The Railway and Technical Museum on Rügen

Rügen’s Railway and Technical Museum (“Eisenbahn & Technik Museum”) is located in Prora, between the “Koloss” and the railway line. In fact, it is only a short walk from Prora’s station.

The sign at the entrance is a welcome sight for any museum visitor, but especially for bloggers: “entry includes free use of the toilets, the car park and unrestricted photography and filming”. There is indeed a large car park and flash photography is not a problem. Although the museum is so large, that in the main hall a small compact camera’s flash may not have much effect. The toilets, however, are at the furthest possible point in the museum from the entrance.

The entrance to the railway museum on Rügen is through a tramThe entrance to the museum is through a tram

The entrance itself is an usually but fitting way in – through a tram. You climb in at the middle, pay, and go out through one end. For those not able to climb up the steps into the carriage there is, however, a level way in as well. [Read more…]

Stopping over in Frankfurt

Frankfurt is a central hub for many European flights, and I am often asked about things to do or places to stay for short “stop-over” visits.

The trouble with short visits of only a few hours is that you have to get from the airport to Frankfurt itself, and then back again in time to check-in for your flight. Although there is a good train connection between the airport and the city centre (a line called the “S8”) you need to allow plenty of time for delays finding your check-in desk and gate. The airport may not be as big as in some European cities (eg. Heathrow or Barajas), but it is complex enough still the same. If you are flying from Terminal 2, you will need to get off the train and onto the monorail to change terminals.

But if you do have a few hours to spare, then you can always buy a one-day rail ticket and travel around Frankfurt by train to see the sights. If you are visiting at the weekend, you might even like to take a ride on the Ebbelwoi Express – a tram that runs around Frankfurt serving traditional local snacks and drinks. The ride takes about an hour and goes through most of the older parts of the city.

Of course, if you have a bit more time to spare then you might like to sample the nightlife of the big city and stay in a hotel for the night. Generally speaking, hotels in Frankfurt should be booked in advance as they tend to fill up quickly if anything is on in the city such as trade fairs or concerts. The best way of finding a good hotel at a reasonable price is often to ask for recommendations. But if you don’t know anyone to ask, then you need a good online resource to give you some alternatives.

I have booked hotels online in the past, only to find out that people I met later with local knowledge had better options for me that were not available in the booking system.

So I was interested to find a site called Hotels Combined, where in Frankfurt alone they have over 300 hotels in their system! I had a look at what was available at short notice for the coming weekend, and found offers starting at around 30EUR per night, which sounds very good value for money.

The fact is, that Hotels Combined are not actually booking your hotel room – they are searching through different booking systems to find you the best offer. Once you have selected a hotel and price, they forward you to the relevant system so that you can book your room. But wait! Before you do that you can read reviews that other users have put in the system after their say. For example, you might be interested to find our where you can free WLAN access, or how far the hotel is from the main train station.

What is also interesting about the site, is that it covers some of the smaller towns outside of Frankfurt. I am a big fan of staying outside of the city centre in places such as Bad Homburg and Königstein, the latter of which I visited myself recently.

I word of warning if you are travelling on budget airlines, though. Frankfurt is not the same as Frankfurt-Hahn – that is over 100km away! But don’t worry, even around Hahn there are lots of things to do and places to see (such as trip on the Rhine). And there are hotels there as well…

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