Re: romantic road tour
Amsterdam/Brussels/Paris to Frankfurt needs 3,5-4 hrs by highspeed trains.
Coming from Amsterdam/Brussels you have the choice to opt between Cologne and Frankfurt for the route through the scenic Middle Rhine Valley. Will add approx. 1,5 hrs.
You'll have to change in Cologne, however this would enable you to visit the most visited building in Germany. Conveniently built directly next to the main railway station (or was it the other way around?).
You could also proceed by train to Würzburg, the start point of the Romantic Road.
The Romantic Road is a normal country road. More or less as scenic as any road or railroad in this part of Germany. Really romantic are only the places along the route. I.e. you need to maximize the time spent on places along the road but not on the road itself. You can always opt for the more or less parallel autobahn A7, which would increase your mileage per hour a lot. The most important places along the Romantic Road (e.g. Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Füssen) can also be reached by train as well.
The most striking difference to Australia is the settlement density and the density of the road network. Also in - for Germany - remote areas. Germany has 12.400 km highways. The USA 75.400 km. China 45.500 km. These are the only 2 countries with longer highway networks. Just compare the sizes of the countries on a globe to get an idea. This does not mean that there are just more normal roads classified as highways. The relations if it comes to normal roads are not that much different.
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