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Belgium & Lux in August...the new trip plan (in rough form) from the Mr. Go family...and we NEED your input, please!

Belgium & Lux in August...the new trip plan (in rough form) from the Mr. Go family...and we NEED your input, please!

Old Feb 10th, 2003, 12:20 PM
  #1  
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Belgium & Lux in August...the new trip plan (in rough form) from the Mr. Go family...and we NEED your input, please!

OK, I think we've scrapped the Alsace idea for now. Definitely a "must-do" on my list, but better to fly in-out of Frankfurt. Maybe next year.

To recap, here are my cold hard facts:
* 3 people...me, the wife, and our 10-year-old daughter
* 7 nights, third week of August
* Flying into/out of Paris CDG (for only $400 r/t per!)
* Renting a car & driving
* We've already done Paris & Loire valley.

My previous couple of posts have been the "Where shall we go? What shall we do?" type. Now, I think we've settled on a general plan...

1 night in Reims or the northern French countryside near Verdun. 3 nights in Vianden, Lux (daytrips to Trier, Lux city, Mosel valley). 3 nights in Bruges (daytrips to Brussells, Ghent & coast). Return via CDG.

What are the must-sees and must-does on this trip? Seems like we have plenty on our plates already, but what do you think? I already have a couple of books...I am looking for personal insights. Thanks in advance for your help, Fodorites!
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Old Feb 10th, 2003, 01:10 PM
  #2  
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Anybody? Be-lux? Before I drop out of the top 50?
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Old Feb 10th, 2003, 01:38 PM
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What are your interests? What interests your daughter? What kinds of suggestions are you looking for?
Around Bruges, if the weather permits, a bike ride along the canals into the countryside would be perfect for your family.
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Old Feb 10th, 2003, 02:52 PM
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You will love Vianden!!! I stayed there one night October of 2001 and wished I had more time. Another stop near by should be Diekirch. They have wonderful WWII museaum with lots of life size figures, tanks, old guns, etc... Only a few minutes from Vianden and worth the stop.
Also, just a few K's south of Luxembourg in Hamm is the US military cemetary where Patton is buried. Just a mile or so away is the German cemetary. When you head North towards Brugge you might want to steer a little west and see Dinant. Well worth and hour to two before heading north to Brugge.
While in Brugge you might want to visit Oostende. A nice small city with a huge boardwalk on the ocean. A nice city center with lots of shopping and a nice fish market. I drove north along the coast form there and really didn't see much worth while. Maybe South has more to see?
Anyway, for more ideas and lots of pictures check out my travel log at
http://www.bavariaben.com/nbarnes503trip2001intro.html
If you get a chance to check it out, email me at [email protected] and tell me what you think.
Nate
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Old Feb 10th, 2003, 04:21 PM
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Vianden is a lovely little town. What a beautiful castle to see as you wind your way into the village. I especially liked taking the ski lift from the river valley up past the castle then walking down to visit it. Luxembourg City is a favorite of mine too. Definitely check into visiting the Luxembourg Royal Castle. I think the royal family vacations in August and their palace is open to visitors for a few weeks. I've not been at the right time to do that.

Paris to Reims for one night is 1.5 hours, 3 more hours on to Vianden. It's about 2 hours round trip to Trier and back. Vianden to Brugges is almost 4 hours. From Brugges to Brussels and back is about 2.5 hours. 1.5 hours from Brugges to Ghent and back. Then it's 3 hours to Paris. Honestly it sounds like you'll be spending a week in a car. That always reminds me of the vacations from hell of my youth. (Ever driven from Indiana to Yellowstone park and back in a week?) It is certainly a personal preference thing, maybe car time is what you enjoy.

Perhaps you should consider something like this. Land CDG, rent the car and push the 4 hours to Luxembourg City for 3 nights. Day trip to Vianden. If you grow bored with Luxembourg City, which I doubt, day trip to Trier. Drive to Brugges for 3 nights. Daytrip from there to Ghent. If you want another day trip head to Brussels, but splurge and take the train. It'll be a whole lot easier than driving in Brussels. Or day trip to the coast. Spend the last night outside of CDG airport. That way you don't have to start driving at 5:00am for 3 hours to be at the airport 2 hours early for a 10:00am flight.

I think you'll find that having a little extra time in Luxembourg City and Brugges will be much more enjoyable than pushing to fit Trier and Brussels in.
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Old Feb 11th, 2003, 04:12 AM
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The only adjustments I would make would be to spend more time on the Mosel (it warrants 2 days @ least) & there are many inexpensive places to stay all over. Also include Berg Eltz in that. Oostende is a great little town on the coast & we actually stayed there rather than Brugges. Enjoy the seafood & especially the mussels. It was nice to hang out on the beach a couple of days before heading home. It will also be much cheaper.
 
Old Feb 11th, 2003, 07:02 AM
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Thank you so much, all of you (especially Nate and Indy). And as weird fate would have it, Indy, yes I have taken the long station wagon trip as a child from Indianapolis to points west (Denver & San Diego)! More than once! Bob the Nav will confirm this fact. Best of times/worst of times.

I like to drive, but your point is well taken. It may be too much road time for a 10-year-old. We chose Vianden over Lux city mostly to save $$, but also to keep the trip from being too city-oriented. We like the small to mid-size towns too.

As for the last day, our flight isn't until 1 pm or so...and I was told that Bruges to CDG was about 2-1/2 hours.

Now I'm off to see Nate's trip log. Thanks again, all. Anyone else?
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Old Feb 11th, 2003, 10:15 AM
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mr_go,

Please post a trip report when you return. We will be going to the same area next year and will appreciate the infomation. Would also be interested in the hotels in Vianden and Brugges.

Do you plan to visit any of the WWll sites in the area (Battle of the Bulge, etc)?

Curious

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Old Feb 11th, 2003, 02:01 PM
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I will probably stop at one or two WWII sites, most likely the cemetary near the France/Lux border where Patton is buried.

It's one thing to tell your child, "There was a big war, and a lot of people died." It's quite another to stand with her amidst the sea of white crosses.
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Old Feb 12th, 2003, 05:35 AM
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Luxembourg City, although small, has some interesting sights including the fort, which is a world heritage site, the crypt, and the casemates as well as the Bock Promontory.

Also, in the North is Clervaux which also has a nice castle. There is also an area called "little Switzerland" which has huge bolders and makes for nice walking and hiking.

Almost every Saturday, Sunday and public holiday, there are organised hikes for members of the public. Information about these is contained in the Agenda du Luxembourg published by the National Tourist Office, Tel: 42 82 82-10, Fax: 42 82 82-38, e-mail: [email protected].

Have fun.
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