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Rhine / Mosel Rivers in Germany and Beyond

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My husband and I are planning a trip for the end of September, beginning in Amsterdam, through Germany to Alsace, France and flying out of Basel. The itinerary could also be reversed. Our goal is to spend 3 days in Amsterdam, which has been suggested by many, then travel by train to the Rhine/Mosel area. We may stop in Cologne, store our luggage for a couple hours, to see the cathedral and Old Town. (It does make me a bit nervous to store our luggage at the beginning of our trip, though)

Next, we are planning 3-4 days in Cochem (on Mosel River) OR Braubach (on Rhine River) to see the Mosel/Rhine River area. My husband would prefer not to move hotels twice in this region.(I don't pack lightly, so I see his point.) We intend to take a train to Rudesheim and cruise back to Braubach or Koblenz depending whether we stay in Braubach or Cochem. In Braubach there is the advantage of less train travel time to get to Rudesheim and avoids the add'l train from Koblenz back to Cochem. Marksburg Castle is also right there in Braubach. But then Cochem seems to be a larger, livelier town and Burg Eltz Castle is not far away. Either way, we still plan to rent a car and visit some villages along the Mosel to as far as Bernkastel-Kues. Whether we visit the small Rhine River towns (including Bacharach) depends on our time.

We will then take a train and spend 3-4 more days in Colmar in the Alsace region. From Colmar we will take a day trip by train to Strasbourg , and also rent a car to visit a few Alsace wine villages. On our final day we will take a train to Basel, where we will depart for the US again.

If we stay in Cochem on the Mosel, the train takes us to Colmar through Koblenz or Trier (we've seen plenty of Roman ruins). But of interest may be a day visit to Heidelberg and/or Baden-Baden. I've heard different opinions about both towns. It would mean leaving Cochem through Koblenz and probably overnight in another town (location?). Any suggestions on this itinerary would be helpful.

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