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Advice about adding Milan to "Eastern" European trip

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Mar 14th, 2005, 02:45 AM
  #1
jeg
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Advice about adding Milan to "Eastern" European trip

Hi,
We're a family of four and we've traveled to Europe several times in the past few years. I had been planning a three week trip to Prague, Krakow, and Budapest for this July. I'd thought we'd go to those three cities, as well as Cesky Krumlov and Pecs in Hungary. Now, however, we need to also stop in Milan for about two nights, probably at the beginning of the three weeks, but possibly at the end. I'm having a hard time figuring out a new itinerary that doesn't involve travel every day. I was thinking about Milan, train to Venice just for an overnight (we've been there before), on to Ljubljana for a couple of nights (time for Bled? probably not?), train to Budapest for about 4 nights (have to leave out Pecs?), and then on to Prague and Cesky Krumlov. I'm thinking we won't have time for Krakow, unfortunately. I'm open to significant revisions. I've purposely chosen Ljubljana instead of Vienna, based on recommendations, but do you think it makes more sense to go through Vienna? Does this all seem like too much? I'm actually wondering if we should eliminate Prague, as well as Krakow, even though I'd been excited to go there. I should say that in large cities, we usually like spending between 3 and 4 nights. Also, in a pinch, we could add a couple of nights to the three weeks.
So, I'd appreciate any advice. I'm feeling lots of pressure to buy the plane tickets; the prices seem to be going up constantly!
Thanks.
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Mar 14th, 2005, 06:20 AM
  #2
rex
 
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This is like one of those logic puzzles, where it is tempting to choose

"d. Not enough information to solve this problem"

Here's what you've told us:

1. Three weeks in July... or maybe... a few days more.

2. Two nights (about?) at the front in Milan... or maybe... at the back.

3. Prague and Krakow and Budapest... or maybe... omit Prague... and maybe... omit Krakow.

4. Pecs, while in Hungary... or maybe... leave it out.

5. Cesky Krumlov... but maybe... it gets omitted if Prague is omitted?

6. An overnight stop in Venice, two hours into the eight hour train travel from Milan to Ljubljana... or onward to Bled? but maybe not?

7. Exclude Vienna in favor of Ljubljana... or maybe... that isn't the right decision either?

No doubt, I have "admirers" who thought sure I would "pounce" on your use of the term Eastern Europe in your message header.

I wouldn't dare. I don't know where you're going on this trip!

Best wishes,

Rex
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Mar 14th, 2005, 02:23 PM
  #3
jeg
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Hello,
I've planned many trips using the Fodor's site and have found the vast majority of people to be incredibly patient and full of good advice and information. I purposely presented a somewhat ambiguous itinerary because I wanted readers to understand that my ideas weren't etched in stone; I'm very open to suggestions. However, I will try to clarify my original post. I would like to go to Prague, Krakow, and Budapest on a three week trip in July. I do need to add 2-3 days (no way of knowing for sure yet) in Milan, at the beginning of the trip. I'd like advice on logical sequencing for the rest of the trip. I'm trying to reduce the amount of time we spend on trains. In addition, I'm guessing that many would suggest Vienna as a stopping point between cities. I'm wondering if Ljubljana would be considerably out of the way, instead of Vienna. We'll get open jaw tickets, so we can leave from Budapest or Prague.
Thanks to any who can help!
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Mar 14th, 2005, 02:31 PM
  #4
ira
 
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Hi jeg,

>I purposely presented a somewhat ambiguous itinerary ...<

We aren't into ambiguity. Tell us what you hope to do and we will try to help you do it.

Do you want to start in Milan or end in Milan?

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Mar 14th, 2005, 03:40 PM
  #5
rex
 
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Okay... so, there are just so many ways to skin this cat. I would look into Milan at the front, then ... the website www.whichbudget.com shows a flight from "Milan Orio al Serio" (actually Bergamo, about 45 minutes bus ride away - - and a pleasant town in its own right) on SkyEurope into Bratislava. SkyEurope is promoting Bratislava as "Vienna East" (45 minute, 10 euro shuttle bus ride to the center of Vienna). From Vienna, I would do this entire trip as a misshapen circle by rental car, starting and stopping in Austria. I have driven some of this circle (but never into Hungary, nor Slovakia); you can find a lot of info, here on this forum, about options between Prague and Krakow by searching any or all of the following: Brno, Olomouc, Ostrava, Tatrys, Zakopane.
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Mar 29th, 2005, 09:18 AM
  #6
 
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I love it when people tell you that you are "doing too much" or "traveling too much" and then they tell you to rent a car! Why?? So you can travel even more? So you can get even more "diverted" from the basic travel plan.

I'm going to be a LOT more blunt than Dr. Bickers was: you do NOT HAVE a plan and you need to decide WHERE you want to go and THEN ask for advice about those places.

If you get off the dime then you'll get more useful help.
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Mar 29th, 2005, 09:32 AM
  #7
rex
 
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It seems highly unlikely that "jeg" has returned to this forum, and no way to know if a return in the future is likely or not. This thread would have languished two weeks down, if not for Macieij Socha violating the rules of this forum, dragging up this old post, trying to sell something.

I will defend my recommendation to rent a car, based on the following factors:

1. Party of four. I just can't imagine why NOT travel by car with a family of four; it will virtually always be more affordable than train travel multiplied by four.

2. Having a car forces the planner to sit down with a map and make the pertinent decisions - - where can we get to in reasonable drive times, how will we connect the dots, what destinations make sense for our objectives, and which are too far flung.

3. So much easier to manage your "stuff" with a car, and two or more SMALLER bags per person.

Admittedly, a car is a millstone around this travelers's neck while IN Prague. Budapest and Krakow I do not know. The follow-up post by intrepid1 though not very likely ever to be seen by the OP seems harsh to me (I will confess, my first post was sarcastic). The additional info added by jeg clarified a few things, and I made additional suggestions based on the fuzzy objectives.

I suspect we will never know what information ultimately proves to be useful or not useful... in jeg's making any of the numerous decisions to be made about this trip.
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Mar 29th, 2005, 03:12 PM
  #8
jeg
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Hi Rex and Intrepid1!
I did "get off the dime" and make decisions. (Funny -- I just learned about that expression today. I don't know how I've never heard it before!)Rex, you're right -- I was willing to let this particular thread languish but it seems that the aforementioned tour operator topped many posts.
Here's what we came up with. We'll be leaving in the beginning of July -- flying to Milan, where we'll stay for 3 days to visit family. (We've booked this flight on British Airways.) Then we'll fly on Sky Europe (haven't booked this yet, but thanks Rex for alerting me to them) to Krakow. We're planning on spending 4-5 days in Krakow, including a day trip to Auschwitz. We'll then go to Budapest, with a couple of days in Pecs. Finally to Prague, with a few days in Cesky Krumlov. We'll be flying back home from Prague (booked it). Our trip will total 24 days.
Actually, where I'm stuck right now is on transfers and I'm hoping to resolve those this weekend. Train costs will be high for four people and may consider a car. I'm leaning toward training between Budapest and Prague and finding a way to drive/be driven from Krakow to Budapest. Some posters have recommended Bela Lukacs as a driver; I've contacted him but haven't received a reply yet.
So, being a frequent user of this board, I'm sure I'll have lots more questions soon.
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Mar 29th, 2005, 04:24 PM
  #9
rex
 
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Well, nice to see this follow-up. when you said Milan (Bergamo) to Krakow, I was afraid that you had nopt looked at their schedules - - and that this meant a connection through Bratislava, with "un-friendly" connect times. But I see now that they have an excellent non-stop flight at 9:45 on MWF (hope the absence of daily service is not a problem for you).

I am still going to propose that there is merit to renting a car. I would propose that you look into train to Ostrava, where autoeurope has rentals, that can be returned in Prague. And see CKrumlov on your way from Hungary to Prague.

For your consideration...
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Mar 29th, 2005, 05:23 PM
  #10
 
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I just got confused. In planning our driving trip from Vienna-Budapest-Prague-Vienna < I was under the inpression(mistaken?) that Cesky Krumlov was better accessed on the frive from Prague to Vienna- not from Hungary to Prgaue as the above post states. Help straighten me out!
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Mar 29th, 2005, 05:27 PM
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ttt
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Mar 29th, 2005, 06:12 PM
  #12
rex
 
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In the post today, jeg doesn't mention going to Vienna at all. But to get from Hungary to Prague requires going through Austria (or alternatively Slovakia - - or "WAAAY around" through Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, Germany - - LOL!!!)

And so, I think it makes the most sense to bear west and go via CKrumlov - - this assumes they have a car! - - rather than going to Prague (where they will want to turn the car in, under my recommendations) - - and then have to "backtrack" to get to CK (by public transportation?)
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Mar 29th, 2005, 06:24 PM
  #13
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<<This thread would have languished two weeks down, if not for ...>>

On a positive note, it's good to see that Fodors did choose to enforce their own policies and purge this thread of someone who "resurrected it earlier today.
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