Raise the curtain on 2023 with a wonderful wintry adventure to the former East of Germany for snow, steam and schnapps! The Erzgebirge is a mountainous region on the Czech border with steam trains that run all year round. These are the stops on the Erzgebirge Express….
We are off! Late morning Eurostar to Brussels and then change for the THALYS train across to Cologne by early evening. Our overnight hotel, the four star Marriot, is absolutely knock-out, and very close to the station.
Express and regional DB trains deliver us via Leipzig and Chemnitz to Annaberg-Buchholz and the Erzgebirge Mountains. To make the journey even more interesting we’ll take the Rhine route from Cologne passing river traffic, castles, rocks and vineyards on the way.
The nearest city is Chemnitz (nee Karl-Marx-Stadt) and here there be trams. We’ll play with the trains and the trams, have lunch in a brewery (yes it’s organised!) and end the day at Europe’s largest O gauge model railway. You will love this place – quality modelling of places you will soon recognise and naughty German humour!
The overnight snow will have been swept from the front of the hotel allowing us to begin our local explorations. The Fichtelbergbahn runs in steam all year round and takes us to the ski resort of Oberweissenthal. Here we ascend the mighty Fichtelberg (highest mountain in the former E. Germany) by cable car (optional). More steam follows at the Pressnitztalbahn among the pines by the ice-encrusted stream - what could be finer than taking the air on a carriage balcony in the snow-clad forest.
The last “local” preserved line hereabouts is perhaps the most remote and most fun! We will charter the Museumsbahn Schoenheide for a journey through the snowdrifts to the brush factory and back. Later, we can pop in at Rittersgrun for the fascinating railway museum explaining the history of the mining railways of the region.
A really easy journey takes us back across Germany by rail from Chemnitz to Leipzig. Then on via Frankfurt to Brussels where the holiday concludes with Eurostar to London arriving at about 20.00.
So climb aboard and join our Erzgebirge Express this February. Guaranteed steam, guaranteed snow and guaranteed guarantees about steam and snow – what could be more certain – let’s have some fun!
We’ve four nights on the Market Square in sleepy Annaberg. An historic four star this place oozes character and charm. It has two good restaurants although there are dining options elsewhere in a town that boasts the largest Gothic church in the area and usually has an ice-skating rink in the square at this time of year – what fun!