Travel tips for vis­it­ing the Limes route, Ger­many

Timeless Travels Magazine - - GERMANY -

Fly­ing

The air­ports at Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Nurem­berg are all well placed for ac­cess­ing the Limes Route.

Many air­lines fly to Frankfurt in­clud­ing Bri­tish Air­ways, United, Lufthansa and Turk­ish Air­lines. Air­lines such as KLM, ger­man­wings, Air France and Air Ber­lin fly into Nurem­burg. Ryanair flies di­rect be­tween Manch­ester and Stuttgart.

Visas

Vis­i­tors from the Euro­pean Union and Euro­pean Eco­nomic Area do not re­quire a visit to visit Ger­many, nor those from the USA, Aus­tralia and Canada for short stays. For more in­for­ma­tion see: www.ger­many-visa.org/do-i-need-a-visa/

Get­ting around

Ger­many’s pub­lic trans­port net­work is good. Trains and re­gional S-Bahn ser­vices pro­vide a way of get­ting be­tween cities and sub­urbs.

Hir­ing a ve­hi­cle means be­ing able to travel along the Limes Route and paus­ing where you want when you want.

Weather

The weather in Ger­many is change­able. Sum­mer months, from June into Septem­ber, tend to be char­ac­terised by warm, sunny days, but be pre­pared as thun­der­storms ac­com­pa­nied by heavy rain are by no means un­com­mon near to the Alps, so it makes sense to travel with wa­ter­proof cloth­ing as well as sun­screen. The av­er­age high­est tem­per­a­ture in Hei­del­berg is around 26˚C in Au­gust. From mid-Oc­to­ber the fre­quency of rain tends to in­crease and snowfall is a pos­si­bil­ity on high ground. Snow and icy roads are com­mon dur­ing win­ter, from De­cem­ber un­til Fe­bru­ary.

The Es­sen­tials

Time dif­fer­ence: GMT +1

Elec­tri­cal Cur­rent/Plugs: Elec­tri­cal cur­rent is 110 volts AC and plugs are stan­dard Amer­i­can two or three round pins.

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Money

Cur­rency: The cur­rency in Ger­many is the euro, where €1 is made up of 100 cents. €5, €10, €20, €50 and notes are widely ac­cepted but some busi­nesses do not ac­cept higher de­nom­i­na­tions.

ATMs: Are widely avail­able in ur­ban ar­eas.

Credit cards: Are widely ac­cepted in ho­tels, shops and restau­rants but cash is of­ten pre­ferred by servers in bars and cafés.

More to see and do

You can cy­cle across Ger­many whilst fol­low­ing rem­nants of the Ro­man fron­tier. The Deutsche Limes-Rad­weg (Ger­man Limes Cy­cle Path) runs close to the Ro­man bound­ary wall, a UNESCO World Her­itage Site, for more than 800 kilo­me­tres. Keen cy­clists can cover that dis­tance over six days. The long­est sin­gle day sec­tion is the 165-kilo­me­tre stretch be­tween Mil­tenberg and Lorch. Spread­ing the jour­ney over a cou­ple of weeks per­mits more time for view­ing tow­ers, forts and mu­se­ums along the way.

The base of a tri­umphal arch that once stood 13 me­tres high and 9.5 me­tres wide stands pro­tected by the el­e­ments in an angular glass struc­ture at Dalkin­gen. The arch was built to hon­our a tri­umphal cam­paign led by the Em­peror Mar­cus Aure­lius Severus An­to­nius — Cara­calla as he is bet­ter known. The site was re­dis­cov­ered by ar­chae­ol­o­gists dur­ing an ex­ca­va­tion un­der­taken in 1973 and 1974.

Sev­eral watch­tow­ers have been re­con­structed along the 550-kilo­me­tre fron­tier. At Id­stein ( www.roe­mer­tur­mid­stein.de) a three-storey, 12-me­tre tall tower has been built close to the lo­ca­tion of orig­i­nal, Ro­man-era foun­da­tions. The re­con­struc­tion was com­pleted in 2002. It opens be­tween 2.30pm and 5pm on the sec­ond and fourth Sun­day of each month, al­low­ing vis­i­tors to gain an im­pres­sion of what it was like for guards to view the sur­round­ing land­scape from the view­ing plat­form. De­pend­ing upon the time of day and weather, horns, flags and flam­ing torches would have been used to trans­mit sig­nals be­tween the 900 tow­ers along the fron­tier. En­try to such tow­ers would have been via a lad­der to a door on the first floor dur­ing Ro­man times but, to make it eas­ier for mod­ern guests, the en­trance is now on the ground level.

At Welzheim the gatehouse of the Ostkastell Ro­man fort has been re­con­structed. It forms part of an ar­chae­o­log­i­cal park fea­tur­ing the ru­ins of an orig­i­nal corner tower, re­con­struc­tions of Ro­man stat­ues and a Mithraeic shrine. The Staedtis­ches Mu­seum Welzheim ( www.mu­se­umwelzheim.de) dis­plays mil­i­tary and civil­ian arte­facts, in­clud­ing shoes un­earthed from the fort, in a Ro­man sec­tion that was opened in 2013.

Main­hardt is a spa town known for the ther­a­peu­tic qual­ity of its air. Dur­ing Ro­man times more than 500 men would have guarded the fort that mea­sures 177 me­tres in length and 142 me­tres wide. Lo­cal guides are avail­able to lead tours of the area. The town has a mu­seum ded­i­cated to ar­chae­o­log­i­cal finds from the Ro­man era. Work tools, crock­ery and items from ev­ery­day life count among the arte­facts dis­played.

Use­ful In­for­ma­tion

Saal­burg Mu­seum ( www.saal­burgmu­seum.de) is part of an archaeology park that hosts Ro­man-themed events through­out the year. Vol­un­teers don to­gas, uni­forms and glad­i­a­to­rial gear to bring the Ro­man era to life.

The Deutsche Limes-Strasse web­site ( www.limesstrasse.de) has an English lan­guage ver­sion that can be viewed by click­ing on the union flag icon in the top right corner of the desk­top ver­sion.

The web­site of the Ger­man Na­tional Tourism Board ( www.ger­many.travel) has a page pro­vid­ing an over­view of the Limes Route ( www.ger­many.travel/en/leisure-and-recre­ation/scenic-routes/ger­man-limes-route.html).

The Limes-Cicerones web­site ( www. limes-cicerones.de) is avail­able only in Ger­man but can prove a use­ful source of in­for­ma­tion about events along the his­toric fron­tier. It is handy for con­tact­ing mem­bers of the as­so­ci­a­tion of qual­i­fied guides that op­er­ates along the route.

An app, Virtuelle Limeswel­ten Mo­bil, can be down­loaded to An­droid smart­phones and tablets. The app fea­tures maps and in­for­ma­tion, videos and images, plus GPS nav­i­ga­tion and Aug­mented Real­ity. It en­com­passes a vir­tual re­con­struc­tion of 60km of the Up­per Ger­man-Rhaetian Limes fron­tier — the sec­tion be­tween Wid­dern and Alf­dorf — which was scanned from a heli­copter us­ing laser tech­nol­ogy.

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