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Southwest German I&i


BansheeOne

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I'm trying to arrange activities into day tours to determine total time needed. Luckily most are independent of weekdays so there is considerable flexibility in the sequence of trips, though some are restricted. I need to inquire how to best aproach St. Wendel next week, so that day is not very thought-out at this point. Since locations are a bit spread out, it's actually hard to fit them all in if we consider the 15th and 20th in- and outprocessing days respectively; Verdun sorta sticks out as the most remote target.

 

Koblenz Day (Wednesday?)

0930 leave hotel

1100-1400 Wehrtechnische Studiensammlung Koblenz

1400-1600 lunch in downtown Koblenz, possible visit of Deutsches Eck Rhine/Mosel confluence and Ehrenbreitstein Fortress

1600-1715 Rhine cruise (alternate 1630-1730)

1900 return to hotel

 

Saar Day (Thursday?)

0900 leave hotel

1000-1230 St. Wendel? Including lunch? (not on weekend)

1400-1600 Fort Hackenberg (regular English tour; group tour might be arranged at different time)

1730-1900 Westwall Museum Niedersimten if tour can be arranged at this time (regular access weekends only)

2000 return to hotel

 

Speyer-Sinsheim Day (Friday?)

0900 leave hotel

1000-1300 Technikmuseum Speyer

1300-1430 lunch in downtown Speyer, possible visit of cathedral with tomb of medieval German kings and emperors

1500-1800 Auto- und Technikmuseum Sinsheim

1900-2200 Spielmann-Schindler Winery Bobenheim am Berg

2230 return to hotel

 

Luxembourg Day (Saturday?)

0900 leave hotel

1100-1200 US and German Military Cemetery Luxembourg City with Patton's grave

1200-1300 lunch in Luxembourg City

1400-1500 Westwall Museum Irrel (regular access only weekends)

1600-1800 Luxembourg National Military History Museum Diekirch

2000 return to hotel

 

Verdun - an all-day tour if it can be fit in.

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Any particular reason we're starting on Wednesday? Why not make Monday the rendezvous day. For those of us in NA, we can start out journey on Sunday the 13th.

 

I think plane tickets for travelling in Tuesdays, Wednesdays and/or Thursdays are cheaper.

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Frankly there is no reason other than that I was sticking to the extended weekend format of earlier I&Is and Marek once stated he'd be good for "the second half of July", which I translated to starting on the 15th in my über-precise way. I was already thinking we might as well start a day earlier if nobody has a problem with that.

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We are flush with time in Koblenz; I was filling in touristy things to spend the rest of the day on. I'm also certain people could do different things in the afternoon according to interest, then meet up for the drive back.

 

If we can agree on Monday to travel in, let's find out flight times to meet with mimimum waiting for the first arrivals.

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I'm talking to BansheeFour about organizing arrivals at and transfer from FFM. The optimum would be picking up a rental van for the whole flight contingent at the airport until say 1200 on Monday 14 July, then hand it back in there until whenever flights start to leave on Sunday 20. Europcar and Sixt are both offering vans for 700-800 Euros for seven days including 2,500 kilometers; I just ran the complete current itinerary through Google Maps and it's less than 2,000 kilometers pure transfer, so the only extra cost is likely to be fuel. Should be less than 100 Euros per head total.

 

I'd like to get written into the contract as an alternate driver for occasions like the wine tasting since I don't really drink, but Europcar at least demands all drivers show up with their licenses at pickup, and I will be travelling from Berlin with Dave to bring the extra car, probably not getting to Frankfurt before the afternoon and rather going on directly to Kaiserslautern on a seven-hour drive. We could meet with Leo along the way (Göttingen, which is an ICE station on the line from Hannover near my parent's place where we might stage at noon?) so even if all twelve on the current list participate, the flight contingent will still fit into a van holding nine.

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So what did you decide on the dates?

 

BTW seems now that there are things that might prevent me participating... I am hoping the best...

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I wonder if logistically it might be better to stick with the original plan of a hotel at FFM? While it would add an hour of travel to France & Luxembourg, it would save a lot of hassle, waiting and driving at the start and end.

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It would certainly make things on the base end much easier, however due to longer transfers I would then delete one activity each on three out of five days, particularly those yet to be organized for which I really have no time anyway. I also see there's a small Zeppelin museum next to FFM which could be easily included to somewhat make up for dropped long-distance targets. But let's first establish all likely arrivals on 14 July before we decide on that.

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I wonder if logistically it might be better to stick with the original plan of a hotel at FFM? While it would add an hour of travel to France & Luxembourg, it would save a lot of hassle, waiting and driving at the start and end.

The flight probably being the major factor, and accommodation the lesser, possibly adding a day at the beginning and another at the end to your stay in Germany might alleviate your scheduling. And, hence eliminate the need for two daily one hour transfers. ^_^

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I think its only 2 of the days, Luxembourg and Verdun that staying at FFM adds an hour travel. According to Google Maps, Kaiserslautern to Koblenz is actually a half hour longer drive than FFM to Koblenz and there's no differernce in the travel time to Speyer,

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Just wanted to say that things for me are too fluid this year so I am not going to commit to anything until the last minute. Or at the very least not for another 1-2 months.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've had absolutely no time to pay any attention to planning in the last two weeks; wanted to investigate possibilities for St. Wendel this one during budget deliberations, but yet more work obligations intruded. Now off until Easter, however other neglected stuff has also piled up, and I will probably only tackle that particular point once I'm back at the office. Until then we should get clear on the existing options; with three months to go, the time to work in extra wishes is up at this point.

 

I think we're decided on the 14-20 July all-week timeframe since it's easiest for all involved to plan between two weekends. Option A is to base at the Barbarossahof in Kaiserslautern with the program outlined in post 51, though details may change as the planning cell sees fit; in particular I can make no guarantees about St. Wendel but will not seek an alternative either, since a little more space in the schedule would not be bad as it is.

 

The acknowledged sticking point in this is transit from and to FFM; though for European participants in particular it may be possible to fly into the smaller airport of Saarbrücken via Berlin, Hamburg or Luxembourg, and travel to Kaiserslautern by public transport to be picked up there without the Rhine barrier in the way, thus relaxing time-on-target requirements.

 

Option B is to base at the NH Frankfurt Airport, which will make transfer in and out easier for everybody. In that case I would definitely cut Luxembourg City, and either St. Wendel or the Niedersimten Westwall Museum on the Saar Day. The sights-to-travel (and thus cost) ratio will be lower, but so may be overall organizational requirements.

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I had a discussion with Dave and BansheeFour (who will have to take over marshalling at the airhead), and we are indeed returning to the FFM hotel base for ease of logistics despite longer driving times to most targets. My brother suggested moving to Kaiserslautern after the first days as a compromise, the way we did it last year in England, but the distance between both locations doesn't really justify the extra trouble, and the transfer problem would still be mostly the same, particularly back to the airport at the end.

 

There are several hotels at the airport, including a Sheraton and a Hilton directly adjacent to Terminal 1, but we recommend to stay with the originally mentioned NH which is slightly off-site, but also lower-cost and a known quantity (several TankNetters stayed at the NH on my block during my 40th birthday). Checking online for 14 to 20 July, I just got quoted prices between € 74.25 per night for a non-refundable standard single room and 135.67 for a suite with flexible rate, so there's a range to pick from. Closer examination of Google Maps shows that autobahn access is still by way of the airport road, but a complimentary shuttle goes every 20 minutes from Terminal 1, and you can actually walk there via a bridge across the autobahn right next to the hotel (about two kilometers).

 

A revised tour itinerary will likely be out next week after we have inquired about scheduling possibilities with some locations.

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