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Help with Itinerary

miami, florida
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Help with Itinerary

Thanks to all posters, your information has been very helpful in planning our trip. We will be arriving to the Koln airport May 15th at 12 noon and from there driving to see the cathedral. After we want to go tour Burg Eltz and after the tour we head to Bielstein to check in at our hotel. We are staying two nights in Bielstein. The following is what we are interested in doing:

Cochem

Wine tasting in Zell (try Black Cat wine)

Bielstein - visit some wine cellars, market square, bachstrasse

Drive between Cochem and Bernkastel-Kues

Rhine Valley:

One hour cruise from St. Goar to Bacharach or the reverse

Visit St. Goar and Bacharach

Visit Rudesheim

This might seem like alot, but we will only be touring one castle. Mostly interested in walking the towns, doing some wine tasting, the one hour cruise and driving along both rivers. Need some help deciding the best order to do this. Also, what is the fastest way to get from the Mosel to the Rhine? On the third day we drive to Rothenburg. Once again thank you and I look forward to reading your suggestions.

Boppard, Germany
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1. Re: Help with Itinerary

You may be trying to squeeze too much into your first day with Cologne Cathedral and Burg Eltz, as the castle usually closes at 5:30 p.m.

On your second day you could drive from Beilstein back to Bernkastel-Kues via Zell. There is more than enough in that area to keep you busy for a day. Cochem is of course also worth a visit.

On the third day, you could drive from Beilstein to the Rhine valley, do the cruise and continue to Rothenburg. To get to the Rhine valley, either drive from Beilstein through the hills, via Kastellaun to St. Goar, or drive down the Mosel to Brodenbach or Alken and the over to Boppard. You can avoid the river bend around Cochem by driving from Bruttig-Fankel to Treis-Karden. Figure a little more than an hour to reach St. Goar.

I take it you will be driving to Rothenburg on Friday, May 17th. This is before a long weekend, so expect very heavy traffic on the motorways on Friday afternoon.

Edited: 27 April 2013, 16:36
Paradise, California
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2. Re: Help with Itinerary

http://www.viamichelin.com/ is a good resource for travel time and distances as you piece your activities together and move between the two rivers.

I would avoid the drive into Cologne, the parking and parking fees, the drive out again, etc. if possible. Your first day already sounds pretty full. If you are flying out of CGN at the end of your trip, maybe drop your car at the airport first and see Cologne at that time - it's only about 17 minutes' train ride and 2.70€ each way between the airport station and the main station next to the cathedral. (This would be very convenient if you're staying overnight at the airport prior to your flight out.) Alternatively, take the train directly to the main station when you first arrive - put bags in a locker, see the cathedral and pick up your car at the station afterward, instead of the airport. Then you only need to drive out of town.

miami, florida
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3. Re: Help with Itinerary

Russ, thanks for all your suggestions. What is the best way for us to get from the airport to the main station? We have our car reserved for pick up at the airport, but I am going to see if we can pick it up at the main station and follow your suggestion.

We will not be returning to Koln, so we would have to do the Rhine on our third day on our way to Rothenburg. I am estimating that it will take us approximately 3 1/2 hours on the third day - get to the Rhine, do the one hour cruise including a quick stop in St. Goar and Bacharach. If we start out early, we should make it to Rothenburg by 5 or 6pm. What do you think?

Paradise, California
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4. Re: Help with Itinerary

"What is the best way for us to get from the airport to the main station?"

Direct train. The S-13 (S-Bahn train) runs every 20 minutes or so from the airport station directly to the main station. There's also the R8 (regional express train) which runs every hour. You can find schedules, platform numbers, and maps if you wish for this route and all German trains here:

http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en

Copy and paste these station names onto the page above.

Start: Köln/Bonn Flughafen (airport station)

Destination: Köln Hbf (main station)

You can buy your tickets at the airport station. The 2.70€ ticket is a local network ticket - so find a ticket machine that sells the local travel authority ("VRS") tickets. The airport website shows the location of the station:

koeln-bonn-airport.de/en/parking-arrival/bus…

Paradise, California
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5. Re: Help with Itinerary

"I am estimating that it will take us approximately 3 1/2 hours on the third day - get to the Rhine, do the one hour cruise including a quick stop in St. Goar and Bacharach. If we start out early, we should make it to Rothenburg by 5 or 6pm. What do you think?"

Here's how it might go. (Schedules may vary slightly by day of the week - check for your date.)

Leave Beilstein by 9 am. Arrive Bingen by 10 am. Park at the main (Hbf) station. Walk to the KD docks (maybe 10-15 min.) Catch 10:30 boat north to St. Goar (arrive 11:55.) See town, maybe Rheinfels castle, short lunch. Catch train (13:20) to Bacharach (13:30) for a look around. Catch southbound train (14:30) to Bingen (14:43) and drive to Rothenburg (2.5 hours) and you'll be there at around 17:15.

The Bingen-St. Goar cruise takes 1:25, a little longer than you planned - Bacharach-St. Goar takes only 40 minutes - but you'll get to see a LOT more river stuff with a start in Bingen. The additional ticket cost is about 6 Euros.

You'll need a St. Goar-Bingen train ticket for two. Cost is 11.40€. No problem making a stopover in Bacharach with this ticket. To minimize your trouble on this day, buy it in advance from a DB ticket machine in Cologne, Cochem or some other station for the date in question; or buy it on the day of travel when you arrive at the Bingen Hbf station. With a valid DB ticket in hand, you get a 20% cruise ticket discount at the KD dock - should knock nearly 4€ off the price of your cruise ticket.

miami, florida
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6. Re: Help with Itinerary

Russ, thank you for the information. I have a few more questions:

What is the fastest driving route from Bielstein to Bingen?

I also would like to visit Rudesheim and in order to do so, I am thinking of doing the Bacharach-St. Goar cruise instead of Bingen-St. Goar (gives me more time to visit Rudesheim). I would take train from St. Goar to Bacharach then drive to Bingen and catch the Bingen-Rudesheim car & passenger ferry (or just drive to Rudesheim), visit Rudesheim and after continue drive to Rothenburg. Is it possible to drive straight from Rudesheim to Rothenburg? Is it worth skipping the additional time on the river cruise to visit Rudesheim? If I go with this option -- what is the fastest route from Bielstein to Bacharach?

I was reading about an overland shortcut that can save time when driving between Burg Eltz and Bielstein. Do you know about this?

This is what I have so far for the second day: Drive from our hotel in Bielstein to Burg Eltz (If I didn't make it there on my first day). Visit Cochem. Drive from Bielstein to Bernkastel-Kues (stopping in Zell). Suggestions and comments welcomed.

7. Re: Help with Itinerary

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