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2-Month European Adventure: Would love your help!

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First of all, a resounding "thank you!" to all the Fodors contributors. Fantastic advice and awesome stories - I get more inspired to travel every time I check the site!

I am traveling with two friends (we are American, female, 20s) to Europe, March through May. We will be packing very light so as not to incur fees on flights, and simply to have less stuff to keep track of! This is not a shopping trip, and we don't plan to spend a lot of money on pricey accommodations, tourist spots (unless they're truly must-see) or souvenirs. We love hiking and nature, and we love good food and cooking, so if we're going to splurge, it will likely be on food!

Dates are still mostly flexible, although we have purchased a few flights, so we're working with some "fixed points." Here is our approximate plan:

3/28 - 4/11: Ireland (15 days)
4/11 - 4/18: Scotland/Northern England (7 days)
4/19 - 4/22: London (4 days)
4/23 - 4/30: Munich/Salzburg/Alps (7 days)
5/1 - 5/30: Germany/Austria/Switzerland/Northern Italy (1 month: we haven't solidified plans for May)

Our group will be split in Ireland; I am staying with a college friend who lives in the country while my other friends explore the coasts.

The group will meet in Dublin, and then we have a week before we have to be in London to meet my sister, who will join us for ten days of the trip.

I haven't spent much time in Scotland besides Edinburgh, which was fun. I have fond memories of northern England, especially the beautiful Lake District, and I have friends in Carlisle, England, who we could probably stay with.

Where would be a good place to fly into Scotland from Dublin, something that would begin a good 1-week trek to London that would take us through the Lake District, or other scenic locations? Are there other British cities we should try?

I know my way around London pretty well, and I have friends in the city to stay with, so I'm confident putting together a good itinerary. Can't wait to go back!!

We fly into Munich, and my sister will fly back to the states through Munich a week later, so we're anchored to the city, but we want to see the Alps. Based on helpful advice on another thread, I think we'll go to Garmisch-Partenkirchen and MIttenwald to see the German Alps, and maybe do a day or two in Salzburg, Austria. And we'll spend time in Munich itself, too.

Now we come to the "flexible" part of the trip. I will fly home from Milan, and we would like to see the Italian coasts and Cinque Terre, but besides that we haven't chosen any definite locations.

We could spend more time in southern Germany. Then I think we will choose either Austria or Switzerland. My understanding is that the latter is more expensive, though the view of the Alps is more spectacular. I spent a little time in Switzerland before, and I loved Lucerne, Interlaken, and hiking between the Eiger and Jungfrau. But I know nothing of Austria except Salzburg, which was also beautiful.

As for Italy, it's the one place none of us have been, and none of us speak Italian.

What would you do in a month in these countries?

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