european trip

Jan 2nd, 1998, 06:33 AM
raquel de gomez
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european trip

I'll go whith my two teenagers (15 and 13 ) to Europe on february 1, and I'll like to know the best way to visit europe during 26 or 30 days. We have to go by airplane from Panama to any place in Europe, but we think it would be possible to make most of the trip by train, so it would be cheaper. Could you help us to arrange our trip?

Thanks a lot

Jan 2nd, 1998, 08:49 AM
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I will recommend the following trip: Go to Oslo in Norway. Take the train to Bergen. Stay 3 days in the beatiful western coast of Norway. See Bergen and the fjords. Then go by the ferry "Fjordline" to Denmark - Hanstholm. Go to Aalborg. From there you can take the train to all over Europe. I recommend The Rhine Valley, Alsace (Strasborg), The Rhone Valley (Lyon), Provence (Montpellier), The Spanish border (Perpignan), Spain (Barcelona) Madrid - San Sebastian. Then Bordeaux and at last Paris. Stay 3 days in Paris and enjoy it! Good luck! Nils
Jan 2nd, 1998, 10:25 PM
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Nils, is a very experienced traveler and his advice is very good- I want to see his fjords of Norway too! Close to Norway is an island in the North Sea off the coast of Holland called Terschelling. Your kids will love it. Stay at the Hotel Europa and rent bikes. The island is lovely from June through August. See the 400 year old Brandaris lighthouse, the Dutch black ponies, the many miles of fietspads(biketrails) the windmill pub and more! E mail me if you want more info!
Jan 3rd, 1998, 10:55 AM
Ben Haines
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Dear Mrs de Gomez,

You've had interesting, though biased, advice. Norway and the Netherlands offer landscapes that I imagine are far from those in Panama, so might well suit you. Nils may indeed be experienced, but he is also an admirable patriot. The idea of cycling in Terschelling may well be good, if that's what your daughters want. But do they ? Can you perhaps sketch out something of your hopes: do you want to relax, to see cities, to see mountains, to see flat lands ? To hear music, and what kinds, to see paintings and museums, and what kinds ? You have Spanish and French: anything else ? With that advice we may well be able to help further.

Just one further point: a trip from Norway to Spain is not "all over Europe" Nils' plan would indeed let you get quite a close look at Norway, France and Spain, and if you gave each city he names 2 days would take your 26 days. A close look at a few places is probably better than dashing about from place to place. But if you'll say what range of things your daughters and you are seeking I may well want to mention other countries that use languages not too far from Spanish, such as Italy or even Romania.

Which reminds me: central Europe is half the price of west Europe: is money a consideration ?

You can go far by train without using time, and can cut hotel bills, if you take couchettes or sleepers on night trains. The supplement per berth on a 6-berth couchette is 18 US dollars, and on a 3-berth sleeper is 40 dollars. I recommend sleepers, as you'd have them to yourselves. On the Norway to Spain trip some overnight trains are Bergen to Oslo, Copenhagen to Cologne, Barcelona to Madrid, and Hendaye (near San Sebastian) to Paris.

I look forward to your message.

Welcome to Europe.

Ben Haines, London
Jan 4th, 1998, 12:19 PM
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I refer to the last mail on this topic. After having reconsidered this question, I partly agree. The adviced trip may be a little too long for one holiday. But I hope that you have got some ideas that may help you in the further planning process. The places I have mentioned are the best that I have visited in Europe, but this is of course a subjective judgement. If you do not get enough time to visit Norway this time, I will especially recommend central/southern Germany, France and Holland. Anyway I wish you and your family a nice trip to Europe! Best regards from Nils
Jan 4th, 1998, 07:37 PM
Rod Hoots
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Europe in February, except in the south, is chilly and damp. Being from Panama, I wonder if you want to go at that time of the year. If you can't change your plans, suggest you go to a reputable travel agent and book a "Classic Europe" type of tour with a good tour company, like American Express, Grand Circle, or Perillo. If you start in England and work south, the weather should be nice when you reach Rome and Naples. It's really too late for you to plan such a long trip on your own. Good Luck!
Jan 6th, 1998, 11:22 AM
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I just got back from a two week European vacation -
here was our travel route:
(flew in and out of Brussels from NYC)
Brussels,Belgium - Strasbourg/Colmar,France - Lucerne,Switzerland - Salzburg,Austria - Prague, Czech Republic - Berlin,Germany - Amsterdam, Netherlands.
We spent approx. two-three nights in each location. Our only regrets were not being able to explore other towns/cities in these countries, and we wanted to visit Budapest but ran out of time. We used the rail system the whole way through and had no problems.
Each location has its own charm, style, and history and it was a most interesting and wonderful trip. I would recommend this route to anyone.
If you have any specific questions please feel free to contact me directly.

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