In this blog, I’d like to share my love for classic cars and take you on some of the trips we did in Germany over the years. Germany is fantastic for anyone who loves classic cars, as there are plenty of routes that take you through picturesque scenery and impressive landscape. I can think of nothing better than driving at low speed in a convertible; with only the sound of the engine for company. If you can resonate, you might just like to continue reading my blog.
Going on holiday in the fifties
My grandparents loved their VW Beetle
My husband and I can be a little bit nostalgic with certain things, and one of them is cars. I personally love the old VW Beetle from the sixties and seventies – ideally as a convertible. I always love listening to my nan’s stories about her camping trips to Italy in this type of car.
They managed to pack all the equipment and suitcases into a VW Beetle and drive from Berlin to Italy. Being a dressmaker, my nan even made a cover to protect the car during their six-week break by the sea. My grandfather managed to pack a small foldaway cupboard, mattresses and other essential things into this small car – just to make it the perfect holiday for the family.
My mum has such fond memories of these holidays, and her stories have made me want to try out a camping holiday myself. I’m sure my son would love the adventure – although I’m certain we wouldn’t get everything into a VW Beetle!
How our love for classic cars came about
The MG Midget and the VW Beetle were our first loves
My husband has been a classic car lover for as long as I’ve known him. When we first met, he was really into the MG Midget, and I accompanied him to many classic car shows. His favourite was the Techno Classica in Essen, which is one of the largest of its kind in Germany. We found it fascinating to just sit in the cars and dream about cruising around in them. I always enjoyed the atmosphere at these car shows and I felt drawn to the VW Beetle. My godmother used to have one, and whenever I sit in one, the smell of the seats reminds me of her red Beetle – taking me back into my childhood. I just love the sound of the engine, the shape of the lights and the shiny chrome bumper. To me, a classic car is a work of art – nothing like the modern cars. Anyway, that’s another blog in itself! 😊
I love a convertible
Embrace the moment – smell the nature around you
In my view, the full classic car experience comes without a roof. I enjoy smelling the flowers and trees, and feeling the wind in my hair, and the sunshine on my face.
I believe it’s important to embrace these little moments in our overly busy lives. It’s not about what car you’re driving, it’s more about enjoying the moment. Although, a friend of mine is currently driving a Fiat 500 convertible. I envy her as I miss opening the roof on that first warm day of the year, turning on the music and smelling spring in the air.
Getting the taste of owning a classic car
Do you know the Porsche 356 from 1960?
Over the years, our love for classic cars continued to grow. My husband absolutely loved the classic Porsche 356 Speedster. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to afford the eye watering price tag.
Fortunately, my husband came across a company who built replicas of this old car. The reproduction of the classic 1960 Porsche 356 was made using an original VW chassis. It looked fantastic! After test-driving the car, we were smitten. Even though it wasn’t an original Porsche 356, we loved the wonderful feeling of driving a stunning piece of car design.
Quality time away
For a short time, we were lucky owners of this replica Porsche 356 Speedster. Our son had just been born, and it wasn’t easy trying to fit in a little trip. If we were lucky, we managed to have a sneaky weekend away, which was wonderful. Equipped with sun hats and high SPF sun cream, we enjoyed cruising around, discovering the small towns and villages, and taking in the beautiful landscape.
Rhine Valley – an ideal location for a classic car trip
A secret escape in this wine growing area
As we are very often based around Düsseldorf, the closest area to go on a road trip is by heading towards Cologne and Koblenz. It’s a two and a half hour journey to the beautiful Rhine Valley; with its vineyards, idyllic villages and impressive castles dotted along the banks of the Rhine.
The scenery as you drive along the Rhine is truly breath taking. The drive takes you past rolling hills, vineyards, half-timbered houses, castles and fortresses. If you’re driving a convertible, I’d advise checking the weather forecast two or three days before your trip to ensure you have at least one dry (hopefully sunny) day.
We would take every opportunity to head off in our classic car whenever the grandparents offered to look after our son for the weekend.
Romantik Hotel Schloss Rheinfels
Fantastic terrace overlooking the Rhine Valley
One year we stayed at the Romantik Hotel Schloss Rheinfels in St Goar for a night. The hotel sits above St Goar, next to Rheinfels Castle; offering impressive views across the Rhine from the restaurant and terrace.
I can highly recommend stopping off in St Goar and having a wander up to the hotel to enjoy the views, as well as having a walk around Rheinfels Castle. If you’re staying a little longer, you can also hire bikes at the hotel (including electric bikes if you wish), and cycle along the beautiful Rhine River. When we were there, we cycled up to Bingen (around 30km), which is another beautiful little town. I can certainly recommend the WeinZeit wine bar. Located on the river, it’s the ideal spot for a little pit stop. We enjoyed some tasty tapas-style bites accompanied by a glass of the local Riesling wine.
Bingen was the birthplace of Hildegard von Bingen. Born in 1098, she became a composer, writer, philosopher and naturopath. She founded Rupertsberg Abbey and created essential pieces of work on natural history, theology, botany and medicine. You can find some TripAdvisor reviews on Rupersberg Abbey here. For more information on Hildegard von Bingen, look at Bingen tourist information’s website.
Romanticism in this UNESCO world heritage site
Upper Middle Rhine Valley is one of Germany’s prettiest areas
The Rhine used to be an essential lifeline from North to South during Roman times. Sales people, pilgrims, travellers and warriors travelled through the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, and took note of its impressive landscape and quaint villages.
However, it wasn’t until the beginning of the 19th century that writers and artists discovered the true beauty of this region. Its beauty inspired them when creating their various pieces of art and writings about the Rhine area. Artists include Clemens Brentano, Richard Wagner, Heinrich Heine, William Turner and Victor Hugo. This era marked the beginning of romantic Rhine tourism. Its numerous castles, rocks (including the famous Lorelei rock), vineyards and stunning landscape attracted visitors from around the world.
History, wine and beautiful nature
In my view, this area is perfect for doing a road trip in a classic car. You could start in Cologne, then continue towards Mainz, and finish in the spa town of Wiesbaden. The route is about 360km long, and it’s a fantastic way of learning about its 2,000-year history. Romantic restaurants with views across the Rhine, unusual hotels and beautiful vineyards where you can enjoy a wine tasting session are what holidays are made for.
I hope I’ve inspired you to try out a classic car trip in one of my favourite regions of Germany. Have you been to the area? It would be great if you could share your recommendations and top tips with the rest of the community.