2 weeks in Europe - itenerary help

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Jan 24th, 2017, 02:28 PM
  #21
 
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Well you DID say suggestions would be highly appreciated. We tried.
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Jan 24th, 2017, 02:49 PM
  #22
 
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You say you're taking trains -MUCH different than driving from one motel to another- MUCH MUCH different.

You will not be able to just pop off the highway when tired and get a motel- you could get hotels near train stations (not always the most desirable areas though) but you still have to get your stuff off the train and to the hotel -and unpack and pack - much different than just leaving the bulk of your stuff in a car in a motel.

London-Amsterdam - will take at least six hours in transit -more to the hotel.

Amsterdam-Paris - 3.5 hours by train + getting to hotel.

Vaux-le-Vicomte will itself take much of a day to get to - rather isolated from Paris.

Paris-Pisa (Pisa is not in Rome but near Florence)- all day on a train - even the overnight train won't get you there until late morning. Get to hotel.

Pisa-Rome - 4 hours train.

So London 4 nights
Amsterdam 3 nights - unless you take a whirlwind group tour for the day it will take two days to see the things outside of Amsterdam you want to.
Paris 3 nights
Pisa 1 night
Rome 3 nights

that's 14 days and the minimum maybe to see everything you outlined in OP

If going to Barcelona by train figure about 24 hours.

Barcelona is just impossible.

That said I have done such fast-paced train trips and loved them - so travel the style you wish and that's great but to compare it to a car trip out west is not realistic. And a car in Europe would take much longer even than the high-speed trains that go up to nearly 200 mph!

You can do it but you just cannot see everything you wish in each city. And again I am not someone who says you need to spend 5 days in each place or it isn't worth it -3 days is enough IMO for the average traveler wanting just to see the highlights. Fine.

Too bad you could not squeeze a few days more???

.
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Jan 24th, 2017, 02:55 PM
  #23
 
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You are now officially on your own . . .>

Naw -janis can speak for herself - I and others will try to help out with questions, etc.
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Jan 24th, 2017, 03:33 PM
  #24
 
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What you did in the USA is completely irrelevant. Completely irrelevant. Get it?
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Jan 24th, 2017, 04:08 PM
  #25
 
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>> I and others will try to help out with questions, etc.<<

Go ahead - knock your socks off.

It is pretty obvious the OP is not open to anything from the many seasoned travelers who have tried to help her -- she knows what she wants to do is and happy w/ one night per state and 2 nights per country.

I know when to stop hitting my head on a stone wall . . .
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Jan 24th, 2017, 04:32 PM
  #26
 
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Hi Suef,

I understand wanting to see everything on your wish list in one trip but you have a long list and 2 weeks is not enough time. Do you think you might be able to return to Europe in a few years? If so these destinations could be split into 2 two-week trips; Rome-Pisa-Barcelona and London-Paris-Amsterdam.

If you do visit Paris this year visit either Vaux-le-Vicomte or Versailles but not both. Versailles is easier to get to but Vaux-le-Vicomte is far less crowded. The chauteau's website has information on how to travel there from Paris. http://www.vaux-le-vicomte.com/en/us...ations/access/

Centrally located hotels will be very important when you are trying to travel to many places in so short a time. However you will still need to account for travel time to sights in large cities like Paris, London and Rome when you are planning.

Please heed the advice here. Our family had made US car trips to the Pacific Northwest and Midwest before traveling to Europe. Relying on trains and public transportation in large foreign cities was far different that driving on our own.
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Jan 24th, 2017, 04:41 PM
  #27
 
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My way or the highway? I would rather state my opinion and if they don't occur still help anyone I could rather than throwing the baby out with the bath water.

When you say "You are now officially on your own . . .>" makes as though you speak for all of Fodor's- well again speak for yourself and not all of us.

My analyses of her trip just above points out that it is feasible pretty much except with a few small tweaks- you misstate her intentions to spend 'two nights in a country' where it is 3-4 and each in one city. VERY FEASIBLE if not the type of trip you like.

I tried to help her with the rail times and such - things she will have to realize -like putting Pisa into a day between Paris and Rome - just not possible. But generally it's OK and who are we to pass judgment and refuse to help because they do not comport to what we think.

Thus yes suef - let me know if I can be of help- especially with the rail part -my expertise- not hotels!
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Jan 24th, 2017, 07:48 PM
  #28
 
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>>My way or the highway?<<

Absolutely not.

She asked for advice but doesn't seem to be listening to anyone. Their 7 (huge) states in 9 days itinerary is an example of how they want to travel so I don't think there is anything we can do to help . . .
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Jan 24th, 2017, 09:58 PM
  #29
kit
 
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"She asked for advice but doesn't seem to be listening to anyone. Their 7 (huge) states in 9 days itinerary is an example of how they want to travel so I don't think there is anything we can do to help . . ."

So just walk away. Why be nasty? Other people seem happy to help. There are readers other than the OP who glean info from these threads, too. For instance, I am reading this thread as I plan a trip to Spain.
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Jan 25th, 2017, 03:33 AM
  #30
 
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Nasty? Who's been nasty? It's painfully obvious that knowledgable people here have been trying for days to help the OP, who after all came here and asked for advice - for free. It's not our fault she refuses to listen to the many, many people who have patiently tried to show her exactly why her plan is not going to work. At a certain point some of us just can't hang in there when there is little or no sign of thanks or understanding. Some of us actually have paying work and real life to attend to.
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Jan 25th, 2017, 07:14 AM
  #31
 
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Nasty? Who's been nasty?

I don't know, St. Cirq, I would say that the following is a bit testy, and perhaps border-line nasty:

What you did in the USA is completely irrelevant. Completely irrelevant. Get it?
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Jan 25th, 2017, 08:17 AM
  #32
 
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If you give your advice and OP does not heed it and you feel you are wasting your time just opt out - why berate folks? Point out the problems and be polite.
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Jan 25th, 2017, 08:45 AM
  #33
 
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Sue--the difference is this: in the states on your driving trip, you saw almost all the main attractions in nine days. We've done the same and enjoyed it, although we had a few more days.

But attractions in Europe are much more dense--that is, there is a whole lot more of world-class appeal to see, which means it is IMO necessary to slow down and really see it or you'll be at risk of wasting your time and money.

If all you want to do is go someplace to say you've been there, then your itinerary works. Or if you are going to get a taste of various places with a view to go back to those you enjoy on another trip, then that's understandable. We did that on our first trip to Europe and the Middle East.

But if you want to actually see a couple of places in Europe, then slow down. E.g. We're planning our third trip to the UK; we'll have a month, but even with that, and given that we will revisit very few of the places we saw on our first two trips, we will not have time to see many of the things that we really want to. And we're not what I would call "slow travelers".

In any case, bon voyage!
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Jan 25th, 2017, 09:34 AM
  #34
 
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Suef

You've jumped into a conversation that has happened...literally hundreds of times. New groups to Europe wanting to do as much as possible. Don't let people's opinions deter you from continuing to do research here. As in all walks of life you'll meet the helpful types who are patient, and those who are STILL HELPFUL but just not as patient.

I'm going to jump in here and offer input from someone that tends to travel a bit faster than most on this board. I've now organized 4 trips to Europe, the first two with just 4 adults and the last two with the same adults and our combined 4 kids. Our trip in 2005 was when the kids were a bit younger and ranged in age from 8 to 15. This is an example of what's possible in 2 weeks (or just over 2 weeks). This trip was a blast and was a great way to introduce our kids to our lover of traveling Europe. It's still one of their favorite memories:

Fri
Sat
Sun
Mon
Tues
Wed
Thur
Fri
Sat
Sun
Mon
Tues
Wed
Thur
Fri
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Jan 25th, 2017, 09:35 AM
  #35
 
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Crap...didn't finish...hang on.
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Jan 25th, 2017, 09:44 AM
  #36
 
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~Continued from above where I hit tab accidentally and then enter~

Fri fly towards London
Sat land in London at 8am and tour London sleepily
Sun tour London
Mon tour London and train to Paris mid afternoon, evening in Paris
Tues tour Paris
Wed tour Paris
Thur train to Alps
Fri tour Lauterbrunnen valley
Sat tour Lauterbrunnen valley
Sun train to Venice, afternoon in Venice
Mon morning in Venice, afternoon train to Rome, evening in Rome
Tues tour Rome
Wed tour Rome
Thur tour Rome
Fri fly home

That is 5 locations in 2 weeks and it worked perfectly. I'm telling you the boys fell in love with Europe on this trip. While many here love to travel slow don't think that you can only see 2 or 3 places in 2 weeks. But all that being said, I do have to agree that your original plans above are even too ambitious for me.

Here's what I would recommend. Start a Google map and start putting in "push pin" in all the things you want to see. Use European train sites and airline sites to carefully check actual travel times and write it all down on a spreadsheet. Think realistically about what you'll do on every day and how much the travel time will take. It might seem overly OCD, but you're going to spend $5k to $10k...it's worth the time. I will tell you that for me the planning is half the fun...and it lasts MUCH longer than the trip.
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Jan 25th, 2017, 11:03 AM
  #37
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hello everyone

I really appreciate all your patience, interesting opinion, great input & wonderful suggestions. Reading all of them & taking NOTES will help me narrow down my itinerary since we have not yet decided on anything yet. We're still discussing on schedules & tours. Like most of you mentioned our plan maybe unrealistic some might work & some may not that is why I'm in this forum. Anyone is free to reply or not.

our schedule: 2 adults
outbound US = Sat arrive Europe = Sun
outbound Europe = Sun arrive US = Sun

ROME/PISA/FRANCE/AMSTERDAM/LONDON

I prefer maybe 1-2 group tours to skip the line. My companion prefers to save money on French dining & tour by ourselves &/or ride a bike . . . things that does not suites me.

I love this forum bec each & everyone are very kind, knowledgeable & helpful. I get a whole lot of ideas/information that I'm not aware of yet & I can/might suggest to my companion.

If we start in Rome/Italy stay 2 nites take a grp tour around Rome on day 1. Viator have 1/2 day grp tour to PISA & fly out from there to France only 2+hrs compared to 12h train ride that might save some time?? I believe there is Pisa International airport.

Might be in France by Wed nite. I might suggest 1grp tour just the highlights of France spend 2 nites then off to Amsterdam we might do our own tour here, then maybe fly or take the ferry to London.

once again THANK YOU
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Jan 25th, 2017, 11:35 AM
  #38
 
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Flying is a great idea.

You are going to have to decide with your companion whether to take group tours or not. You do not need a tour to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the other surrounding sights. I prefer to take tours only if the logistics are so difficult or the language barrier so high Rome we can't do it on our own. That is not the case for Italy, although taking a tour of the Roman Forum area may make sense because it is difficult to know what you are looking at.

Personally, I'd skip Pisa--the Tower looks just like the fotos and while there are other things to see in the area, the time taken in travelling there would not be justified. You could take the train out to Ostia Antica from Rome to get a taste of a ruined Roman city, since you won't have time for Pompeii and Herculaneum. Or go to Hadrian's Villa near Tivoli.

Don't need a tour in Paris, either. Take a look at Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower, walk down the Champs Elysee. You don't really have time for a day trip, Go to the Louvre instead and maybe one of the other big museums. Take a boat trip on the Seine and spend the rest of your time wandering around.

For me, Amsterdam is a city that warrants a tour more than Rome or Paris, as the geography is a little difficult.
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Jan 25th, 2017, 12:34 PM
  #39
 
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I believe there is Pisa International airport.>

Yes and there is a people mover there from Pisa Centrale station- if the tour would drop you there if not the airport.

Flying makes a lot of sense Italy-Paris on your short time frame.
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Feb 1st, 2017, 01:15 PM
  #40
 
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For me, Amsterdam is a city that warrants a tour more than Rome or Paris, as the geography is a little difficult.>

Take the popular canal boat tours pronto on arrival- then just walk around the very compact city center.
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