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Help with and itinerary for a trip to Germany & Austria 2012

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Back again with a request for ideas/comments on an itinerary for Germany & a bit of Austria in September/October 2012.

Malaysia Airlines have some very good fares available within the next couple of weeks and that has prompted us to consider a trip to Germany next year. We have never spent more than a day in Germany and have had to think of what we might like to see & do at fairly short notice. Our flights would arrive and leave from Frankfurt.

We are interested in history, museums, and architecture, as well as scenery and walks - up to 3-4 hours. We loved the alpine scenery and walking in the Dolomites in 2010, taking lifts up and then doing 2-3 hour walks.

We definitely want to see Berlin so I have assumed that we will fly into Frankfurt and immediately transfer to a flight to Berlin to commence our trip.

My thinking is that we would stay 6 nights in an apartment in Berlin and pick up a rental car for the remainder of the trip.

Our first stop would be Goslar - or thereabouts - more as a break of journey than a destination - then on to somewhere around Bamberg/Wurzberg/Rothenberg for a one week stay.

After that it gets a bit less clear and I would welcome some comment from people who know this part of the world. My draft itinerary had 4 nights in Salzberg, 3 in Fussen, 3 on Lake Konstanz but I am not at all sure that we have the best allocation. We would like to see Salzberg, and I expect could spend a couple of day there, but we would also like to see some mountain scenery and maybe do some walks in Austria. Hallstatt looks lovely and we would definitely like to visit Berchtesgaden. The well known castles near Fussen would be on our list as would Oberammergau. I allocated a couple fo days to Lake Konstanz/Lindau but I'm not sure if that is warranted. Basically, we have a week and a bit to spend along the Germany/Austria border area. Generally our preference is to find a central spot and stay a week, exploring the surroundings but I don't really have a feel for the distances & driving times in this area.

We were then thinking of a couple of nights in Heidleberg as we made our way back towards Frankfurt and would then take a week somewhere around Bacarach/Koblenz/Cochem before returning our rental car to Frankfurt airport and flying home.

That would make 5 weeks in all. I'll be pleased to get your feedback on this broad itinerary.

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