by Ben

I was looking forward to a solo trip this year but my Frau has decreed that I will not be traveling alone anymore and she wasn't interested in being my chauffeur again so soon. So my old high school cruising buddy - Larry (PStuyvsant) - volunteered to be my navigator for a three week plus jaunt cruising the backroads of Germany. We decided to visit a few familiar haunts and planned for a lot of down time - relaxing, resting and reading. We are both the same age so we are comfortable taking afternoons off and doing much of nothing except to enjoy the atmosphere and ambiance of rural Germany.

We flew Lufthansa DFW to FRA - then FRA to MUC - a first for us to begin our trip in Munich. That turned out to be too much time in the air and it didn't work out as well as we had hoped. Lufthansa (economy) is usually comfortable and I can't say enough good about their service staff and in-flight entertainment. Ten hours can be pretty boring if all you have to do is read magazines and sleep so the dozens of movies, games and TV shows will keep you busy. The flight to Frankfurt was unexceptional except for the fact that someone was sitting in my seat when I boarded. He explained that his son had made his flight arrangements and that his own seat (the one to my right) was uncomfortable and he had bad knees and a bad back and my seat was empty. I explained to the gentleman that I have bad knees and back and that he should make his own reservations in the future to avoid such inconveniences. After enduring several hours of his elbow and knee invading my personal space I took it upon myself to explain to him (in my best tactful Drill Sergeant persona) that I didn't appreciate his lack of courtesy and invasion of my privacy. He got the message and we ignored each other for the next seven hours. The follow-on flight to Munich was no problem.

We hopped a taxi to Erding and picked up a Ford Focus (manual) which surprisingly had a GPS (we didn't request it).

Larry had his own GPS and I had brought mine also. Shouldn't be able to get lost with three GPS systems - should we? It would have been funny if we had gotten lost at least once - but it didn't happen. We had to do a few U-turns but that was only because I didn't heed Frau Helga's instructions and turn when and where she said to. I did the majority of the driving but we paid for the extra driver in case my knee gave out with the manual trans. Thankfully that didn't happen either. (note: be advised - there was a 25 Euro add-on charge for not returning the car to the original location.) This was an AVIS contract through Andy of Gemütlichkeit (who I highly recommend).

Easy drive along the Autobahns around Munich to our first destination - Samerberg (SW of Chiemsee). An old farm but a new one to us - the Stampflhof.

Johanna Schweiger
Stampfl 1
Tel - 8032/8221
Email -


The host family was very nice and this was a very Kinder friendly farm with lots of little critters and a nice play area. Breakfasts were good and we always had a boiled egg. Larry and I usually crack and peel our eggs completely (as opposed to taking off the top part of the shell and spooning out the soft egg as most Germans do). One morning he wanted to demonstrate a new technique for removing the shell from the egg (by removing part of the top and part of the bottom and blowing the egg into his hand). This actually works (as seen on You Tube) when done by someone who has done it enough to know what they are about. Apparently Larry's egg was not a three minute egg and far too soft boiled. The mess that was made as the egg exploded (runny yolk and white) into his hand was so totally awesome that I wish to this day that I had been videoing the entire operation (to put on You Tube). Naturally we had no napkins anywhere that morning - so there he sat with yellow yolk running down his hands onto the table. Best laugh of the trip...

Due to weather conditions we only ventured out for sightseeing one day - to Prien and a boat to Herreninsel.


Larry rested while I walked out to Herrenchiemsee for the morning...

The rest of the time in Samerberg we ate out and relaxed. When we ate at restaurants - we almost always took our meals outside - even when it rained (providing there was shelter from the actual rain).


Gasthof Maurer
Hochriesstrasse 30

After three nights we then moved to a farm favorite of PStuyvsant in the village of Piesenkam near Holzkirchen - which is at the end of an S line running into Munich.


On the way we visited the pilgrimage church Wilparting in Irschenberg...

Beim Woidhauserhof
Michaela und Georg Schwaighofer
Waakirchner Weg 10
Tel - 8021/505348

This was an excellent place to stay, inexpensive and clean. I had a large doubleroom with TV and a balcony just outside the door. A refrigerator and bathroom with shower were also just in the hall. Breakfast was excellent served in an immaculate Frühstückzimmer.


This beautiful old farm (two dozen cows) is located in Waakirchen which is a small farming community and a suburb of Piesenkam, just outside Holzkirchen. This was a repeat visit for Larry but my first time. Larry had stayed here several times previously using it as a base camp for attending Oktoberfest in Munich. Situated near the end of the S-3 line in Holzkirchen, it's location is perfect. We enjoyed conversing with the family during breakfast and they were nice enough to let us use their computer to research accommodations due to a last minute change in our itinerary. A very pleasant three day stay...

It was an easy drive to the Bahnhof in Holzkirchen where we purchased day tickets for the next two days. First day was Oktoberfest time at the Augustiner-Brau tent along with Gary - his brother Jim - Jim's Frau - Gary's sister - and Tooooobah.


Meeting at noon we had no problem finding a table right next to the bandstand that was not reserved until 5pm. I made it a few hours nursing one Ein Mass. Tooooobah finished off several and was his always in-character glorious personification of everyone's idea of a real Bavarian. Jim constantly attracts attention with his Lederhosen, hat and fluent Bavarian dialect. Most everyone is convinced that he is anything but an American from Vermont.


The following day we went back into Munich for a brewery tour which we eventually blew off and instead cruised the Viktulianmarkt and Marienplatz.

Visited Durnbach Cemetery in Gmund am Tegernsee (mostly downed Brit pilots and airmen)

and later had a great meal in Gmund overlooking the lake.


Gasthof am Gasteig
Münchner Str. 14
Gmund am Tegernsee

Two nice places to eat in the area...

Gasthof-Cafe Kreuzstrasse
Kreuzstrasse 2

Our next stop was to be in Austria but we talked each other out of it - canceled our reservations - called one of our favorite farms near the Wieskirche - and ended up in a great apartment there for three days (Scholderhof). Anyone spending a few days in the Royal Castles area should attempt to stay here. The accommodations are top notch as is Frau Gindhart.


Family Gindhart
Wies 8

From there we visited Oberammergau - the Ettal - Linderhof - and of course the Wieskirche and Steingaden...


We ate at three nice restaurants in the area...


Gasthof Schweiger
Wies 9

Gasthof Graf
Schongauer Straße 15

Gasthof Moser
Wies 1

We then moved to another farm favorite in Waltenhofen (suburb of Schwangau) for three additional days in the area.

Familie Huber
Moarweg 24


Spent our time here cruising Füssen - the castles - the Tegelberg area - and lots of time sitting on benches outside St. Coloman church. Over the three weeks Larry read several paperbacks and I finished seven novels on my Kindle...



The Forggensee was about a two minute walk from our lodging in Waltenhofen.



Restaurant Hanselewirt
Mitteldorf 13

Two very nice eating establishments in the area...

Cafe Gerlinde
Forggenseestr. 85

Our first long drive was to the Black Forest but it included a pit stop in Meersburg on the Bodensee...


The next four nights were spent at one of our favorite farms in Gutach (Rotbauernhof) which is located near a Sommerrodelbahn, Biergarten and a ten minute walk to the Vogtsbauernhof. Hard to beat this central location in the Schwarzwald.


Family Wöhrle
Singersbach 2



Train base - Hausach


Most of our days in the Schwarzwald were spent taking free trains to Freiburg - Gengenbach - Titisee - Schiltach...





and we made sure we were in Gutach for the annual Erntedankfest on the first Sunday of Oktober.



Gasthof Krone
Hauptstrasse 48

Two of my favorite watering holes in the Black Forest...

Imbiss und Biergarten
Sommerrodelbahn Gutach

From Gutach (Schwarzwaldbahn) we headed north to the Odenwald where we stayed at a pension/farm in the village of Heiligkreuzsteinach (in the hills north of Heidelberg).

Zur Stiefelhöhe 13
Tel - 6220/497
Email -


The hostess Frau Elfner was very nice but seemed in awe of her American guests. She was the first to ask to see our passports (ever). Later we discovered that her husband had passed and she maintained everything herself. I'm sure she was just a little skittish because of her situation. And we were only the second Americans to ever stay there. This was a very remote location but the accommodations were nice and we found an excellent restaurant that served the best Kalbschnitzel I can remember. We ate there twice and were very impressed.


Gasthof zur "Goldenen Krone"
Ortsstraße 35
Tel - 6220/218


The roads in the Odenwald are always adventurous and we also cruised the Neckar - Michelstadt - and of course Heidelberg...


Our GPS once took us via what appeared to be an unkept logging road through a heavily wooded forest for at least 5km but the road showed up on the GPS so who were we to question Helga. Most of the backroads in the Odenwald are tight and stressful when buses and trucks approach. My Frau would not have been happy driving those roads.

Next we were to spend two nights at Kamp-Bornhofen on the Rhine but that turned into a real bust. I had confirmed reservations for two nights (confirmed as far back as January) at the Hotel Kurfürst. Trip Advisor reviews sang the praises of this place and the staff but what we found was sorely lacking. The manager had overbooked and only had rooms for one night. He found us other accommodations in town so we went there instead (Jägerhof) but it was not much better and we stayed only the one night. So I called ahead to our final destination and booked an extra night there. The Kurfürst and Jägerhof have small boxy rooms and cater to bus tour groups - but good cheap accommodations are always hard to find along the Rhine Gorge. The Kurfürst has some interesting history as a former convent and the old church of Kamp - but it was a big mistake for us.

Final location for this trip was the small village of Budenheim (near Mainz) at the Pension Plappert. Between Kamp-Bornhofen and Budenheim we spent time in Eltville - Mainz - Rüdesheim - Bingen - Bacharach - and St. Goar.



Der Pfalz



St. Goar and Rheinfels


St. Goarshausen and Burg Katz



Pension Plappert
Heidesheimer Str. 73
Tel - 0179/4719070

The Plappert pension is excellent with a very accommodating hostess. We had a nice separate-entry apartment with two Schlafzimmer, a kitchenette and a huge bath. Excellent place to spend your last day or days in Germany. FRA is only 30 minutes away by car or train.

Berg Bäckerei
Luisenstraße 12

One of my favorite bakeries in Germany - same street as Plappert...

My only real disappointment of this trip was that I again failed to work in a Segway tour. Weather and poor planning were my excuses. Heidelberg and Ruedesheim both have Segway tours. A bit expensive but a splurge I am looking forward to.

Another nice vacation to Germany in the books. I was not positive that I would be returning next year but after settling in at home for a few days I received an email from another Stammtisch member who was already itching for another adventure. So it appears that I will be navigating next year and tagging along with our resident wandering jokester who enjoys nothing more than stirring a pot. Should be a great time if he can make it through the security checkpoints without being strip searched. Actually it will be much more memorable if he is. I'll just have to keep my distance from him in airports... :)

Bis zum nächsten Mal !

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