Subject: Bavaria, Austria, Hungary
Hi Barbara:

Last October, my husband and I took a 19 day car trip from Munich, Garmishe-Partenkirschen, Salzburg, Vienna, Budapest, Prague, and Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad). It was great but there was a lot of driving. We actually flew into Frankfurt and took another flight on to Munich thereby cutting out 5 or 6 hours of driving.

Although I understand that the Romantic Road from Frankfurt is beautiful, I wonder if your 12 year old son would really appreciate it after a 10 hour airplane ride. I would suggest that you consider flying to Munich and perhaps spending some time in the Tyrol Mountains or even slip into Austria from there. Your son may enjoy a visit to Mad King Ludwig's castle which I'm told was the inspiration for Cinderella's Castle (Disney). The whole area is breathtaking, has many small reasonably priced B & B's, and is interesting for young and old(er).

On your way towards Vienna, take a side trip to the area known as the Danube bend. Don't miss the Melk Abbey which is mind-blowing. Even though the scenery of the Danube was beautiful, the tour through the Abbey was worth the side trip.

If you let me know what your son is interested in, I would be happy to make some further suggestions. Also, when you are in Munich, there are a number of great science museums that would be fun for both you and your son. One trip you might also consider is visiting Dachau (easily accessible by train from Munich). It is set up as a Holocaust historic monument and education center. When we were there, there were a number of German school children groups going through. We were told that it is a compulsory visit for German children.

Late April is a wonderful time from a weather perspective for your trip. Whatever you do, enjoy!

Bye for now, Minna