Being stationed in Germany has some of the greatest perks, such as excellent food, beautiful countryside and long weekends to enjoy it all. To some, trying to decide on a place to visit on these weekends can seem a bit daunting, but here is a list of a few destinations within no more than a few hours’ drive from the KMC.
Luxembourg is a small country approximately 45 minutes away from Trier.
Luxembourg is a great place to visit as a day trip. Luxembourg has four must see museums: The National Museum of History and Art, the Luxembourg City History Museum, the Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art and the National Museum of Military History.
After visiting these museums, end your day on a somber note at the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial, where General S. Patton is buried. The cemetery is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
CORA Market, Forbach, France
Just 65 kilometers to the west of Kaiserslautern stands the giant CORA shopping center with great glimpses of the French and Belgian societies.
Oh, and really great prices on cheeses, fresh seafood, and French wines. On Saturdays, local producers of Alsatian and other wines offer samples. The immense cheese counter also offers to cut sample slices of almost any cheese.
A most enjoyable way to learn about a foreign society involves wandering the supermarkets to see what they eat, how they prepare that food and what they call everything, literally “from soup to nuts.”
To get there, take autobahn A6 across the border, then toward Metz on the E50/E320 and watch for CORA signs on the outskirts of Forbach about 10 minutes past Saarbrücken and right by the autobahn.
GPS address: Avenue de l’Europe, 57602 Forbach, France.
Miltenberg am Main
Imagine sitting outside the oldest Gasthaus in Germany surrounded by wood-timbered houses from the Middle Ages and saying to yourself, “Man, I always dreamed Germany would be like this!”
It’s not a dream, but a reality in Miltenberg am Main, just two hours by car across some of the most beautiful countryside in Germany. Miltenberg is nestled in the northwest corner of Bavaria, just south of Frankfurt.
The town straddles the Main River, so visitors can enjoy a river cruise in a day’s activities. The Main offers more picturesque villages than the Rhine and a less-industrial, slower flow free of commercialism.
Expect good food, good beer, and relaxing weekends filled with calm.
Set the GPS for Rathaus, Engelplatz 69, 63897 Miltenberg and enjoy.
Falkenstein bei Winnweiler
Up a narrow valley reachable only by a two lane road, the tiny village of Falkenstein hides in almost idyllic seclusion. Getting there provides as much of the adventure as enjoying the crumbling ruins that overlook the town.
Drive about 40 kilometers from Ramstein/Kaiserslautern up autobahn A6, then take the B48 until Winnweiller, then through the town and turn toward Imsbach on L392.
Drive 1.2 lilometers and turn on the narrow road (K37) that wanders into Falkenstein.
The village feels like a lost world of long ago as the road widens to a perfectly preserved farm “dorf” overshadowed by ancient ruins. In stark contrast to the aged buildings surrounding it, the town’s modern church resembles a miniature cathedral reaching to touch the heavens. Good food at the restaurant just a few steps from the burg ruins caps a perfect day’s trip.
Set the GPS for 67808 Falkenstein.
Mischler and Raudonat Distillery, Albersbach
In the tiny village of Albersbach, north of Ramstein, Mischler and Raudonat distill fine brandy and schnapps from almost anything and everything. And, they’re terrific as they turn fruits, nuts and vegetables into heavenly nectars!
This spring, they’ve planned brunch and dinner menus accompanied by their products. For example, on May 8, they’ll host a Mother’s Day brunch. Then, on June 11, they will celebrate the “Spargel,” or asparagus, season with a five-course Asparagus Menu costing €30. The next day, they offer a Spargel Brunch for €15, including most of the drinks.
Of course, customers can then further sample products for purchase.
To get there, drive north from Ramstein to Reichenbach-Steegen and continue through the town to Albersbacher Strasse. Turn right, then continue to the distillery on the right.
For details, call 06385-5906. Set the GPS for 66879 Reich-Enbach-Steegen.
On the first of June each year, Freinsheim on the Romantic Rhine Wine Road holds its Old Town Festival with intricate cultural performances occurring in the marketplace. A typical town that went back and forth between Bavarians, French, knights and bishops, Freinsheim has absorbed a little of each culture then mixed all to make its own fascinating personality.
Surrounded by an ancient city wall that remains almost totally intact, the village of 5,000 knows how to present lavish festivals to celebrate their most important product — wine! However, the town remains the seat of fruit growing while it slowly becomes an ever more famous wine growing center.
So, of course, the burgers of the historic old town must hold seasonal festivals to celebrate both harvests with guests!
Set the GPS to 67251 Freinsheim.
Strasbourg, Francem, is located on the border of Germany and France on the west bank of the Rhine River. Many of the people who live in Strasbourg speak English, French and German. Strasbourg is a very historic and scenic town. Strasbourg also has a high end shopping district and many museums and cathedrals to visit.
Where To Stay
The Sofitel Strasbourg is a four-star hotel that has a very lovely restaurant and bar for those who enjoy night caps. The Sofitel is situated directly across the street from the shopping district.
For more information, visit www.sofitel.com/gb/hotel-0568-sofitel-strasbourg-grande-ile/index.shtml.
What To Do
Shop! Shop! Shop! The shopping district in Strasbourg is known for its high end designer stores.
When you get tired of shopping, make sure to visit the Cathedrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg, Strasbourg’s most famous cathedral and landmark. You will find many great photo opportunities at this cathedral, which was once the tallest building in the world.
After visiting the Cathedrale Norte Dame de Strasbourg, stop by the Musee de l’Oeuvre Notre-Dame where you can view phenomenal early century art. After taking in the art at the Musee de l’Oeuvre, end your day by taking the Batorama boat tour, which takes you on a tour around the city on glass enclosed boats. This boat ride is extremely affordable with prices starting at €8 per ticket.
What To Eat
Strasbourg has fantastic French cuisine restaurants. One to check out is Le Gavroche. This restaurant not only has wonderful food but outstanding service!
Baden-Baden, Germany, is an exquisite town nestled between the Black Forest and the Oos River. Baden-Baden is home to the Caracalla Therme, which is a very nice spa for families. Caracalla Therme also has the Friedrichsbad, which is for adults only.
Where To Stay
For luxurious accommodations at a five-start hotel, stay at Brenner’s Park-Hotel & Spa. Brenner’s is a wonderful hotel for those looking for a romantic stay with their significant other. Brenner’s has its own spa and for an additional rate, and guests can receive spa treatments.
For families visiting Baden-Baden, stay at the Heliopark Hotel, which is located in the shopping district of Baden-Baden, or the Holiday Inn Express, which is 10 minutes away from the shopping district.
What To Do
Baden-Baden is home to the Frieda Burda Museum, which is quaint museum that displays European Art. For those looking to enjoy the city, Baden-Baden has its own casino, Casino Baden-Baden. Gamble there with the city’s beautiful people and rub shoulders with the city’s elite.
Where To Eat
Medici Restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Baden-Baden. Medici not only serves local and international fare, but boasts of having the best sushi maker and sushi in all of Germany. Medici also has its own enclosed cigar room and sells Davidoff cigars.
For more information about the places mentioned above, check out the following websites: