In 1977 I visited Germany for the first time, driving in a direct trip from Portugal, before arriving half dead in Dortmund the next day. Dortmund was all that I saw that time, with a couple of days in Paris, returning by train.
A brief stop to sleep in the south, a quick passage in the Black Forest didn’t add much to what I knew in Germany
In 1989 Berlin wall felt and we hurried to visit Berlin in the following summer, staying, once more, in Dortmund.
Paris was in the way, for the first time for the kids, and in the way back I decided to have a look of Rhine Valley, and add a few more places to the visited France – Strasbourg, Chamonix, Megève, Annecy, Lyon, Pont du Gard, and Avignon didn’t leave time to the desired stop in Nimes, before visiting Carcassone in the way to Andorra.
Language was a strong barrier and, travelling with children we didn’t take much risks, however, the Rhine was a small adventure.