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Getting around in the Bergstrasse is easy since it is nestled next to an Autobahn (A5) and a parallel road that runs directly through the towns – the B3. Additionally, the train goes past the towns on the Bergstrasse, although it doesn’t stop at all of them. Between Darmstadt and Alsbach, there is a tram that runs every half hour or so and the Alsbach train station is just a short walk from the final tram stop. You can check the actual times and locations at the DADINA website and a maps of the tram routes for the northern part of the Bergstrasse can be found at the DADINA Linienpläne page.
Getting into the Odenwald is a bit tricky if you don’t have a car – but the buses do run. Of course, having access to a vehicle makes it much easier to get to some of the wonderful trails that are a bit out of the way. The bus routes and times can be found at DADINA’s Fahrpläne page.
By car, you can enter the Odenwald on several roads, although not every town on the Bergstrasse has an access road heading east into the Odenwald. Eberbach, Seeheim-Jugenheim, Auerbach, Bensheim, Heppenheim, Weinheim, and Schriesheim all have roads that will get you into the Odenwald. Because the roads wind through the hills and small towns, it is helpful to know where your destination is and enter from the nearest town. Using the A5 or B3 to get to that town – you can do it the slow way if you are interested in just seeing the beauty of the Odenwald, but if you plan to park and spend the day, then you don’t want to waste all your morning getting there and the quicker way is to enter nearest your destination.
There are also roads that run north-south between Darmstadt and Heidelberg farther east into the Odenwald. Again, it is good to know where you want to go and enter closer to that location if you have specific plans other than just driving through the Odenwald.
Updated Apr 26, 2012
Two statues are standing in the centre of Viernheim, a man and a woman. They were both local people, but really different from each other. The man was homeless, wandering through the area, working occasionally. He was generally well liked for his good humour.People only knew him by his nickname "Linsefranz" - "Lentil-Franz". I don't know why, maybe his favourite meal were lentils? He lived from 1871 to 1950. This is the only statue of a homeless man I know.
The other statue is that of a nun, pushing her bike through Viernheim. She was working in the local hospital and was mostly known for her relentless pursuing of her aims. When she needed money to help the poor, she would stop every member of the city council, no matter where she met them, and ask for money, and she usually succeeded. For her work she was given the Federal Cross of Merit, a high medal in Germany. She lived from 1902 to 1986.
Both statues are standing in the very centre of Viernheim, close to St Aposteln.
Updated Jul 27, 2007
Do you like to play Tarzan? In the Kletterwald in Viernheim - a tree climbing experience - you can do just that.I haven't done it yet, as I feel I'm too old, but it's a great favourite for kids and young adults.
I even heard about a grandma who did it as a birthday treat!
You get a helmet and a rope with snap-hooks and then you can start climbing up ladders, to platforms or bridges high up in the trees. Or you can swing down on a rope and really pretend you're in the jungle.
I like to and watch, maybe one day I'll get the courage to do it myself.
Three hours of climbing are 10 Euro for children, 12 Euro for students and 15 Euro for adults.
Update May 2009:
We had four young US visitors and took them climbing.I didn't join, but I watched and listened, and I was very impressed by the organization. The safety instructions were given in English. This took a long time, almost 30 minutes. There is a low training area, on which everybody has to do a trial climb while the instructor is watching closely. Only when you have shown that you understood what to do you are allowed on the trees.
I was really impressed and our guests loved it.
One more word of advice: Use the bathroom before you start climbing up there.
Equipment: Don't wear your best clothes. All the equipment needed is provided. Cell phones/mobiles, any jewellery and anything else which may fall out of your pockets is best left at home.
Updated May 15, 2009
Address: Lorscher Strasse/L3111 Viernheim