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Belgium - Alsace - N. Bavaria, 3 weeks itinerary help

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After a few false starts I’ve finalized the bones of our 19 day trip in July/Aug. Our stays in Bruges and Ribeauville are paid for, and I’ve got reservations or inquiries into the other stops. We will rent a car in Dusseldorf and return it in Bamberg sometime during our stay there depending on the daytrips we decide to take.

Day 1: Arrive Dusseldorf, lunch in Aachen, Leuven.
Day 2: Leuven - Brussels - Bruges
Day 3: Bruges
Day 4: Bruges (Sunday mass)
Day 5: early daytrip to Lille(?) - Ghent
Day 6: Ghent
Day 7: Ghent - Luxembourg - Nancy
Day 8: Nancy - Ribeauville
Day 9: Ribeauville
Day 10: Ribeauville
Day 11: Ribeauville (Sunday mass in Strasbourg)?
Day 12: Ribeauville
Day 13: Ribeauville - ? - Rothenburg
Day 14; Rothenburg
Day 15: Rothenburg - Wurzburg - Bamberg
Day 16: daytrip Coburg, Bamberg
Day 17: daytrip, Bamberg
Day 18: Bamberg (Sunday mass)
Day 19: Bamberg - train - Cologne
Day 20: early train to Dusseldorf airport.

Our first night is flexible for now, but a stop in Leuven seems like a necessity to see the Stadhuis, which from photos strikes me as one of the most impressive man made objects I’ve ever seen. It’s maybe a good stop for our first night as well?

I’m considering Lille just because the Michelin Green guide is extremely stingy awarding 3 stars to “Old Towns,” but Lille’s wins that rank. Was thinking of about 6 hours in Lille.

Ghent is having their big 10 day summer festival, which is why I’m planning 2 nights – so we have 2 nights and a full day to enjoy it.

Thinking of about 4 hours in Luxembourg, then Nancy to eat at Excelsior and see the nighttime illuminations in Place Stanislas. The next day we’ll tour Nancy (or not) as long as we wish before heading on to Ribeauville.

Ribeauville for 5 nights visiting with friends. Daytrips as needed.

I have a long time yet to decide on a stop between Ribeauville and Rothenburg. Even though I know there are many towns worth seeing (Heidelberg)? , as well as palaces like Ludwigsburg and Bruchsal, I think this would be a good point for some kind of contrast to the rest of the trip. (?)

My first thought is to attend mass in Strasbourg while we are in Alsace, but maybe there are other good options? I would love to be able to have an experience like a mass I attended in Durham, which left me just about cowering under my pew from the awesome organ music!

Thanks for all the help getting to this point!

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