Don't know where to start!

Old Jul 16th, 2017, 11:05 AM
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Don't know where to start!

This will be my first trip to Europe, my wife went to Macedonia about 30 years ago . We plan on about two weeks, but really only have 2 places we have to see. One is the town in Germany (Botzingen ), where my Grandfather came from. The other is where my wife's parents are from in Macedonia . We are not sure the best way to get from point A, to point B, how the hotels work ( some don't have staff on site at night ), etc. Any help on where to start would be a great help.
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Old Jul 16th, 2017, 11:18 AM
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Germany to Macedonia is best by flying if you want to go straight thru. Botzingen is in the Freibourg/Black Forest region very close to Switzerland. It is a fairly short train ride from Frankfurt Airport.

You may want to start your German adventure in the awesome Rhine River area just north of Frankfurt- and then go to Botzingen.

You could then carry on with a few days in Switzerland, seeing the high Alps say around Interlaken -then hop to Zurich Airport and fly to Macedonia.

Trains are great in Germany, especially if visiting mainly cities -even train lines go into the heart of the Black Forest - Trains also fab in Switzerland.

For lots on Europe's fantastic rail system check www.seat61.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com (online European Planning & Rail Guide gives rail itineraries in each country -well I suspect not in Macedonia).
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Old Jul 16th, 2017, 11:59 AM
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Maps and guidebooks are where you start. Plus the internet. Every town and village and city in Europe has a website you can consult.

How hotels work should be the least of your problems. Every hotel worth staying in has a website that explains how it operates, and sites like booking.com have comprehensive information also. If a hotel doesn't have staff available at night, they should have some means of contacting the owners; if not, choose another hotel.
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Old Jul 16th, 2017, 12:18 PM
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Can you take trains from Germany to Macedonia?
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Old Jul 16th, 2017, 12:27 PM
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Check out WIZZ air flying from Frankfurt HAHN to Skopje; timing may be a bit inconvenient but probably fastest route

wizzair.com
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Old Jul 16th, 2017, 12:29 PM
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You can fly to Skopje from a LOT of different airports. Look at www.skyscanner.com for details
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Old Jul 16th, 2017, 01:11 PM
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Yeh you can take trains between say Munich and Skopje -takes 28 hours!

Now if you had several days maybe a nice route but if not flying is the only feasible way.
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Old Jul 16th, 2017, 01:21 PM
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I am a big fan of trains. However, not only would that be a very long trip, unless you wanted to stop off along the way, the trains towards the end of the route are likely to be slow and uncomfortable. I have not forgotten the ride between Nis and Sofia, which took forever and was only enlivened by watching the smugglers on board.

I very much enjoyed Macedonia, and besides Sofia and Lake Matka just outside, I would recommend visiting Ohrid.
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