Friday, April 21, 2017

Germany's best places to visit according to Jen

Neuschwanstein Castle was Lugwig II's masterpiece
GERMANY -- Meet a travel blogger who goes only by the name of Jen. Jen has come up with a unique concept that lists the 100 best things to do in several countries in the world.

Using Jen's top 100 from Germany, here are some of her suggestions. To view the entire group just click on the link above to discover dozens of ideas for your next trip to Germany.

Steps to Sans Soucci Palace
Here are several suggestions listed in no particular order that were included because they sounded intriguing or fit into a familiar category in which we concurred with Jen.

Black Forest -- Situated in the southwest of Baden-Wurtenberg in the central German highlands, the Black Forest is a name familiar to us all. With dense woods, green and rolling hills and quaint half-timbered houses nestled beside cobblestone streets in sleepy villages, the Black Forest has much to offer travelers of any type including families with children.
The old castle in Baden Baden on the edge of the Black Forest
The Black Forest is easily accessible from the railway station in Freiburg (1 hr) or Karlsruhe (1 hr 20 mins). The nearest airport is Stuttgart.
Goslar Square is filled with olde world charm
Goslar -- Some people say the tiny village of Goslar in lower Saxony is the prettiest town in Germany. Founded in 922 and featuring more than 1,500 beautifully preserved timbered houses from various periods of history, Goslar  justifiably earned the designation as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1992.

Don't let the size fool you. There is plenty see and do including the old market place, pewter museum, the Stabkirche and the Rammelsberg silver mine which has been in continuous operation for over 1,000 years.

For visitors who enjoy off-season travel, the Christmas market is quite simply a must-see event. Goslar is around 25 miles from Brunswick (approximately 1 hour by car or train) and 50 miles from Hanover (around 1,5 hours). The closest airport is Hanover-Langenhagen.

Saalfeld's Fairy Grottoes defy the imagination
Saalfeld Fairy Grottoes -- Situated on the perimeter of Thurigia's slate mountains is the town of Saalfeld. Since 1530 alum has been extensively mined in the area to such a degree that the excavations have produced magical fairy grottoes. So impressive have these caves become that they are now designated by the "Guinness Book of Records" as the most colorful cave grottoes in the world.

There are regularly scheduled guided tours which include the history and geological composition of the mines along with stories and legends that have evolved with the caves.

The Saalfeld Fairy Grottoes attract over 160,000 visitors each year and are situated 1.5 hours south of Leipzig by car or train.

Hildesheim has been lovingly reconstructed after being leveled in World War II  (wikipedia)

Hildesheim -- Hildesheim is Germany's Phoenix that has risen from the ashes. Though completely destroyed during World War II in an air raid in March, 1945, one of Germany's oldest cities was lovingly restored between 1984 and 1990.

Hildesheim pre-World War II

Taking advantage of skilled professionals, Hildesheim is a miracle of restoration, returning to its glorious past when it was the seat of the bishopric beginning in 815. Today it is still regarded as one of the loveliest market places in the world.

It is located about 25 miles south of Hannover and is easily accessible by car or train in about 40 minutes.

Palace of Justice in Nuremburg where the war trials took place

Nuremberg Castle -- Chances are the name Nuremberg is familiar even if Nuremberg Castle is not. The oldest parts of Nuremberg's Imperial Castle date to the beginning of the 13th century, however it also served as an important fortress for the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.

Of particular interest is the Deep Well which is probably as old as the castle itself. The well can only be visited as part of a guided tour. Other sites which can be seen on your own are the Palace and its Imperial Chapel and the Kaiserburg Museum.

The castle is 6 minutes by car of 15 minutes by bus for the railway station.

Germany isn't Germany without
beer  (wikipedia)

Hamburg Dungeons: Much like castles there's an eerie appeal to dungeons for travelers, and Hamburg's dungeons are among the most popular in Germany. A 90-minute program takes visitors through 600 years of history with reenactments that include the Inquisition, the plague, the great fire, a torture chamber, a variety of special effects and two rides.

Children 14 and under must be accompanied by an adult while the dungeons are not recommended for children under 10.

Subway stations Stadthausbrucke or Baumwell are close to the dungeons as well as "Miniature Wonderland" and Hamburg Port. Steinhuder Meer, where the dungeons are located, is just 22 miles northeast of Hannover. The nearest airport is Hannover-Langenhagen.

Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses in Wittenburg
Martin Luther's Home -- This year marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation and the largest Reformation museum in the world can be found in Wittenburg where Luther put forth his "95 Theses." The Luther home was originally a monastery and later became part of the university.
Martin Luther  (wikipedia)

To travel to Wittenburg, Berlin and Dresden in October to celebrate Luther's anniversary, just click on this link "In theFootsteps of Martin Luther" for more information.

These are just nine of Jen's top 100 sites in Germany. She also included Neuschwanstein, the Romantik Road, the Fairy Tale Road, the Zugspitze, Checkpoint Charlie, Museum Island, Kurfurstendamm, Sanssouci Palace, Cologne Cathedral, Berchtesgaden Eagle's Nest, Heidelberg Castle and Brandenburg Gate plus dozens of others.

Berlin's Brandenburg Gate is a powerful symbol of Germany unity
If you thought you had problems trying to figure out where to go in Germany before, now you have more than enough options to overwhelm you.