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Munich Trip in April 2012 (Bavarian & Salzburg) - itinerary help please

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My Mom and I are planning a trip to Munich at the beginning of April 2013, just after the Easter bank holidays for 5 nights. We have already booked our flights and arrange to stay at the Motel One Sendlinger Tor. We are planning a few days trips and a preliminary trip schedule looks like this.

Day 1 (Wed) – Arrive Munich from London mid-morning & spend the day in Munich
Day 2 (Thu) – Day trip to Salzburg by train (Bayern ticket)
Day 3 (Fri) – Day trip to Mittenwald and Garmisch by train (Bayern ticket) (but please ee below if I should combine with visit to castles?)
Day 4 (Sat) – Hire a car and drive to Rothenburg ob der Tauber - return to Munich in the evening. Is there any other towns we should visit that day?
Day 5 (Sun) – Hire a car and drive to Neuschwanstein, Linderhof and Oberammergau and return the car in the evening
Day 6 (Mon) – Last day in Munich - return to London in the late afternoon

The schedule is completely interchangeable for the days to visit the various places (except after booking the hire car).

I was contemplating taking a train to Rothenburg and a tour to the castles but it seems cheaper / less hassle to hire a car than take a tour for two persons. Also the train to Rothenburg takes such a long time (although I have read that the 4 min transfer is doable, I don’t want to stress my Mom out too much to make her rush to the next train).

I did think about staying overnight in Rothenburg or Salzburg but I think a day trip is enough for us to get a taste of the places. We like pretty scenery, nice villages/towns and some shopping and not really into visiting museums.

My questions are:

1. Should I move any of the days around? I placed visiting the castles on the Sunday since I figured there is less opportunity for shopping. Saying that, is there anything open in Oberammergau or is it just worth a quick stopover between castles?

2. I was looking at Google maps and saw that a round trip from Munich to Neuschwanstein, Linderhof, Mittenwald and Garmisch would take around 5 hours (I don’t mind driving that much in a day with a few stopovers). If we started out before 7am (on a weekday) could we do the whole trip in 12 hours or would it be too much of a rush? I know most people will say it is a huge rush but if the inside of Neuschwanstein is not that interesting we can skip that and just wander around the outside. Is Mittenwald worth more than 1 hours stopover? Is Garmisch similar to Mittenwald but larger? We are happy to bring our own food and eat on the go.

3. What are the driving conditions usually like at the beginning of April? Should we get winter tyres? I am thinking to hire from Sitx since it appears that the City centre location is the only one that opens really early at 6.30am to late 10pm or providea 24 hrs drop-off service. I can't find any locations for Hertz that has such convenient opening hours.

4. I know there is a small parking lot at the Motel One Sendlinger Tor but saw from others that it is usually full. Would there be a problem finding inexpensive overnight parking? I saw that there you can park in the street overnight close by. Would a parking space be easy to find?

I would really appreciate any advice you can provide!

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