Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Amsterdam, Athens, Roma, or { X } Enroute to Israel

Amsterdam, Athens, Roma, or { X } Enroute to Israel

Old Sep 29th, 2006, 11:54 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 217
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Amsterdam, Athens, Roma, or { X } Enroute to Israel

My wife and I need to arrive in Tel Aviv on Friday, 23 March 2007. We have every intention of leaving the states the previous Friday or Saturday, with a 5-6 day stop-over in ... well, that's where you come in. Where should we spend this short period of time in late March?

We are in our sixties, neither rich nor poor, neither highly active nor sedentary. We enjoy beautiful gardens and fine art and classical ballet and good theatre and impressive architecture and pleasant coffee shops. I love archaeology and my wife loves sunshine and spas.

Sometime back we took a wondersul 21-day Eurail vacation and spent time in Strasbourg, Baden-Baden, Bern, Luzern, Venice, Paris, and Brugge. We've also explored London and Kent. Finally, being Jewish, we're a bit hesitant to consider such destinations as Morocco, Egypt, etc. Other than that, we're fairly open to suggestion. Any thoughts?
jmf314159 is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2006, 12:38 PM
  #2  
LJ
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,759
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You would find Rome offers most of your like-to-do/see list. I would also suggest that you explore the wonderful Jewish community still resident in Trastevere. I was squiring around a group of teens last year, one of whom was Jewish and he visited a kosher deli while there and had his picture taken with Owen Wilson. If you book in advance there are also Seder suppers open to guests.
LJ is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2006, 12:53 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,222
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree with LJ. You can't go wrong with Rome.
Leely is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2006, 12:59 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 415
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Rome is good but I think Amsterdam is preferable because of its greater contrast with what you will experience in Israel. Amsterdam has wonderful museums, ambiance and of course the very moving Anne Frank house. Actually a lot depends on how long you will be in Israel and where you are coming from. Israel has more archeology than you can possibly take in, as well as beautiful gardens and landscapes and beaches. The arts scene in Israel is worldclass.
The weather in Amsterdam in March can be pretty cool and the weather in Israel in late March can be iffy too, except for the south. I spent a couple of years in Israel and found March to have many splendid days, but nasty, rainy days too, alhough as you get toward April the weather gets really nice and you should have plenty of sunshine without it too hot.
basingstoke1 is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2006, 01:35 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,323
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My 2 ...Personally, I would go to Amsterdam with _maybe_ an overnighter to Brugge. The canals of Amsterdam give it such an open feeling and it is so appealing.

Rome is wonderful, but IMO it has much more of a hustle bustle feeling.

There is so much to see and do in Amsterdam - Anne Frank House, the Portugese Synagogue, Van Gogh Museum, the Riksmuseum (sp), and of course the archtecture. We've been there in January and in early April, and both times it was it was pretty cold, but still easy to get around, mostly on foot.

Brugge is in a class by itself and warrants more than a one day trip - especially as the tour buses leave in the late afternoon and the city is yours.
The architecture is well worth seeing, no modern construction from what I remember, along with some lovely gardens visible at the front of some of the houses and public buildings. Once you leave the main square, you will discover things by yourself that day trippers don't have the time to see and appreciate. It is a fairytale city.

Of course both cities have excellent restaurants and are level, making walking very easy.

If you have a full six days after arrival in Amsterdam, I would suggest maybe three days in Amsterdam, 2 days in Brugge and then taking the train directly to Schipol for your flight to Tel Aviv.

Whatever you decide, please write a trip report.

Have a Happy Healthy New Year.

Nina
Nina66 is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2006, 04:18 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 64
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Czech Airlines used to have a special for travel from New York or Toronto to Israel. They flew you to Tel Aviv via Prague and included a 5 or 6 nights' hotel stay. Mind you, this was during Nov. and Dec. No idea if they are still offering that.
sara_qc is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2006, 04:23 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 243
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
" We enjoy beautiful gardens and fine art and classical ballet and good theatre and impressive architecture and pleasant coffee shops. I love archaeology and my wife loves sunshine and spas. "

Rome has all this.
Eric_S is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2006, 05:53 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 655
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well...having been to Israel last summer and having an amazing time I think that Rome would be an excellent trip because it has the oldest Jewish community in Europe and you will be able to connect Jewish History (although it will be backwords a bit...after the destruction of the 2nd Temple). I have been to Rome several times but we are going in February for a week and we plan to do a full-day Jewish tour through "RomeforJews" of the Coloseum and Forum, lunch in the Ghetto, and a tour of the Ghetto and Trastevere- all from a Jewish perspective. They have a web site of their tours. We thought that it would be great since we spent so much time in Israel this summer and a lot of time touring Jerusalem. With so much focus on the history of Jerusalem up to the destruction of the 2nd Temple Rome will be part two...the Arch of Titus in the Forum depicts the Romans carrying off the menorah from the Temple.

Another interesting trip would be Prague and a day trip to Terezin. Prague is the only city that the Nazi's didn't destroy the synagogues because they were going to make a museum of the "extinct race" in the Spanish Synagogue. Visiting Prague, and Terezin would be a wonderful way to enter Israel, too.

Or...Budapest...

risab is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2006, 06:08 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 655
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry 'bout my Prague and Budapest suggestions, it was late when I posted and I realize today that you listed three choices...while Amsterdam has a lot of Jewish history (and is one of the next must visit places on my list)-I would still make Rome my first choice. If your wife loves sunshine you can even plan a day trip to the south and visit Sorrento. We did a day bus tour a few years ago to Capri and Sorrento. It was a quick trip but it was a nice day out and gave us an opportunity to see another region of Italy (since we focus most of our trip on Venice, Florence, and Rome).
risab is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2006, 10:42 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,337
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You could consider Turkey for great Jewish Heritage sites and tours. I am also sure you would love Cappadocia....

happy travelling,
Murat
propertravel is offline  
Old Oct 4th, 2006, 08:01 PM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 217
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you for your many responses and for the addition recommendations of Prague and Cappadocia. Turkey is an amazing country and deserves far more than a brief stop-over, particuarly if you're interested in archaeology. I know little about Prague and will try to rectify that deficit. Thanks again.
jmf314159 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
chikat
Europe
4
Oct 28th, 2016 08:32 PM
SashieZ
Europe
6
Oct 21st, 2011 02:00 PM
luvtravelin
Europe
23
Apr 19th, 2008 01:28 AM
torifan
Europe
5
Jun 28th, 2006 01:55 AM
krowden
Europe
10
Dec 8th, 2004 06:46 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:21 PM.