I've not traveled to Europe for over 12 years, I'm 68 and dislike (who doesn't) crowds of tourists. We flew to Oslo and had a brief layover of 1 day, went for the first time to Berlin for 4 days, Prague for 4 days, Vienna for 3 days and Budapest for 4 final days. I was pretty challenged with the stress of the airports and the train stations but, like most things, hard initially and easy after one or two experiences. It was very humbling to get out of my environment (where we are all experts, yes) and be in a foreign one (where we are all ignorant). At least once. We wasted a lot of time and energy trying to separate the gold from the dross and then figure out how to get there. I did a lot of research beforehand but not enough. I should have at least studied the train stations and how the ticketing and reservation system works.
Also, a great itinerary was spoiled somewhat by it certainly not being off-season in mid-October. Tourism in Prague, particularly, was overwhelming. Lot's of American and European Baby-Boomers and hordes of Asians traveling in groups.
I wonder if anyone has any suggestions as to where and/or when to travel these days where your experience is still somewhat unaffected by heavy, heavy tourism. I'd rather miss the "head-line" locations than be in a crowd or Que. Thank you for any input you readers may have.