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Itinerary help

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Hi...

I am planning on visiting Europe next year. I will be in England and Scotland which I have well planned. However, from there I was planning on visiting the continent.

I was planning on starting my journey from Amsterdam and wanted to work my way down towards Greece.

My current itinerary takes me from Luxembourg, to Leipzig, to Prague, to Brno, to Budapest, and then flying to Greece.

I have been to France and Spain and Italy before, and so this time I thought I would like to see something I have not. I had a great time last time I was in Europe and have been saving money for some time in order to return. I am interested in art and history and all that Europe has to offer.

My questions are a few and they deal with the logistics of taking this trip.

My real questions start after Amsterdam. I wanted to go to Luxembourg to see the castles such as the Vianden Castle and the Bourscheid Castle. I also wanted to see the WWII museum in Ettelbruck and if possible Bastogne. I am based out of Luxembourg City for three nights. I feel this would give me a day to see the city, a day to see one of the castles, and another to for the museum and maybe Bastogne. I have not seen any tours from Luxembourg City and was wondering if this was doable? Is Luxembourg City worth seeing? It looks pretty cool. Or, is it a mistake to start from there? Would Brussels be easier to see these sites? I have been to Brussels before and really liked it (I would go back), but I felt I did see it and so this is why I chose Luxembourg City this time.

One of the big questions that I have is travelling from Luxembourg to Leipzig. I am travelling to Leipzig in order to see a part of Germany, but also to go to the battlefield at Jena-Auerstedt where I have read that one can rent bikes to tour the field. Is it unrealistic to travel from Luxembourg to Leipzig? I would prefer travelling by train. I am flying into Amsterdam and want to reduce my exposure to airports if possible.

When travelling from Luxembourg City, should I stop for the night somewhere along the way? Do you know of a location that would be quaint and good to see? Or, am I better off travelling from Amsterdam to Leipzig? Is it quicker from Amsterdam to Leipzig? Is there a stop through Berlin and should I stop there? I did not choose Berlin, because I felt I would be swallowed up by the big city, and read that it is more for partying than anything else, although seeing Checkpoint Charlie would be cool. Leipzig has that too, however, with the Battle of the Five Armies as well as the KGB headquarters. Do you know of any one who offers tours of Leipzig and the area (including Jena) in English (who will also not break the budget). For example, one person wanted 300 Euros to go to Bastogne for a day from Ettelbruck which I thought was a little too expensive. Whereas, there is a person who offers tours of Austerlitz from Brno for 90 Euros - this is definitely on the itinerary.

Anyway, by train from Leipzig I believe it is relatively easy to get to the following destinations I have listed without much trouble, but I am not sure. How long does it take for each destination? Is the move from Leipzig to Prague easy? Is Prague to Brno easy? More importantly can one get to Budapest from Brno by train without much hassle?

My last major question deals with Greece. I am planning on flying to Athens from Budapest (one reason why I do not want to fly from Luxembourg or Amsterdam earlier on). I was considering going on to an outer island and then returning to Athens for my final 3 days in Europe. I was considering 4-5 days in Crete. My question is, what is the best way to get back to Athens? Should I spend three of four days on Crete and then travel to another island which is closer to Athens for another night? Would I be better off flying from Crete to Athens? Is there a fast boat from Souda to Piraeus or is this a waste of money and time? Which idea is more cost effective? I plan on staying in Chania. Of course, I want to see Knossos, but I also want to relax on a beach for a few days such as see Elafonissi and maybe Sfinari (where I heard there were good water sports)? Can one access these locations by bus or is a car rental necessary. Also, is it possible to spend the night in one of these places? I think it is. Thus, I guess my question for you is what type of itinerary should I develop in order to see Greece properly within my allotted time? My longest stay on this list is Greece, with Czechoslovakia second. I am less into staying up really late and partying and more into making the most of my day and seeing the beauty of everything.

Well, if you read this far - Thank you! Your thoughts and suggestions are appreciated.

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