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Does this itinerary sound insane? or doable?

Does this itinerary sound insane? or doable?

Dec 1st, 2003, 01:53 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 17
Does this itinerary sound insane? or doable?

Trying to book my honeymoon and have FINALLY decided on an itinerary. Any suggestions? We are on-the-move people and don't like to stay in one place too long. Example...went to Paris for 2 days and was content and ready to leave.

8/7-SF-NY
8/8-NYC
8/9-NYC-London
8/10 (might be +1 day)-london
8/11-London/sidetrip to Stonehenge and Bath
8/12-London-Brussels (or possibly Brugge instead**), appx. 5 hours (Including ferry ride)***
8/13-Drive 3 hours from Brussels-Amsterdam
8/14-Amsterdam
8/15-Amsterdam
8/16-Amsterdam-small German town somewhere between Ams and Wiesbaden, Germany*
8/17-Wiesbaden
8/18-Wiesbaden
8/19-Drive Wiesbaden-Frankfurt -SFO

*Any suggestions for a night between Amsterdam and Wiesbaden Germany? I would like to stay at a castle hotel. Or just a quaint town.

**Any preference between Brugges and Brussels? Can't decide. Will only be there briefly and am not interested in sightseeing. Just want a good town to roam in the evening on the way to Amsterdam.

***Will driving to Belgium be a pain? Would we be better off taking a ferry or the tunnel? Where exactly is the tunnel and where does it let you out? Is it worth transporting the rental car on the ferry? Is this easy? I've never taken a car on a ferry.

Thanks for any help you can give!
CEDS is offline  
Dec 1st, 2003, 02:36 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 93
I can't really offer you too much but here-goes... this is purely hearsay but, I have heard that the ferry is quite expensive-perhaps someone will offer more on that, additionally - I'm assuming your british rental will be right-sided steering wheel which to me would be annoying on right-sided driving but that's simply a matter of opinion. Plus, would you be able to turn in a British car to a rental company on the continent, if so would the cost be astronomical? Now, with the limited time you'll be spending in Belgium before moving on to Amsterdam you don't really have a need for a car, do you? Once you are in Amsterdam, driving is difficult and, unless your hotel has parking available, it will expensive to park too. I think you would be better served renting another car upon leaving Amsterdam. Do you really want to stop for a night between Amsterdam and Wiesbaden? I ask only because the drive is relatively short. I'm sorry I wasn't at all helpful - just thought I'd throw out some food for thought, but I hope you get the answers you need!
gottatravel_europe is offline  
Dec 1st, 2003, 03:39 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 533
Well, in all of our travels over there, we are like you in that a day or two in a big city is enough.

Personally, to chose between Brugge and Brussels......Brugge by far. No comparison in my mind.

I can't give you much info on the rental car and taking it across the ferry. We've rented cars every time we go over, and I always seem to end up getting them from AutoEurope, which is a brokerage type setup. They place you with one of the big companies at a good price. They have a good website and a good 800 number to call in the states. They would be the ones to ask about that.

As far as a small town to stay in between Weisbaden and Amsterdam... I will go look at the viaMichelin.com site at a map and see if I see anything interesting. The town of Aachen comes to mind.

Why staying in Weisbaden? Friends in military? If flying out of Frankfort, what time of day? We used a small family run hotel near the airport. I think it was an 8euro taxiride the next day to the airport. Nice clean rooms, wake up calls, etc. You might turn the car in one day early at the airport, spend the 8euro to get to the hotel, and another 8euro the next morn. Just a thought.
ekellyga is offline  
Dec 1st, 2003, 03:54 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 533
Just looked at a map. A town to stay in on way from Amsterdam to Weisbaden. You could pick Aachen (tomb of Charlemagne). A stop just to see the Cathedral in Cologne is worth it.

Take a look at a good map. If I had the time and wanted a place to stay as you mentioned, check out traveling south on the two lane road along the Rhine river. Bacharach or St. Goar are cool towns. Don't know anything about castle/hotels there, but there are lots of castles on the Rhine. I LOVE driving down those river valleys, seeing the barges on the river and the trains alongside the banks.

And...my favorite place, if you could swing a little bit west of the Rhine, is the town of Cochem, on the Mosel river. White wine country. You could read about that stuff in Rick Steves' books or his website.

Driving in belgium, or any of those places is no problem, but parking can be a pain. Driving IN Amsterdam is a bit unnerving, when you get down near the heart of the city and there are more bicycles that there are cars. Careful!!
ekellyga is offline  
Dec 1st, 2003, 04:11 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 178
I think I would be more tempted to fly from London to Brussels.I think Brugge is about an hour on the train from Brussels.
You can get very cheap flights to Brussels from London (also Amsterdam if I'm not mistaken) with Easyjet.com and Ryanair.com. I think they have an option to join their mailing list to be notified of special offers, and quite often you can get free flights and only pay the taxes (about £20 per head).

Hapag-LLoyd Express (hlx.com) also do very reasonable flight prices within Germany and further afield.
angel_UK is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2003, 06:55 AM
  #6  
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 17
Thank you for all your replys. The reason for going to Wiesbaden is to meet family. I really wanted to work a castle hotel into the trip and I though Germany would be the best place. But it would need to be on the drive from Amsterdam, I don't mind a detor though.
Wow, having the rental with the stearing on the wrong side never crossed my mind (silly me). Thank you. I suppose I could take a train from London to Dover and then hop on the ferry and pick up a rental car in Calais.
I want to rent a car because we like to explore and hate being at the mercy of schedules and plans. I want to be able to stop and take a picture of cows on the side of the road if I want to.
So driving in Amsterdam is a pain huh? Would it be better to ditch the rental car for our stay there, or just find a hotel that offers parking?
Is the general concenses that Brugge is a better choice than Brussels? Would Brussels be worthy of a side trip on the way from Brugges to Amsterdam? I would like to see the Grand Place, but I admit that is the only thing that is drawing me there.
I'll look into Aachem, thank you!
CEDS is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2003, 08:18 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 148
Hertz has a "Le Swap" program, which is wonderful! We have used it both ways in the past 3 years. If you have an English right hand car, you drive it onto the channel train at Folkstone, drive off in Calais 25 minutes later and drive a mile or so to the Hertz office and trade it for a French left hand drive. OR do the same in reverse, still changing in Calais. It is really neat and I'm suprised not more people know about it. Is SO much simpler than the ferry, and the cost of the train is included in the Hertz rental price. !!!
It is so nice to have a car in Europe...even the cities, though sometimes it is better to "stay outside" and take public transportation in for the day. Haarlem would be a good place for the Amsterdam stay. We drove into downtown Brugges and had no problem parking,.. The lovely Best Western affiliated hotel was a block from the main square and had underground parking included in the price. Small towns in Europe are always fun, walking the streets etc,,,and the car is no problem (though parking often "TIGHT" >)
mari3 is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2003, 08:47 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,657
Just a note at the front end of your question -- your flight on the 9th is likely to leave in the evening, (although there is at least one daytime flight to London that I know of...but most all leave at night). You will then arrive in London on the morning of the 10th, so you'll have one jet-lagged day in London. I'd not try to do a sidetrip out of London on the 11th. (I'm assuming you've not been there before.) There is plenty to see and do and London is an easy city to get around in. If it's a nice day, you could spend half of it in beautiful Hyde Park (think about boating on the Serpentine or maybe even riding horses...)
uhoh_busted is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2003, 09:08 AM
  #9  
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Thank you busted, but we will most likely be taking an early flight out of NY. There are at least a few that leave arount 9:00am and arrive in London at 9:00pm on the 9th. That way we can relax on the 10th and putz around and then do the side-trip on the 11th. I may cut it short and just hit stonehenge and skip Bath. SH is only a 45 min. drive, correct? That shouldnt take more than 3-4 hours including some lunch. I mean, how long can you really stare at a pile of rocks That way we can still hit a few sites in London when we get back. Your right, I have never been to any of the cities we plan to visit, with the exception of Wiesbaden, but that ends our honeymoon and begins family time, so it doesnt count.

Mari3, THANK YOU! I'm going to hit Hertz's website right now and look into that. What is a channel train and is there a website that will give me more info.?
CEDS is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2003, 09:43 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 547
I would take the Eurostar from London to Brussels--website is www.eurostar.com. It is quick and easy, and more interesting to do at least once than another plane.
RachelG is offline  

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