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Traveling with elderly in Bavaria and Austria

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In early September, my wife and I are treating my elderly parents to a trip to Europe. My parents have not to Europe since we lived in Wurzburg, Germany in the early 1970s. My dad has a medical condition which causes his legs and feet to swell dramatically at times. Therefore, while he can walk, even stairs, the thought of having to walk very far concerns them. It seems their greatest concern is slowing us down. However, while we are in tow, this is their trip and I have no problem moving at their pace.

My plan is to take them back to Germany again, Bavaria, and also briefly into Austria. Our trip, home and back to home, will last about 18 days. However, to make the trip easier on them, we are first flying to Barcelona for a seven day Mediterranean cruise, followed by two days in Barcelona. We will then fly from Barcelona to Munich, arriving at 9:00 am on a Tuesday. We will fly home the following Monday, mid-day from Munich.

We are not the churching touring type. We want to experience the local cultures, eat local foods, enjoy the landscapes, and perhaps catch a castle along the way. My thought was to rent a car and immediately head south as soon as we landed. I did tell my parents, I would drive them on the Grossglockner Alpine Road in Austria at some point.

My wife and I have previously been to Salzburg and think that will be relevant for the trip but Germany will be the primary focus. I have seen some recommendations that folks should base in Berchtesgaden but I am still uncertain. I would not mind a few days at one base in Germany and another in Austria as we travel Grossglockner Alpine road; on the other hand, I don’t want to waste too time relocating with the limited remaining days. Good food, local folks, and cobblestone streets would probably bring back great memories for the parents.

Would I be foolish to also try to work in Innsbruck in the process? Would there be anything relevant to see there that we would not experience in Germany and Salzburg? Your suggested trips plans, for nature loving elderly folks would be appreciated.

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