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35 Nights in Europe - Updated Itinerary & Germany Questions

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Feb 10th, 2007, 11:22 PM
  #1
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35 Nights in Europe - Updated Itinerary & Germany Questions

Hi everyone – it’s been three months since we started planning for our 35 Nights in Europe and we can’t believe our departure date is just around the corner (mid-March). We’re absolutely giddy! Research has been simultaneously exciting and frustrating, but positive all around. Fodorites have been invaluable and we’ve been scouring posts religiously to capture gems for our trip (i.e. instructions for Scavi tour, Anne Frankhuis after 6PM, understanding http://www.bahn.de, etc.) Below is the updated itinerary - the major change has been to drop Vienna/Prague/Berlin to give ourselves a reprieve from major cities. We also figure these cities will give us something to dream about for next time!

We’re about 80% complete with planning - with all plane tickets bought and lodgings confirmed (with the exception of the 10 days between Venice and Amsterdam). We’re still tweaking the Austria/Germany segment and keeping it as the most flexible part of our trip. So far it looks like we’ll take the train from Venice to Hallstat (for the train vistas and peaceful lake destination) to Munich (for dinner at a beerhall) to Fussen (for castles & towns) to Rothenburg (for the Romantic Road) to St. Goar (for the Rhine) and then to Amsterdam. Some questions for the Fodorites:

1. We’d like to see some of the smaller nearby towns in Germany and may decide to rent a car at the last minute – would it be possible to do so in the smaller towns like Hallstat, Fussen and St. Goar?
2. We leave Venice the second week of April. Would this still be a safe time period to make last minute (night before) reservations for B&Bs in Hallstatt, Munich, etc.?
3. Has anyone ever hiked Hallstat in early April? We’re packing light but with multiple layers, fleece, thermals, boots and rainjackets. Should we still pack the down jackets?
4. Rick Steve’s is having an Early Bird Sale on the Eurail Saverpass http://ricksteves.raileurope.com/us/...bird_saver.htm. Does the “9 days in 2 months” for 4 Countries ($489) sound right for us?

Thanks as always, Fodorites! We look forward to sharing the learnings and the trip report with you. Safe travels to everyone!

Day 0: dep San Francisco to Paris
Day 1-3: Paris (train to Brugge)
Day 3: Brugge overnight
Day 4-5: Paris (plane to Barcelona)
Day 6-10: Barcelona (plane to Rome)
Day 11-14: Rome (train to Spezia/Cinqueterra)
Day 15-17: Vernazza (train to Florence)
Day 18-19: Florence (train to Venice)
Day 20-21: Venice (train to…)
Day 22-32: *PENDING: Austria/Germany*(train to Amsterdam)
Day 33-35: Amsterdam
Day 36: dep Amsterdam to San Francisco
logfleece is offline  
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Feb 11th, 2007, 04:54 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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Wow! I wish I had your budget and block of time for travelling. I can only dream about holidays like yours.

The one thing I would change is Brugge at the beginning of the trip, and put it towards the end, on your way from Germany to Amsterdam.

I would split my time between St. Goar on the Rhine and Cochem on the Mosel, then continue through Luxembourg, with a quick stop in Brussells, then on to Brugge.

Have a great trip. Peace, Robyn >-
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Feb 11th, 2007, 04:59 AM
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1. "We’d like to see some of the smaller nearby towns in Germany and may decide to rent a car at the last minute – would it be possible to do so in the smaller towns like Hallstat, Fussen and St. Goar?"

Already very tiny towns. Definitely not in St. Goar, but trains are plentiful, river boats can take you up or downstream as well, and you can ferry across to St. Goarshausen and explore that side of the river by train too (see Marksburg Castle in Braubach for sure.) A car would have to be had in Koblenz - probably only needed though if you're going to explore some remote towns on the Mosel or visit Burg Eltz. You don't have to buy extra rail days on your Eurailpasses for scooting around the Rhine if it's not cost effective - daypasses at 25 Euros per day will cover a group of up to 5 people on the regional trains (after 9 a.m. on weekdays, anytime on Sat or Sun.) and can be bought at the last minute at any ticket machine or ticket counter.
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Feb 11th, 2007, 11:03 AM
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Thanks for the tips, Robyn. We planned by saving up vaca weeks and the BF timed the start of his new job so the dream worked out. I won't sugarcoat it - a budget is definitely required and it doesn't help that the Euro is so strong. Several things help: (1) friends are letting us stay with them in Europe; (2) off-season planning made things cheaper (i.e. flights from SFO were cheaper tho we used frequent flier miles for one of the tix; and when we needed them, B&Bs priced at the lower end of the scale); (3) advance planning made things cheaper (i.e. the 10EUR Vueling flight from CDG to BCN and Eurail's Early Bird sale). It can be done!

And Russ - thanks for the tip re: Koblenz and the daypasses - we greatly appreciate it!
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Feb 11th, 2007, 11:58 AM
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I'm not crazy about Barcelona, so I might take 1 or 2 days from there and add to Paris or Venice. Not sure what Vernazza is but you might want to take one day from there to add to Florence.
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Feb 11th, 2007, 03:31 PM
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ira
 
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Hi L,

>..we’ll take the train from Venice to Hallstat ...<

Have you looked at the schedules? www.bahn.de

Have a nice trip.


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