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Any advice for trying to combine Madrid and Germany into a 10 day family itinerary?

Any advice for trying to combine Madrid and Germany into a 10 day family itinerary?

Jan 20th, 2004, 05:50 PM
  #1  
rex
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Any advice for trying to combine Madrid and Germany into a 10 day family itinerary?

A friend of mine just telephoned asking for my advice about a trip she and her husband want to take this May - - Jill, if you come here (and I will recommend that she does) - - it will quickly become apparent that the massive treasury of information here is the most important "secret weapon" in what I know about Europe.

I have lots of ideas about how to start a plan for ths trip - - even though I have never been to Madrid or central Spain - - but I feel certain that there will be many good perspectives and ideas ofered here that I have not thought of.

Her college-age daughter will be finishing a semester in Madrid during the first week of May. The mom has never been to Europe; the dad went to Germany on his own about 20 years ago, and has some kind of vague ancestral roots there (doesn't sound like he seeks to look anyone up specifically). They also have two children ages 10 and 11.

In a 20 minute phone conversation, I threw out these initial perspectives.

1. Time allocation: this should be more or less a two destination trip. Madrid for 4-5 days with perhaps one excursion and then, some "base" in Germany for the other 5-6 days.

2. Transportation: this should be an open jaw flight plan, with a low-cost flight between from Madrid to somewhere in Germany. I didn't know it as we were speaking, but airberlin.com has TONS of routes between the two - - haven't tried to price any of these routes yet (oddly enough, none of this was on applefares.com)

3. Timing: I recommended locking the trans-atlantic flights down in the next several weeks. The precise division of time between the two (and the date of the flight) can wait until mid-spring, when the daughter can help formulate the plan for the first half. She may want more Spain time or less.

4. Lodging: no time for a villa or vacation rental on this trip. A hotel in Madrid, and they need to give some thought about where the younger kids will sleep when the five of them are in Germany.

I will give further thought about whether I should try to talk them out of the Germany portion - - either for more Spain, or for some England, for example, instead.

Look forward to input from all.

Best wishes,

Rex
rex is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 06:37 PM
  #2  
 
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2) You're probably right about the open-jaw trip. But two round trips is not out of the question. You know, I was looking at the fare rules on a fare one time and noticed that an enroute stopover was permitted (and if I was checking out the fare it must have been a low one).

1) With respect, I'm really wondering why they want to go to Germany. Some vague "roots" trip?

Just thinking out load and sending you ttt
mrwunrfl is online now  
Jan 21st, 2004, 04:35 AM
  #3  
rex
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I'm not sure wht you mean about two round trips. USA-MAD, rt - - and then MAD-FRA rt, for example? That must be what you mean. I can't find a fare where this is cheaper than the more ordinary open jaw (turns out to have very good routing for them - - one-stop each direction, something that is not always straightforward from Louisville, KY for some Europe gateways).

I'm going to have to find out more about "why Germany?" also. Don't know if it's based on past enchantment by her husband, the roots thing, or the little bit of familiarity he may feel. I think England is every bit as good a second destination as Germany, and have said so, in a follow-up e-mail to her last night. We'll get together and talk in person, after she has done some initial library time.

Thanks for the topper.
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Jan 21st, 2004, 11:51 AM
  #4  
rex
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back to the top...
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Jan 22nd, 2004, 07:29 PM
  #5  
rex
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Further info from my friend. Husband really DOES have family ties in Muenster area that he wants to pursue if possible. And they might put Germant first (i.e., not include daughter who is in Madrid on that part of the trip). I advise open jaw into FRA or AMS - - then airberlin.com flies FMO (Muenster/Osnabrueck) to Madrid - - curiously enough all flights to/from Spain are through their "hub" on Palma de Mallorca - - THAT's interesting!

I do not know northwest Germany as well as some other parts. I told her I consider it the "New Jersey" of Germany - - and I don't mean that ALL pejoratively. I know Hamburg, Koeln and Aachen, but none of the small towns/rural gems of that area. Anyone with more to add on a 100 km radius of Muenster?

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Jan 23rd, 2004, 04:30 AM
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Why not fly into Dusseldorf instead of Frankfurt? Dusseldorf has a large airport, is well served by mass transit, and is closer to Muenster. There are direct trains once an hour (the trip is about an hour); if the family is renting a car, then it's also a shorter drive (for the scenic route, take the autobahn A43 to exit 8 [Haltern]), then take route 58 either to Luedinghausen where they pick up route 235 until it joins up with the Autobahn just outside Muenster or continue along 58 past the A1/E37 interchange and take route 54 into Muenster; the 58/235 route will take them along the scenic Ems Kanal and is the route we prefer. Do a short detour into Senden for one of the largest rose gardens in Europe.)
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Jan 23rd, 2004, 04:42 AM
  #7  
rex
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I actually did take a look at fares and schedules/routings into DUS, B... they just aren't nearly as good as into AMS or FRA. Only a single one-stop routing (the origination is SDF), and it was outrageously priced (full-fare, I suspect), probably because it invloved multiple non-cooperating carriers to go INto DUS and some back OUT of MAD.

But I will certainly try to learn more about Senden and its rose gardens.
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Jan 23rd, 2004, 03:14 PM
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Hi Rex,

Not sure if this will fit in with your friend's plans or not, but the German budget airline Germanwings also flies from Madrid to Cologne/Bonn & Stuttgart.
You can find their website at www34.germanwings.com

Hope this helps,

Jim
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Jan 25th, 2004, 06:35 PM
  #9  
rex
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Yes, yes! This is clearly beter than airberlin.com - - no connection in Palma de Mallorca, and cheaper besides. I wonder if this is the carrier shown on the europebyair.com map? (I realize I could check it).
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