Here we go again

Jun 25th, 2010, 08:58 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 151
Here we go again

In the autumn of 2006 I took my wife and parents on what was their first visit to europe. We rented a car and over a period of a month drove through the heartlands of western europe. Here is a map of that itinerary.

http://picasaweb.google.com/shoonye/...25808148638946

I obviously consulted the forum elders and received an equal share of helpful advice and scathing criticism for the ambition of that itinerary. It was the trip of a lifetime and we enjoyed it immensely. After four years and plenty of other travels, we are returning for another month long sojourn. This time we have trained our attentions on central / eastern europe that has long intrigued me more than western europe ever has. Any advice on any aspect of the itinerary below is appreciated. So far our flight into Berlin, flight to Athens and flight out of Athens is fixed. Everything else is wide open and we will have a rental car. I fully expect feedback so if you feel the need to be brutal I will not mind.

A little about us - it will be me, my wife, our brand new daughter (1 yr) along with my parents. We like an equal mixture of everything - history, city life, country side, natural beauty, museums, concerts, hiking. The one thing we don't like is a lot of time on the beach.

9/22/2010 Fly out from US
9/23/2010 Early morning arrival at Berlin
9/24/2010 Berlin
9/25/2010 Berlin
9/26/2010 Auschwitz
9/27/2010 Krakow
9/28/2010 Krakow
9/29/2010 High Tatras (Vysoke Tatry)
9/30/2010 High Tatras (Vysoke Tatry)
10/1/2010 Budapest
10/2/2010 Budapest
10/3/2010 Budapest
10/4/2010 Vienna
10/5/2010 Vienna
10/6/2010 Vienna
10/7/2010 Cesky Krumlov
10/8/2010 Prague
10/9/2010 Prague
10/10/2010 Prague
10/11/2010 Prague
10/12/2010 Fly to Athens. Drive to Delphi
10/13/2010 Delphi. Overnight ferry to Santorini
10/14/2010 Santorini
10/15/2010 Santorini. Overnight ferry to Athens
10/16/2010 Athens
10/17/2010 Athens
10/18/2010 Fly back to US
shoonye is offline  
Jun 26th, 2010, 01:05 AM
  #2  
 
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I would deduct one day from Prague and add it to Berlin. Otherwise it sounds fine to me (though too many cities compared to the countryside for my taste).

I.
Ingo is online now  
Jun 26th, 2010, 04:21 AM
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All the guide books suggest going to Cesky Krumlov and I followed their advice. But I found that Telc, another UNESCO site in southern Czech Republic, to be even lovelier and more peaceful. That whole area is quite beautiful. If you can manage a stop in Telc between Vienna and Cesky Krumlov I do not think that you will be disappointed.

While in Krakow I thought the salt mine was interesting but it would be difficult to see with a 1 year old. Krakow deserves an additional day. I would skip the castle there in favor of doing other things.
adrienne is offline  
Jun 26th, 2010, 04:42 AM
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Hi; You could consider the driving time from Berlin to Krakow with a child [6 hours], but Prague is [4 hours]. So, using your number of days in each city, 1. Berlin; 2. Prague; 3. Cesky Krumlov; 4. Vienna and 5. Budapest. Fly to Athens from Budapest. On this web site you can find much information to download on some of the cities to be visited. Richard www.inyourpocket.com
iris1745 is offline  
Jun 26th, 2010, 07:21 AM
  #5  
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Ingo, we dont mind reducing time in one of the cities. Could you suggest interesting diversions in the countryside with this itinerary.

Iris - We need to return the car in germany to avoid a heavy one-way drop. Besides we really do want to visit Auschwitz. We are considering a stop in Wroclaw and reducing a day in Prague (as Ingo as suggested)

Adrienne - thanks for the tip on Telc. It certainly sounds appealing
shoonye is offline  
Jun 26th, 2010, 10:46 AM
  #6  
 
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OK; Everything works. We loved Wroclaw. Intend to return to Krakow next year for the third time. This time with our grandchildren if they have the time. Taking then to Greece/Rhodes first. Richard
iris1745 is offline  
Jun 26th, 2010, 12:53 PM
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Between Vienna and Cesky Krumlov you can spend a day or two in the Wachau, a very beautiful stretch along the Danube valley (Dürnstein is one town there, or google Melk).

Also, between the High Tatras and Budapest you could spend a day or two in other Slovak mountain regions - like the Slovak Paradise - or at the Danube bend north of Budapest e.g.

Or, if you add a day to Berlin you can do a day trip to the palaces and gardens of Potsdam (Sanssouci) or the Spreewald, an hour south of Berlin (a region where many villages are only accessible by boat on small canals, you can do boat trips, kayaking and such, famous for pickled cucumbers etc.)
Ingo is online now  
Jun 27th, 2010, 06:38 PM
  #8  
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Thanks Ingo.

Can anyone recommend if the polish side (Zakopane) is better as a base for the Tatras or the Slovakian side (Poprad)
shoonye is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 10:13 AM
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The Slovak side was hit by a huge storm a few years ago - the forests were severely damaged. People say it looks somewhat weird (ugly) in those parts (my last visit was earlier, sorry).

I'd say you cannot go wrong with Zakopane. Take the cable car up, also see the lakes (Morskie oko etc.).

Poprad is too far from the mountains IMO. In case you plan to stay on the Slovak side try Tatranska Lomnica (Grandhotel Praha is excellent), Smokovec (but if I recall correctly this small town was severely affected by the storm) or Strbske Pleso (beautiful lake, chair lift, options for hikes like to the lake Popradske pleso).

I.
Ingo is online now  

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