! This is not really a warning tip – just a “be aware of” one.
European Central Bank is in the process of issuing new Euro banknotes since 2013. They started with the smallest denomination, the 5 Euro banknote..
But obviously there must have been a lack in communication between ECB and the providers of paying machines: when it comes to the machines for parking, public transport tickets etc (any machine you pay at):
The majority of these machines cannot read these banknotes, hence refuse to accept them.
Sadly it is the 5 Euro banknotes most people will receive as change.
Visitors should refuse to accept these new 5 Euro banknotes when they pay and ask either for an old 5 Euro banknote or for coins, and also should explain why. I do this all the time since I discovered that parking machines wouldn’t accept it. There might be machines which have been adapted by now, but I am sure they are still in minority.
I heard that the machine operators are aware of this, but have decided to upgrade their machines when the next in line - the new 10 Euro banknote - will be issued.
Which is one day... when the cows come home :-)
© Ingrid D., September 2013
Of course this is not a real warning or danger tip, but one of the “be aware” kind, especially for the dreamer ones like me. The southern part of Bavaria, or better anything south of Munich is close to the Alps and that means that weather can change quite quickly. Especially in the months apart from winter.
When I was in Pfaffenwinkel (region between Starnberg Lake and Neuschwanstein Castle) in early October 2011, I arrived during beautiful sunshine and rather warm temperatures (approx. 25°C all the time). The forecast was optimistic for the next days but the dreamy me just didn’t think that it might change... But then I heard that it would get colder at the end of my planned days and I laughed when I realised I didn’t pack one piece of warm clothes. Luckily I found a Tchibo shop (where usually coffee is sold but also other items) in Schongau where I could buy at least a new fleece jacket (although I have already several..., but at home). But even though the weather forecast said “snow down to the lower regions”, my “summer-programmed” brain didn’t realise that this can mean indeed snow. So I was shocked to put it mildly when I woke up on October 8 and saw snow on my bathroom window. Oh my... The snow was there for a couple of hours but since the temperatures were not below freezing it didn’t stay. Luckily the temperatures were rising again on the following Sunday which made it easy for me to drive back home.
So be prepared. Bring warm clothes even if the forecast is good and sunny!
© Ingrid D., November 2012 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)
As the photos in my Neuschwanstein Castle travelogue demonstrate, the summer weather in south Germany can unfortunately change from good to bad in the course of one day of sightseeing. It was the Fourth of July 2005 and the weather was gloriously sunny with not a cloud in the sky when we arrived at Hohenschwangau and started out. Our tour of the castle was at 14:20. As the first photo shows, when stopped for a picnic lunch moments away from the castle, the clouds were building into big white formations. The sun shone the entire time we were inside but once we were through and walking to Marienbruecke, the wind was picking up and dark clouds were rolling in. By the time we got to the bridge, where this photo was taken, gale force winds were whipping through the gorge and large drops of rain began to fall. Fortunately, we were able to hop on a downward bound bus for the descent to the parking area. By the time we reached our car it was POURING rain.
Take the roundtrip to Salet and Obersee, even when you have just time to explore St. Bartholomae : You have to pay 3 euros more , BUT in St.Bartholomae there will be a giant crowd of people waiting for the boat back to Schoenau am Koenigssee, while only a few people will be waiting on a SEPERATE line for the ships doing the cruise to Salet and Obersee.
It took me 30 minutes to queue up and get the ship back, in the same time there were just a very few people in the other line and I could easily have taken the ship to Salet and back to Schoenau in that same time...
The ship from Schoenau to St.Bartholomae take about 35 minutes, from St.Bartholomae to Salet it takes 20 minutes one way. the return-ticket is 11 euros / 14 euros
We hiked on Hochfelln. When walking down the mountain, we were very fast. And suddenly, I found myself on the ground. How could that happen? I first looked for my camera, it seemed to be ok. Then I noticed that my knee war hurting. They helped me to get up. What to do? Well, no taxi there, no cable car, so I continued walking and forget about the hurting knee when taking my pics. Later, I went to a pharmacy to get a lotion, because my knee didn't look that fine. So take care when the ground is wet. Even good hiking shoes can't help in such situations!
My second story involves a similar scenario. We wanted to stay in Fussen, the closest town to Neuschwanstein. However, both the Minotel and Best Western hotels there were booked. The travel agent was told that the nearest hotel was in Nesselwang. Actually, the hotel was listed as Nesselwang/Fussen. This couldn't be further from the truth for us. When we got off of the train in Nesselwang, we were greeted by a deserted train station and a sleepy mountain town. There was still snow on the cobblestone streets and we had luggage with wheels! We had to hitch a ride up to our hotel with some VERY friendly townspeople because the town was so small that there were no cabs!
To make my long story short, either book your trip yourself, or make sure that your agent knows the area and can make wise changes if the hotels you want are booked. Plus, do your research, don't trust that your agent knows exactly what they are doing! Being more informed yourself will make your trip much more relaxing and fun!
If you are planning a trip with a travel agent, it may be a good thing to find one that has travelled to the area. We picked our travel agent on a recommendation from a friend and we ended up regretting our choice.
She had never travelled around Germany like we planned to. When she was booking our hotels, she was unsure of how close they were to the places that we wanted to visit. I have two very good examples of how this can become a mistake for you as you are in the middle of travelling.
We wanted to stay in Berchtesgaden so that we could go to the Eagles Nest and see the mountains. Because our travel agent works with an affiliation with two hotel organizations (Best Western and Minotel), she was not willing to look at smaller hotels for us. The Best Western branch in Berchtesgaden was booked for the night that we needed to stay there. Her list told her that the next closest hotel was in Bad Reichenhall and that the distance from there to Berchtesgaden was minimal. When you are travelling only by train, a small distance can see quite large. Plus, Bad Reichenhall wasn't the sort of place where Americans stayed. It was a German tourist town, we were totally out of place there. The hotel was a long distance from the train station and we had to take a cab up to it (it was on a mountain). It turned out okay, but I will never forget the feeling of sticking out like a sore thumb in Bad Reichenhall.
Plenty of places are offered to powder your nose on Theresienwiese / Oktoberfest.
Still lots of people try to do it somewhere else in the open air, simply in order to save a few small coins...
Big fines are expecting these people, so be aware of this and watch out for these little "amors", showing you the right way !
Maibocks are fantastic beers, and if lucky enough to be in Munich in early May, well worth seeking out. BUT, remember they are strong beers (generally around 7%) and served in liter mugs, it is very easy to drink too much of a good thing.
This is a wonderful little hotel on a very quiet residential street very near the Oktoberfest site....more
An exceptional location directly across the street from the Main Hauptbahnhof. Very historic-looking...more
In 1950, my dad took pictures of this hotel sign. I don't remember whether we stayed there or not -...more