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1st trip to Northern Europe itinarary any suggested revisions

1st trip to Northern Europe itinarary any suggested revisions

Oct 21st, 1999, 06:31 PM
  #1  
jeff
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1st trip to Northern Europe itinarary any suggested revisions

We have 13 days in total. My wife and myself are flying into Amsterdam, tickets already purchased. Our tentative plans were to immediately depart by train to Bruge, Belgium and spend two nights. then depart by train to either Paris or one of the eastern wine regions in france for another two night stay. then depart by train to either Zurich, Geneva or interlaken for yet another two night stay. then by train to the first city in Southern Germany that we could rent a car. By car travel through the Black forest spending one night. then North to the Rhine/castle region for one night. then to Luxemburg for one night. the to the Dusseldorf area where I am required to attend a trade show for a day. Finally, return our car and head to Amsterdam for one or two nights were we would prepare to depart for our return to the USA. Any comments would be appreciated I have never traveled in Europe.
 
Oct 21st, 1999, 07:49 PM
  #2  
wes fowler
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Jeff,
Do less! You'll have lasting memories of unpacking every night, repacking every morning and little else. Bruge, yes, Paris, yes, then a central point from which you can tour the Moselle and Rhine Valleys then back to Amsterdam. Anything else is too ambitious. Remember, Europe isn't going anywhere. What you don't see now will be there for you on your next trip.
 
Oct 21st, 1999, 08:07 PM
  #3  
miriam
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Hi Jeff,
your plans sound really great except the part of going to the Rhine area then to Luxemburg and afterwards to Duesseldorf. To my mind that´s not clever to keep the schedule in that part. Is there a special reason you want to visit Luxemburg at all? There´s not much to see and there are so many more attractive and interesting places in both Germany and France. If so I would advise to visit it before you´re heading towards the Rhine region. I think it makes sense to follow the Rhine beginning south and finally ending up in Duesseldorf. That´s a very nice trip, you´ll be able to watch the changing landscapes while travelling downstream and you´ll pass all the castles.

Have a nice trip

Miriam
 
Oct 22nd, 1999, 07:15 AM
  #4  
Brian in Atlanta
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I'm with Wes 100%. Unless you think that this will be your last trip to Europe, I'd choose 3, maybe 4 different places to stay.

I know when you look at the calendar, it looks like you have a lot of time, but sometimes people forget how much time it takes to pack (15 mins), check out (10 mins), get to the train station (15-45 minutes), buy a ticket or reserve a seat (5-15 minutes), wait for the train (15-60 minutes), ride the train (1-4 hours), get from the station to the hotel (15-60 mins), check in (10 minutes) and unpack (15 mins). Add these up and it can take most of the best part of your day. And that time could be much better utilized strolling by a canal, sharing a leisurely bottle of good wine with your wife at a cafe, touring a museum or sampling the wonderful beers of Belgium or Germany.

Any 2 night stay affords you only one full day in a city, the other days will be focused on traveling. And your one full day will largely be spent getting your bearings.

Either way, have a great time!
 
Oct 22nd, 1999, 08:46 AM
  #5  
elvira
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AND your ending at a trade show? Oy, you will be a small, mushy blob on the floor at that point.
Consider Amsterdam for two days, train to Luxembourg for a day, train to Alsace/Lorraine (like Colmar or Strasbourg) for 2 days, then to the Rhine region (plop yourself in one place for 7 days and do day trips), then on to Dusseldorf.
I hate telling anyone to skip Paris, but you'll wear yourself out trying to do the whirlwind tour. You won't do Brugge, Paris, Zurich or Geneva justice by doing a day and a half in each.
Just vow to return NEXT year to do the rest!
 
Oct 22nd, 1999, 09:38 AM
  #6  
Bob Brown
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Jeff: let me put it this way. I was in Paris for 5 days and went long and hard each day, rain and all. Five days in Paris is nothing more than a sampler.
So I am making plans to return for at least 6 more days, post jet lag.

I have one acquaintance who hired a taxi and considered himself to have seen Paris when he was driven by Notre Dame, the Louvre, Place de la Concorde, the Eiffel Tower, and the Arc de Triomphe.
I think he went inside Notre Dame, decided it was too dark, and went back to the taxi.
Then he hopped on a train for Rome, another European city of which he had heard. So in 3 days he did Paris and Rome.
 
Oct 22nd, 1999, 11:56 AM
  #7  
lisa
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Ay yi yi. It should be against the law to go to Paris for fewer than 3 nights, and you really need 5 days just to see even the basics. Amsterdam merits 3-4 days as well.
I like to travel at a fairly fast pace, and even I think this schedule is way too frenetic. It's a common first-time-to-Europe mistake. With 13 days, I would advise you to choose, at most, the 4 places you most want to see on this trip (I would choose Amsterdam, Paris, 1 city in Switzerland and 1 city in Germany), and spend 3 nights in each. Better still -- choose just 3 places and spend about 4 nights in each. It is so much better to see things at a slightly more relaxed pace. If you're constantly on the move, you'll be spending all your time (1) figuring how to get to the next place, and then (2) getting to the next place -- with no time left for actually enjoying the place you're in! Think about doing 5 days in Paris, 3-4 in Amsterdam, and the rest somewhere in Germany since you need to hit your trade show there. You will fall in love with Europe and will definitely be back another time for whatever you miss this time around.
Also, I would recommend doing the whole thing by train and not bothering with the hassle of renting a car -- but that's just me.
 

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