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Help planning Central/Northern Europe Itinerary with 6 mo. baby

Help planning Central/Northern Europe Itinerary with 6 mo. baby

Jul 8th, 2019, 10:37 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 2
Help planning Central/Northern Europe Itinerary with 6 mo. baby

Hi. My wife and I are both able to spend ~17 days in Europe starting the end of this month. We have booked a flight into Zurich and out of Oslo. We have done most all big cities in Europe, although we only spent about 2 days in each. Because of this, I'd like to see some of Scandanavia as well as nature and smaller cities. We also think it would be a good idea to be in cities where it is easy for us to put the baby down for a nap, then take nice walks when he is up.

We have already done a quick trip through Switzerland that included Interlaken and Lucerne, but are open to spending more time there since it is so nice!

Thank you in advance!!
Our plan:
-Rent AirBNBs with A/C and Washer/Dryer
-Limit ourselves to 3 or 4 cities
-Travel light and go slow

Other things we are considering:
-Spending more time in Switzerland and heading down to Lake Como/Lugano/Lago di Garda area.
-Skipping Paris and heading up along the Rhine to Brussels.
-Heading into Loire Valley
-Basing ourselves in Austria and Southern Germany.

Current Itinerary

- 7/29 Redeye flight to Zurich
- 7/30 Land at 11am. 2 hr train to Colmar
- 7/31 Colmar
- 8/1 Colmar
- 8/2 Travel to Paris (3 hr train)
- 8/3 Paris
- 8/4 Paris
- 8/5 Paris
- 8/6 Paris
- 8/7 Travel to Bruge (3 hr train)
- 8/8 Bruge
- 8/9 Bruge
- 8/10 Flight from Brussels to Olso (2.5 hrs)
- 8/11Nutshell to Aurland
- 8/12 Nutshell to Bergen
- 8/13 Bergen
- 8/14 Nutshell to Oslo
- 8/15 Flight to NYC

Last edited by Alsippi89; Jul 8th, 2019 at 10:44 AM. Reason: Formatting
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Jul 8th, 2019, 11:00 AM
  #2  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,258
I like your idea of limiting to 3-4 places. Your current list is 5 so not sure which 1 or 2 you are planning to drop.

1. Colmar
2. Paris
3. Bruges
4. Oslo
5. Bergen

plus those really long trips in Norway. Oslo to Aurland = 4-6hrs each ways? Oslo to Bergen 7? Bergen back to Oslo, the same 7. That's constantly moving around, not slow travel.

It's not clear what you're really trying to accomplish on this trip. You say "Travel light and go slow" yet every itinerary has you moving around. Why move around at all? Is your objective to see a bunch of places. To me slow travel = pick one place for a week and enjoy being there, not moving around so much. So for 17 days make it 2 base camps, and limit your day trips to 1 hr radius.

Perhaps you can tell us what you'd like to get out of this trip and we can offer suggestions along those lines.

Here are some of your arrival day Zurich airport to Colmar train options. (via google maps). It looks like all involve a minimum of 3 connections which might be tough to do fast with a 6mo.




Last edited by J62; Jul 8th, 2019 at 11:23 AM. Reason: formatting
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Jul 8th, 2019, 11:45 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 85
Yes. I would either do Scandinavia or france.replace paris and Colmar with Copenhagen or or ?
or replace Oslo with Annecy to have some freshness and a lake for the baby. Or deauville.
ahbonvraiment is offline  
Jul 8th, 2019, 12:03 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,831
I think that it is a mistake to suggest either France or Norway given that the incoming and outgoing flights are already booked.

Bergen to Oslo need not be the NIN. Just take the regular train between the two cities since you will have done the NIN going to Bergen.

I do not find Paris to be a particularly friendly baby city: crowded buses and métro; and the difficulty of finding an apartment which would make sense when having traveling with a baby. If you are at one end of the city and require down time, it might require a lot of traveling to get back to the hotel or apartment.

We just spent a few days in Strasbourg and Nancy, and I think that those two cities would be more manageable. BTW, there is a direct Strasbourg TGV ride to CDG and the Thalys stops in CDG too; no need to go to Paris to get to Bruges. The Nancy connection is not as direct to CDG, one must take a connecting bus between Nancy and the TGV station 30 km. away.
Michael is offline  
Jul 8th, 2019, 12:15 PM
  #5  
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 2
Thanks for the response. I realize Norway is going to be crazy... I've accepted that fact but it is our only opportunity to see the Fjord's and it is a top priority so I am willing to live with it. I am hoping the rest of the journey will be more mellow.

My priority is nice charming walks and sampling good food and snacks. We don't plan to visit any museums or large touristed sites like the Eiffel Tower.

As I mentioned, I've seen most European capitals so it would be nice to see some smaller towns.

Lastly, I want to avoid Southern Europe because of the heat.
Alsippi89 is offline  
Jul 8th, 2019, 12:17 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,831
Originally Posted by Alsippi89 View Post
Thanks for the response. I realize Norway is going to be crazy... I've accepted that fact but it is our only opportunity to see the Fjord's and it is a top priority so I am willing to live with it. I am hoping the rest of the journey will be more mellow.

My priority is nice charming walks and sampling good food and snacks. We don't plan to visit any museums or large touristed sites like the Eiffel Tower.

As I mentioned, I've seen most European capitals so it would be nice to see some smaller towns.

Lastly, I want to avoid Southern Europe because of the heat.
You are arguing against a Paris stay.
Michael is offline  
Jul 8th, 2019, 12:19 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 13,246
That is a lot of moving around with a 6 month old jet lagged baby.
End of this month is peak holiday time for all of Europe so things will be busy and booked.
Spend more time in Switzerland a fly from there to Bergen if you can. Enjoy Bergen and do the NIN if you must then head to Oslo for a couple of days before heading home.
You will struggle to find air conditioning. Not sure it will really be necessary - the heat wave has been and gone, and probably won't be back.
hetismij2 is offline  
Jul 8th, 2019, 12:21 PM
  #8  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,258
weather forecast for most of France is high 80's to near 90 for the next 10 days, and it won't be any cooler in August. Tough for adults. Tough for a baby. So if that's the heat you want to avoid then you'd be best going straight to Norway, or finding a place in the mountains.
J62 is offline  
Jul 8th, 2019, 12:53 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 13,246
Those are normal summer temperatures and people in Europe including their babies survive them just fine. It is not the crippling heat of a couple of weeks ago.
If you know how to deal with heat and no airco you can survive just fine. Americans have forgotten how to deal with heat without gobbling up vast amounts of power.
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