ehingen route part.

I believe that all the castle ruins should be open along the river at this time of year. If you want to canoe on the river, the season is 1July to 30Sept and weekends in October (9AM-6PM) and Kanutouren im wildem Sueden is located in Bichishausen right on the river. They will transport you upstream and you can canoe back downstream to there or to two further places downstream. www.kanutouren.com or info@www.kanutouren.com

From the stables (could be quite crowded on weekends if they are having their annual horse parade) you can proceed north to Bad Urach and further on to Hohenneuffen castle, or west to Lichtenstein castle which will be a slight ways off the road before it descends the steep face of the Schwaebische Alb going toward Reutlingen. The Bear's cave is off Hwy 313 heading toward Trochtelfingen. There are also many other caves in this region, the first route I gave passes one between Zwiefalten and Hayingen that has to be entered by boat.

For Hohenzollern castle, proceed to Reutlingen, and then Tuebingen, where you can get on Hwy 27 to Hechingen, and just past Hechingen is the turnoff for this castle.

For you driving in this area, I would recommend getting maps in Die Shell Regional Karte map series of Germany, #17 will have all the place mentioned on it except Hohenzollern, which is simple to get to from the directions I gave above. These maps will show ALL rural roads, points of interest whether natural or cultural, the better being highlighted in yellow or green, and the best also having a box around them. However, don't stop at all the places shown along the way or you'll never reach your destination!

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2. Re: marcopolko - I want to know more about Grosse River Valley

I see I omitted two things I wanted to mention. First, you cannot rent a canoe July-Sept on a week end, only Mon-Fri, but in Oct only weekends. Second, the map I recommend should be available from any Shell gas station.

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3. Re: marcopolko - I want to know more about Grosse River Valley

I knew I could count on you, marco!! We are definitely going to go this route. I found the 2 big castles on Google and they are impressive looking. I am sure the rest of this area will be, too. You have helped me to decide our final 2 days in Germany! Thanks again for being such a wealth of information.

Michelle

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4. Re: marcopolko - I want to know more about Grosse River Valley

Marco (or anyone) -

I think we will stay 1 night near the Grosse River Valley. Any suggestions for a hotel?

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5. Re: marcopolko - I want to know more about Grosse River Valley

There are some guest houses and small hotels in the villages along the river. As we can stay in Stuttgart and Biberach for free, we have never stayed in any place in this area. However, my wife would like to stay at the inn which is in front of the stable museum in Offenhausen as we have always enjoyed eating there and they have very good food and wine. Next door is the headwaters of the Grosse Lauter River in a pool in the quiet former monastery garden. I have tried to look it up on the internet, and it's confusing because on the website some photos show the building which we recognize and others a different building that I can't recall seeing. The website is www.gestuetsgasthof-offenhausen.de , their website is only in German and has no prices for rooms, and they can also be contacted at info@www.gestuetsgasthof-offenhausen.de . Offenhausen is just to the west a few miles from the main stables at Marbach. You could also investigate taking a coach ride offered by the stables at Marbach, you probably have to make advance arrangements. I've always thought one of their winter sleigh rides would be excellent. There is also another interesting looking inn by the stables.

At this time of the year you can just probably drive along and look at the places that you pass, and pick the one that appeals to you the most. As distances aren't large, you can easily return. All will be in very small villages unless you want to stay in slightly larger Gomadingen or Hayingen.

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6. Re: marcopolko - I want to know more about Grosse River Valley

I have emailed the suggested hotels you gave me on this and the other forum. Wish me luck!

7. Re: marcopolko - I want to know more about Grosse River Valley

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