intinerary comments

Old Jun 21st, 2005, 11:33 AM
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intinerary comments

My daughter and I will be traveling to Europe in June of 2006 to celebrate college graduations and have put together a rough (but hopefully doable) itinerary. Any input from anyone would help. We love local shopping (open markets...local not touristy) architecture, regional food, and are not in a hurry. We have about 1 month and my daughter speaks almost fluent French and German. I was stationed in Germany for 3 years... so we are comfortable with transportation (trains and buses) and culture. We hope to stay in private room hostels (hope I'm not to old (44), budget hotels and use the night trains...private doubles or triples. Are arrival city is open(will arrange with good airfare)and we would like to end up in the Constance area for 3 or 4 days to research my great grandmothers family. Here is a rough itinerary....feel free to comment

1) Scotland 3 days
2) London 2 nights (hotel/hostel stay)...3 days
3) Paris 2 nights (hotel/hostel stay)..3 days....night train to Berlin
4) Berlin 2 nights (hotel/hostel stay)..3 days...night train to Krakow
5) Krakow...day visit to Auschwitz (non-negotiable) 1 night...1 day..night train to Budapest
6) Budapest ..just to roam along the Danube...1 night..2 days...night train to Venice
7) Venice 2 nights (hostel/hotel) 3 days night train to Rome
8) Rome 2 nights..3 days night train to Zurich
9) Zurich day trip....To Constance

ANY Suggestions for accomodations or sight would be greatly appreciated!!!!!

Total is about 25 days with days for changes(and additions) if needed. We don't want to see everything ...but we like to walk and look. We will revisit checkpoint charlie...my daughter and I visited east berlin before the wall came down...so this is a must. Anyway any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!


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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 11:40 AM
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ira
 
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Hi UC,

This is a lot of moving about.
My advice is that you bring plenty of vitamins.

Enjoy your visit. I look forward to your trip report.

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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 11:49 AM
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Thanks Ira, My daughter and I are both 7-12grade teachers(daughter...english...me...special education)...so we are used to moving around and hope to take full advantage of the night trains, melatonin and earplugs!!!We are so excited!!!
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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 12:03 PM
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ira
 
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Hi uc,

For Paris, check out the http://www.france-hotel-guide.com/h75005monge.htm

http://www.france-hotel-guide.com/h75005stjacques.htm
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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 12:13 PM
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I'm sorry, but I don't care how used you are to moving around - this itinerary is nuts.

You say you "aer not in a hurry" - huh? This is one of the mose hurried plans I've seen here (and we see some doozies).

Are you actually trying to smaple local shopping, markets, architecture, and regional food, or are you really just trying to knock these places off soem lits?

I'm probably coming acroos as pretty rude - bbut Scotland 3 days, London 2, Paris 2, etc., etc., etc. You will not get a feel for any of those places, and you will spend nearly 1/3 of your time traveling, checking in and checking out.
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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 12:16 PM
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sorry about the typos - - -
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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 12:34 PM
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ucnati, I agree with others who have replied that your draft itinerary has a very large amount of transit time built into it. For example, Paris to Berlin is an 10-hour train ride. If you insist on making a large geographic jump like that at once, look into taking night trains or flying. I would pair down to 2 or 3 adjacent countries of interest instead of the 8 you have penciled in. Talk to your daughter, form priorities, and make some choices.

Plus, you absolutely MUST build in a 3 or 4 day break from the vacation or even a well-planned itinerary will generate burn-out. Find a nice beach or a quiet mountain town that have no ruins, museums, or other sight-seeing obligations. For a few days just sleep-in, get a tan, read a trashy romance novel, etc.

Also, your itinerary is heavy on big cities. Paris and Rome are great, but they can get really hectic, crazy, and draining. Mix in some rural destinations to keep your sanity. France has some fantastic seldom-seen hill towns in Burgundy, Provence, and the Dordone regions. Ditto for Italy's Tuscany and Umbria regions.
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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 01:45 PM
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I think you already know that you are kidding yourself, and trying to pretend that you are giving yourself mroe time than you really have...

Just look at this math (graduates!)

=====================

2) London 2 nights (hotel/hostel stay)...3 days
3) Paris 2 nights (hotel/hostel stay)..3 days....night train to Berlin
4) Berlin 2 nights (hotel/hostel stay)..3 days...night train to Krakow
5) Krakow...day visit to Auschwitz (non-negotiable) 1 night...1 day..night train to Budapest
6) Budapest ..just to roam along the Danube...1 night..2 days...night train to Venice
7) Venice 2 nights (hostel/hotel) 3 days night train to Rome
8) Rome 2 nights..3 days night train to Zurich

=====================

This adds up to 12 "nights" (and two night trains)... but you call it 18 days! Well obviously, there is only one day for each night - - so you are rounding to three often when it is really 2.2 in the originating city and 2.2 in the arriving city.

Paris... or Berlin... or Rome ought to come out...

and look into flying one of those long segments...

I have been very negative on overnight trains (without having taken one) for ages - - and then finally did last month. The experience allows for betetr sleep than I imagined - - but we did it when all we needed to do the next day was to get on a plane to come back home.

Arriving in a city where you cannot get into your hotel, at some early hour... (and doing this more than once in ine week)... is a recipe for that day in the arrival city to feel at least halfway trashed.

Sorry to be blunt, but I think you wanted a candid appraisal...

Best wishes,

Rex


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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 02:02 PM
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This itinerary seems insane! Sorry, not trying to be rude, but you have six night trains scheduled. Have you ever actually taken a night train? I haven't, but have read many many times of people saying they don't really get a good night's sleep, and you're doing it every couple of days. Even if there weren't so many night trains, I can't imagine how you can consider this a trip where you won't be in a hurry!
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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 03:21 PM
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SuasnP: I originally said "insane" but thought it might sound too harsh so changed it to "nuts". But you are closer to the truth - truly an insane itinerary . . . . .

(I should have worried more about checking my typos instead of worrying about offending the OP. At least my post would have made more sense)
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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 03:26 PM
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I really appreciate everyone's candid remarks re: our intinerary. We will be traveling for about one month and yes I have taken many night trains. I was in the military and can sleep anywhere. I was stationed in Europe for three years and did alot of traveling. We do not plan on hitting every museum, or shopping area....we've lived in Europe and are realistic in relation to what we want to see/do and time constraints. We both get bored very easy and our relaxation is to people watch and ride the train. A good relaxing day for us would be just walking around the city, sitting at an outdoors or at a cafe relaxing for a few hours or conversating with the locals. For the evening, a light dinner and short stroll or relaxing on the night train with a good book. We will probably add a day to each large city and are very flexible. Believe me, we are not trying to cram everything in at once. Been there done that!!!But there are certain cities we would like to visit again and I appreciate everyones comments....Keep them coming....I can handle it!!!
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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 03:43 PM
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It's apparent to me that you don't need any of the very good advice that's been offered here - your mind's already made up to do things your way.
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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 03:49 PM
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I tend to agree w/ TuckH. You already know exactly what you want to do and have a comeback to every suggestion. Since you lived in Europe, and since you are comfortable w/ your plans just go ahead and do it the way you've planned. . . . .
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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 03:54 PM
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I think it is a ridiculous itinerary that will spend the majority of your trip on trains.

But since your mind is made up, I'm not sure why you bothered posting here.
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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 04:15 PM
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I too think this is a over ambitious itinerary. Too many cities and too many countries and too many night trains. Would expect an itinerary like this to put alot of stress on both traveling companions.
Would recommend you drop two or three destinations and build a downtime location somewhere around two weeks into your trip.
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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 04:35 PM
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It's not that my mind is made up and I am taking everyone'suggestions into account...but the negativity is overwhelming from you guys. My circumstances may be a little different from others whom have never visited Europe and I wanted to get that across. I bothered to post here because (Suze,Janis and Tuck)if you had read completely wanted suggestions on accomodations and sights to see as well as friendly advice on the itinerary. Our time at night...majority of it sleeping will be on trains moving from one location to the other. I was hoping to obtain ideas from others whom have been to these areas...thank you Ira!!!
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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 05:14 PM
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ucnati: I don't think you understand where many of us are coming from either. Most of the people who have posted to your thread travel to Europe very frequently, some live in Europe, and a few have lived there in the past. What you perceive as negativity - most of us would see as practical advice.

Since most of us (well, I guess I should only speak for myself) think your itinerary is nearly impossible. You mentioned in the OP that you are not in a hurry - well not only is this itinerary VERY hurried, you will not have almost any down time.

That is why there haven't been many suggestions - How can someone recommend visiting something when there simply isn't enough time . . . .
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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 05:26 PM
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>I bothered to post here<

How about the folks who bothered to try to help you? Their time might be put to better use...
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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 05:33 PM
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My suggestion is to drop London and your time in Scotland and save the UK for another trip.
My suggestion is to add a day onto Krakow and see it, not just use it as a transit point.
My suggestion is to add a day onto Paris and take a daytrip if for some reason you are bored with Paris.
My suggestion is to add a day on to Budapest so that you can stroll it and appreciate it. I would also add a day onto Rome; if you feel you don't need it there then take a daytrip to Florence or Orvieto.
This trip is of the "If it's Tuesday, this must be Belgium" type. If that's what you're looking for approval on, that will be hard to get here. You did ask for comments and advice.
And check on the hostels, some do have age limits.
The Lonelyplanet message board might be of more help with hostels.
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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 05:42 PM
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Have you considered choosing 3 to 4 locations as your base for a week or so, and take day trips out from there? That would give you a lot of flexibility but also a base to relax in if you decide to modify your plan.

As much as I've researched trips, I always leave the flexibilty of changing the plan/schedule/order. By doing so, you allow the opportunity for serendipity to join you for vacation. Those are usually the best memories from vacations.

It also gives you a place to crash if you need or decide to do so.

The best part of Paris for me is strolling and slowing down. I've done hectic road trips before but I couldn't / wouldn't keep up with this Plan. I'd bail right now.
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