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Itinerary Help - UK, France, Switzerland, Italy, Spain

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Hi,

My best friend and I are going to Europe next May/June for 2 1/2 weeks to celebrate our college graduation (she's never been abroad before and I have lived in the UK last year). I am very familiar with the UK, but not the other countries on our tentative itinerary. If I could have any help with it, that would be wonderful. We both plan to go backpacking and take the train, with one exception of flying between Italy and Spain.

Note: This incorporates certain places that we're both dreaming of doing; she wants to go to Spain and coasteering in Wales, and I want to go to the Swiss Alps and geek out in Rome (I study Latin).

Day 0 - fly to Manchester, UK
1- Arrive in Manchester - travel to Holyhead, Wales, UK
2 - Holyhead (coasteering) -travel to London via train
3 - London
4 - London
5 - London - Eurostar to Paris
6 - Paris
7 - Paris
8- Paris - train to Lucerne via Basel
9 - Lucerne
10 - Lucerne - train to Rome via Zurich and Milan
11 - Rome
12 - Rome
13 - Rome
14 - Rome - flight to Barcelona
15 - Barcelona
16 -Barcelona - train to Madrid
17 - Madrid
18 - Madrid - fly home

Some things I'm trying to work out:

Swiss Alps - I'm dreaming of experiencing something like Mt. Pilatus or Mt. Rigi (possibly with some of the outdoor activities like the toboggan, zip line, or tubing, etc. We both love outdoorsy stuff). Is Lucerne the best place to do that?

Italy - We also both want to go to Florence, Venice, or the Italian countryside, but I'm not sure where to fit that in our 2 1/2 week schedule.

Spain - My friend really really wants to go to Spain, but she's not sure exactly where she wants to go. I just put Barcelona and Madrid in there because I've heard they really have different feels to them, and figured we could do mini day trips from both cities. Any suggestions?

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