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Old 11-09-2012, 12:25 PM
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Gluhwein Gluhwein is offline
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Location: Pocono Mountains, PA
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Seems like a very do-able and fun itinerary, but the Hamburg leg seems awfully out of the way. Can you pass on that? Hamburg isn't all that interesting unless you're a maritime buff. Somewhat nearby is Lubeck which is very picturesque and far more charming, but again, it's waaaay out of the way.

Maybe consider dropping off the car in Hamburg at the end of the trip? Then train back to Hamburg or just fly home from there by taking Air Berlin or German Wings to Munich then your regular flight back home.

If your Dad is ex-military, I think he'd really enjoy Berchtesgaden's Kehlsteinhaus (Hitler's tea house) and the Documentation Center with the Nazi bunker system below. Also, if he spent any time as a serviceman in Germany, he no doubt headed to Garmisch-Partenkirchen where a big recreation center once existed. He'd be surprised at how things changed. From there it's an easy half hour, 45 minute ride to Neuschwanstein. If you decide to stay in this area you can do little day trips to Innsbruck, Austria, Ettal monastery (great beer), Oberammergau (wood carving and quaint village), the Wieskirche (a gorgeous country church with some amazing artwork inside) and the 1936 Olympic ski venue in Garmisch. There are some nice twisty roads up through the Alps near here. A wrong turn and you're sure to bump into something interesting. Weve done most of our German travel in this area over the past 35 years and always discover something new and exciting. Lots of great photo ops.

If you need budget lodging info check out: We really enjoy staying at the small hotels, B&Bs and farms recommended on that site. You can find very comfortable accomodations for under $40 per person per night. It's a great chance to meet and chat with the locals.

Berchtesgaden is just a half hour or so from Salzburg and makes a great base for trips into Salzburg. Don't buy the Sound of Music tour that local tour companies sell. Search online and you can do your own drive at your own pace tour and still see the most famous sights from the movie.

May is the best time to go. Few tourists, warming weather and some good early wines.
Home in the Poconos, heart in the Alps. Money in Washington.
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