My husband and I (early 50s, strong and healthy) are planning our first European vacation. I'm obviously excited (obsessed) about planning for this trip. I lived in Spangdalem,Germany as a teenager (military brat), but my husband has never been. We will be traveling in September and plan to be in Europe for 5 weeks. Half of that time we will spend in Germany and Austria and the other half in Italy. I have read almost all of the posts on the RS sites and especially like the ones where people ask for itinerary advice. We plan to rent a car for part of the trip, for conveinience and because my husband likes to drive. We would like a mixture of small town/city sites, museums/parks, nightlife/secluded hikes. Based on other forum posts and my trusty guidebooks I have come up with a tentative plan to bring to you, the experts. Please feel free to critique and offer alternatives.
8/30 Arrive in Amsterdam - convenient airport for our first German stop- walking tour, get over jet lag
9/1 earliest possible train to Onasbruck, Germany - Pick up car. My husband's family from Ibbenburen, I thought he should see it.
9/2 Drive to Cologne- Cathedral, Roman-German museum,walking tour,river cruise
9/4 Drive to Bacharach (or St Goar?)- river cruise, Marksburg Castle, Burg Rheinfels, quiet walks
9/6 Drive to Rothenburg- actually staying in Colmburg- nature hikes, Rothenburg, night watchman tour
9/8 Drive to Ruette- castles, perhaps Luge : )
9/10 Drive to Munich- drop off car- Museums, shopping, English gardren, Bier!
9/13 Train to Hallstatt- relaxing hikes, rent kayaks or a boat
9/15 Train to Salzburg- Walking tour,?
9/16 Train to Venice
That's it for the German portion of our trip. I checked Google Maps and drives between destinations look to be about 3hrs at most. Any areas better for highway or scenic roads?
Many thanks to those of you taking the time to read these posts and offer advice.