Honeymoon in Europe :)?

Old Oct 27th, 2015, 10:46 AM
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In terms of deciding on which locations in the cities to stay in, of course us Fodorites will each have our own favorites.

We aim for 3-star hotels, you've already gotten an explanation of the star system. We don't care about elevators, which you usually get, but not always, with 3 stars. Breakfast is offered, but no on-site restaurant. 24-hour staff, which we like. We also prefer small independently-owned hotels, preferably in old buildings, in very central locations.

In London, many people seem to want to stay in the Knightsbridge area, near shopping, Buckingham Palace, etc. We prefer to stay in Bloomsbury, which is where the British Museum is located; Covent Garden is nearby. It's close to a lot of nightlife, as well as a lot of the sights we like to visit. And of course, the Tube and buses are nearby as well. Our last several visits have been with kids, so we've needed bigger rooms than you will want. There are a bunch of B&Bs in the area of Bloomsbury, which I haven't stayed at but would like to. We've stayed several times at the Beauchamp Grange, not so cute but a really nice place, great location and service. Get the rooms without breakfast and get something from one of the many nearby places.

In Paris, we like St. Germaine for its central location. It's supposed to be touristy, but there have been plenty of times sitting at a cafe in St. Germaine and all we heard were people speaking French. We've stayed at Hotel Le Regent, on rue Dauphine, a bunch of times. Note that they have "larger" and "smaller" doubles - The smaller are tiny, but we fit in just fine, and the bathrooms are quite chic. (We stayed in Montparnasse on our last visit, and I loved that area, but it's not so central.) You can get the rooms with or without breakfast, as I recall. Eating a breakfast of coffee and croissants at a nearby cafe can be cheaper and much more atmospheric.

In Rome, we've stayed a number of times at Residenza Canali Ai Coronari, near Piazza Navona. Lots of stairs, but the rooms are nice, and the staff is wonderful. Breakfast is included, but we always prefer to go to a cafe on Piazza Navona for, you guessed it, caffe and cornetti.
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Old Oct 29th, 2015, 03:54 PM
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@welltraveledbrit
I did not see rome, I'll have to check out the pilot and see if I enjoy it. There are so many shows I'm behind on. I just recently started watching tv shows with my fiance as previously I watched basically nothing. ---Duly noted for the map app, anything will help as I'm sure I'll get turned around often. ---Thank you for your blog. I'll take a look at it. ---Unfortunately no shoe is comfortable enough for the amount of walking I think I'll be doing, haha!
I'm assuming you're from the UK somewhere, do you know of the borough market?(is that a duh lol, sorry)

@scootoir
Thank you for the tip, you'll have to let me know how it is when you go I bet you're excited! IT's almost here!

@ducinaltum
I've no idea what a bag of moleskins are, I'll have to google haha. I'll be bringing at least 3 pair of shoes, so hopefully my feet will be okay, but I doubt it -_- Blue guides? Hmm I wonder if they're like the fodor/rick steves books. I'll have to google that too!

@Sassafrass
All of this venice talk is making me feel like I'm really missing out by skipping on it this time. I just don't have enough time unfortunately, and like others have said I don't want to rush too much on my honeymoon. It is sad though.

@Lexma90
Thank you for the advice on 3 star hotels, I was wondering if people stayed in 1/2/3/4/5 on here. So thank you for that clarification. I'll check out the areas you mentioned. I do appreciate it. It definitely seems like you're an expert on my 3 spots. You must have been a lot!

What would you all recommend for 2x people as far as a food budget daily? I'm not sure what to expect, some things seem really reasonable, but others seem crazy expensive haha. I definitely want a few expensive meals, but not all of them!
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Old Oct 29th, 2015, 04:01 PM
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Don't be sad. You will have a wonderful trip. Venice will make a great anniversary destination someday.
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Old Oct 29th, 2015, 04:11 PM
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alpha0meqa:
Yes, I'm familiar with Borough Market and it comes up quite a bit here on Fodors. It's located on the South Bank and is easily accessible from a number of places you may want to see, Tate Modern, Tower Bridge, Globe Theatre etc.

I like starting at St Paul's, don't miss the nearby Paternoster Sq and the Temple Bar Gate, this was one of the Gates to the city of London and how it left London and came back is an incredible tale. or you could start by checking out the rooftop view from One New Change, then cross the Millennium Footbridge and explore the South Bank, incl possibly Southwark Cathedral and Borough Market. The market is on the tourist route but worth visiting, it can get very busy on the weekends. I have information on the blog about other markets like Broadway Market (in Hackney on a Saturday) but I think Borough makes the best combination for people who are in London for a short time, plus it's quite large.

Sounds like you're making progress!
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Old Oct 29th, 2015, 05:09 PM
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@Sassafrass
Very true, I can hope at least

@Welltraveledbrit

I watched a few videos and I realllllly want to go there and try all of this awesome food. It sounds like Saturday is the best time to go, which will luckily be the day we arrive(morning) so hopefully we can go there around lunch and have a great time.
--Duly noted, I still need to go through your blog. There is so much to read out there!

Does anyone have any opinion on the thello sleeper train from Paris>Venice? Was thinking of doing this instead of flying as I hate flying, and it might be something nice and different...The honest answer is I don't want to dread flying mid trip, lol.
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Old Oct 29th, 2015, 05:27 PM
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Can't figure out how to edit, but I see about 70% negative reviews on thello, so maybe I'll skip it. Someone is posting the below itinerary all over the place, thoughts?

""""
Alternatives to thello train

But I'd suggest the daytime option, like this:

1. Have lunch at the celebrated (and amazing) Train Bleu restaurant at the Gare de Lyon in central Paris, see www.le-train-bleu.com

2. Then stroll across the concourse to the waiting 14:41 TGV high-speed train to Turin, pre-booked from just 29 euros ($35) in 2nd class or 46 euros in 1st class at www.capitainetrain.com with print-at-home tickets.

The TGV is air-conditioned, carpeted, with an interior by designer Christian Lacroix. All seats have power outlets, there's a cafe-bar on board or bring your own picnic and bottle of wine (try doing that on a flight). It's a chill-out trip, catching up on your reading, watching the scenery glide by with a glass o' red.

The train dashes across rural France at 186mph past pretty villages & picturesque churches, but after Lyon it slows right down, meandering through the mountains via Chambery & Modane into Italy. arriving Turin Porta Susa just after 8pm.

Stay overnight in Turin, and ideally have a look round next morning, it's a wonderful city.

3. Then take a fast Frecciabianca train from Turin to Venice Santa Lucia from just 19 euros ($25?) pre-booked at www.trenitalia.com - it's ticketless, you just quote your booking reference on board. Or from 29 euros in 1st class. These trains leave every hour or two through the day.

Turin to Venice only takes 4h21 centre to centre - you cross the famous causeway over the lagoon with anticipation building, arriving in central Venice, walking out of the station to find the Grand Canal in front of you complete with waterbuses and gondolas."""""
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Old Oct 29th, 2015, 06:25 PM
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If you do visit Venice, you do need three nights to make it worthwhile, longer if you decide to visit Murano/Burano/Torcello.

Venice takes a little while to get a handle on. Finding your way around takes time, and I have seen so many angry visitors cursing their Google map app, tearing up their paper map in frustration and walking in circles.

That being said, we returned from Venice two weeks ago, and I have just booked accomodation for my next visit.
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Old Oct 29th, 2015, 08:25 PM
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Haha sorry! And yes, google is your friend. But here are some handy links, especially because moleskin is also a popular brand of notebooks and definitely not what I intended to recommend. Though also something I've brought along on travels for journaling/notes/reminders!

https://www.drscholls.com/productsan...inpluspadding/ (off-brands available as well, sheets and rolls are sold, varying thicknesses - which is why the foldable scissors are good to bring with in concjunction)

http://www.blueguides.com/
(which is a great reminder for me to look into for my trip in a few months)

Also, you asked about food budget per day. What do you consider expensive? As with hotels, people's definition of 'expensive' can be relative.

When I travel (sometimes with others, sometimes solo), I will sometimes spend 8 euro on lunch and 25 on dinner - most recent example was in Paris with a simple sandwich lunch and then really excellent crepes/cider for dinner in Montparnasse. I've definitely gotten by on less, shopping at the market and cobbling a great meal together, whether in a hotel or especially in an apartment.

On the last trip in February I had a couple excellent dinners that cost 50-60 euro because it was a splurge (to me) and worth it to try something that came recommended highly and was typical of the place. For me, 60 euro is my limit - I know I can find truly excellent food for that or less so I don't feel the need to spend more. But that's just how I balance my food interests with other spending.

I'll typically look at recommendations online or from friends, or I've solicited suggestions on the Fodor boards and then I keep a list of the general area where they are so that I can make a decision depending on where I am and how much I feel like spending. Everyone likely has their own system, but that's what I do and it works well (I like to plan )

My time in London was really limited (and I was in Cambridge one of those days/evenings) and the other night my friend and I went to a really old pub on Fleet St. that had a really inexpensive dinner so I can't speak to the prices in London. But 50 euro a piece will get you and your fiancee a great meal in many places (provided you've done a little research and make sure it's a good restaurant).

One of my favorites (and the favorite of many a friend) that is also inexpensive in Rome is Abruzzi, http://bit.ly/1WmANtT - east of the Pantheon

Inexpensive, awesome food. The pasta carbonara is incredible - it's one of the best things they do. The green sambuca is fantastic (they bring out a bottle of the green sambuca and amaro at the end). Dinner for two including wine was maybe 30 euro? Going off memory here! But I went twice in the 5 days I was there in Rome.

Near the Vatican is Ristochicco ristochicco.it/en/, a tiny but incredible place that was packed the three times I went (once for lunch, twice for dinner). A little more expensive but I think very reasonable.

Osteria del Pegno west of Piazza Navona is also really great http://bit.ly/1XDdONK
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Old Oct 29th, 2015, 08:42 PM
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Scootoir and Alpha0meqa, we have stayed at Hotel de Varenne twice and really like it. We like to walk and basically walked all over Paris from the hotel. The beautiful Rodin museum is just a couple of blocks up and around the corner.
It is an easy walk across the Seine to the Tuileries Gardens and the Louvre.

There is a very good bakery next door to the hotel and a market across the street and down half a block which has yogurt, cheese, fruit, wine, beer, snacks etc etc. There is a mini fridge in the room which you can use for your own items.
The continental breakfast is good.
The staff is happy to make restaurant recommendations and then call to book them for you.
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Old Oct 29th, 2015, 08:50 PM
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>>It sounds like Saturday is the best time to go, which will luckily be the day we arrive(morning) so hopefully we can go there around lunch and have a great time.<<

Unfortunately not really. Borough Market gets VERY crowded Friday Afternoons and basically all day Saturday. Like so crowded you can't get near many of the vendors nor find a place to sit down and eat. It would be tough when dealing w/ jetlag on your arrival day.

This photo gives you sort of an idea http://www.daytourslondon.com/wp-con...oughmarket.jpg

It would be much better if you could visit a different day.
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Old Oct 30th, 2015, 05:23 AM
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@Peter_S_Asus
Argh, too many good things I'm hearing about Venice! I'm glad you enjoyed it so much that you're already ready to return.

@ducinaltum
Oh thank you, I've never used one of these moleskin pads before, do they really help a lot?! If so then I need to buy a barrel of them. --Thank you for the links!
Hmm, that's a good question. I don't know really. I don't want to spend 50/60 usd on every single meal. We usually eat around 30$ or less for two of us, we usually get things to go though haha, like sandwiches/soups/salads/mexican food. Although for a vacation I'm sure we can stretch it a bit. --I'll probably focus on researching food later, as I need to get down these flights/hotels first. I do thank you for your food recommendations though and will write them down and check them out a bit later. I'm trying to keep reccomendations in a note pad for each topic (food/hotel/trains) haha. There is so much!

@raincitygirl
Awesome recommendation for hotel. I'll check into it. Sounds very convenient. How many nights did you end up staying there?

@Janisj
Oh that's a bummer. I'm not sure when to go then, I heard some vendors aren't open on weekdays, and We will be in London from Sat-Weds, so I don't know if they're even open then. Sounds like our state fair, and looks like it too. Maybe we will try to brave it anyways
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Old Oct 30th, 2015, 08:25 AM
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I swear by them! You cut off what you need for whatever part of your foot needs a little extra padding to prevent rubbing against a shoe or another toe. Or you can cut around a place for a blister (if you don't want to pop it, Camino de Santiago-style) or place a bandaid over the blister and then put moleskin on top to make it more comfortable.

The shoes I wear are comfortable enough but long story short, my feet are wide and my toes don't taper as much as some people's do, so they tend to rub against the inside of shoes and cause blisters. Neither the moleskin nor the scissors are expensive and they can be lifesavers.

Most days I spend maybe 25-30 euro total if I eat out for both lunch/dinner and eat simply. Add a little in for a caffe' and maybe a gelato and you'll spend a little more. Pizza is abundant in Italy (as one might imagine), can be quite inexpensive, and is easy to take away ("da portar via") or eat in the restaurant. Tuna (tonno) is one of my favorite things to get! It may sound weird at first, but it's incredible.

You'll find plenty of sandwiches/panini too at local places. Pret a Manger is a quick to-go chain where you can find sandwiches/soup if you are on the go and don't want to sit down someplace or spend a ton. There's one right by King's Cross in London that I found handy a couple times. A Cornish Pasty is sold in carts and shops and are filling and can be inexpensive compared to a full restaurant.

Point being, you can definitely find ways to eat inexpensively and then splurge a little for a couple more lavish meals (multiple courses) at restaurants!

Oh and Osteria del Sostegno in Rome is another favorite, excellent, good-value place that several of my friends who live there love. One block north of the Pantheon.
http://bit.ly/1LGBEmq

I had the cacio e pepe, which they do exceptionally well there, and we shared some table wine, mineral water, and antipasti and it was pretty inexpensive for the three of us (sorry, don't remember how much).
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Old Oct 30th, 2015, 08:29 AM
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If you are still going to be in London on Wednesday, go to Borough market then. It is a full market but without half the crowds on weekends.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2015, 06:07 AM
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@ducinaltum
Hmm. Interesting. The padding under your toes I guess is where my pain usually is. My Fiance and I walked around 10-11k steps yesterday and our feet hurt. I think standing still makes my feet hurt more than moving, I could be wrong though. I need to figure out what I can do about this. I don't go walking much at all, maybe I can whip my feet into shape.

I can't say that I have ever had too many blisters in my life, but I don't do much walking either.

Hmm, I guess we shall see. I'll be reading over the book from Fodors to hopefully see and read of some nice places to eat and maybe I can check their menu's online.
Thank you for the information on sandwich locations. I'd imagine we will have a few of those

I talked with the fiance's parents, who were travelers for college(they're professors, or were) and they were telling us to make sure we get a place with a toilet in our room...Make sure to get AC in your room too. Haha I don't think there are many places without these things anymore

@Janisj

I thought I read on the website that they wouldn't have everything open other than on the weekends. I could have read wrong. I believe arrive Sat >-Tuesday, leave Wednesday is the plan for London. :<
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Old Nov 2nd, 2015, 06:23 AM
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The market is partially open every day (except Sunday) but fully open Wed - Sat. If you are leaving London on Wed that won't work -- but that only gives you Sunday/Mon/Tues for seeing/doing in London. That isn't much time. Saturday will only be about half a day and jet lagged, so don't schedule much of anything.

http://boroughmarket.org.uk
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Old Nov 2nd, 2015, 07:33 AM
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If your feet hurt now, you should consider seeing a Doctor for a more definitive opinion about the problem. Unfortunately, I've had issues with my feet for a long time and had to educate myself for best treatment.

The pain you describe could be Moton's Neuroma. If it is, more walking will not help. It will make it much worse. Walking can give you more stamina for walking, but will not improve pain in you feet.

It sounds as if you are putting too much pressure on the pad on the lower ball of your foot, just behind the toes. If so, you need an orthotic insert with a metatarsal pad that lifts that area enough to relieve the presume. Besides having one made for hundreds of dollars, there are inexpensive ones you can buy. One is a simple metatarsal pad that fits just under the ball of the foot. IME, a whole foot insert works better though.

Try a motion control orthotic insert with a metatarsal pad that fits under the whole foot. You may not need the motion control, but if it is MN, you must have one with a metatarsal pad for the pain you describe, and motion control may also help.

You will not find any of these at a drug store type place. You may or may not find them at a good shoe store, but usually athletic shoe stores or stores that sell and fit high quality running and exercises shoes will have them. You can Order them, but it is best to try them first.

Foot Locker, while not a great shoe store, used to carry some very good orthotics for about $25.00 to $40.00. The brand is Sof Sole. They are dense foam covering hard plastic. They are the best! Thin leather ones do not hold up as nearly as well or give enough support.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2015, 07:35 AM
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Sorry about the mistakes in my post. I accidently touched submit instead of review.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2015, 08:58 AM
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@JanisJ
Hopefully we can toughen it out on Saturday, I've not experience this "jet lag" before, I'm sure it will kick my butt, but here's to hoping otherwise!

@Sassafrass
My feet don't hurt on the day to day, but after a lot of walking or standing still for hours. Yesterday we walked the equivalent of 5 miles yesterday. Day to day I have no problem. But if what I'm explaining still isn't the norm, then darn!
I did go to a podiatrist two years ago, I think it was a quack! --He gave me some sort of wood to stick on the heel of my foot in my shoe. It was very uncomfortable though. I don't know. Maybe I should try a better one? --I will definitely look into your suggestions though and I do thank you very much. My feet are quite weird. For much of the last 15 years I've worn nothing but boots, and most "tennis shoes" hurt my arch...Like it feels as though I'm walking on a hill or something. I did find a pair of shoes by "Brooks" that I absolutely love and they don't hurt my arch at all.

I'm very needy apparently -_-
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Old Nov 2nd, 2015, 09:22 AM
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In terms of walking - yes, you WILL be doing a lot - figure 5 miles per day minimum. First, make sure you are doing that at home without developing blisters, etc. And make sure you bring TWO pairs of well broken in walking shoes - since if one pair gets wet they often won't be dry the next am. (I know this can seem weird to people who live where you usually drive everywhere - but if there is no way to build a lot of walking into your normal routine I would start a walking program several days a week.)

You need to understand that walking is by far the best way to see any of these cities - not just getting from one site to another but browsing cut neighborhoods, looking for places to eat, etc. Public transit - tube, Metro or vaporetto - is fine for longer distances - but if you aren't ready to do this walking I fear you won't enjoy the trip that much.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2015, 09:46 AM
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No, no. You are not needy. Nothing is fun when your feet hurt.

Like you, anything under my heel or a lift in the arch feels dreadful. Tennis or athletic shoes didn't work for me either. I finally found the Sof Soles MC with the metatarsal pad and paired them with Born walking shoes (unfortunately a style and fit they no longer make) and over time my feet got much better.

You have to find exactly what works for you.

My first podiatrist was terrible, but I did not know until he had done a lot of damage by giving me the number of shots in three months that should have been spread over a year, then got very angry when I would not agree to surgery without a second opinion.

I could give a list of issues with different podiatrists, although I did end up with a good one.

The best of luck to you.
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