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Itinerary for European trip with 18 year old son

Itinerary for European trip with 18 year old son

Old Dec 31st, 2014, 10:59 AM
  #21  
 
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I hope that the new itinerary works out well, chasingthesun. it looks a great deal more relaxed and you will be able to adapt it as you go so long as you work out a rough list of what you want to see when. for example, Day 17 has you visiting the Musee D'Orsay but that won't work if Day 17 happens to be a Monday as that's the day it's shut.

also as others have said, it's useful to have an idea of what sites are near each other so that you maximise what you can see - in Paris, for example, Notre Dame and Ste Chappelle, Les Invalides and the Rodin museum, etc. it's also worth finding out what will be on while you are in various places - the Grands Palais in Paris, the many theatres in London, possibly a concert or two in Berlin.

now you have a working itinerary, you can begin to work out the detail!

have fun!
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Old Dec 31st, 2014, 11:37 AM
  #22  
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Thank you for your suggestions. You've all given me a lot to think about. I was looking for something fun for my son with the scooter idea, but it seems like that would be more trouble than it's worth, so it's out. Thank you for the advice about the dinner cruise. I'll just take the ride without it. Thank you Gretchen for the Sainte Chappelle suggestion. I've heard that it is more beautiful even than the Notre Dame by [email protected] Your comments haven't fallen on deaf ears. I'll admit, my biggest struggle is Germany. Whereas we can mostly see what interests us in Paris and London, Germany's sights are so spread out. How can we see Berlin, Nuremburg and Rothenburg without moving around a bit? Thank you for the train info. I will look into it for sure!
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Old Dec 31st, 2014, 11:42 AM
  #23  
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Thank you annhig for all your itinerary help! Yes, planning the activities that make sense together is my next task. I do have some Fodor's and Lonely Planet guidebooks that will help in that regard. Thank you!
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Old Dec 31st, 2014, 12:49 PM
  #24  
 
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www.eurostar.com for Chunnel train fares and the early bird gets the worm - you can book often months ahead to nab the limited in number discounted tickets that are offered and can quickly be sold out - try for a mid-week day for best chance of getting them - Tu, We and Thur are said to be the slackest days on the Eurostar trains Paris to London that go thru the Chunnel to France.
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Old Dec 31st, 2014, 01:44 PM
  #25  
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Thank you very much, PalenQ!
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Old Dec 31st, 2014, 02:06 PM
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Thank you Gretchen for the Sainte Chappelle suggestion. I've heard that it is more beautiful even than the Notre Dame by some

There is NO doubt about that-but sort of apples and oranges also. ND is a cathedral--Ste. Chapelle is, well a "chapel" of unbelievable stained glass windows.
I am now realizing you also have not been to Europe. Please believe those of us who are encouraging you to cut down on some things and do things in better depth. You will not be sorry--it is all so special and memorable.
Personally, I think a little more time in France and a bit less in Germany would be good, particularly since you have now connected your family to WWII. I am not quite getting the WWII buff and the time in Germany. The battles were to the west, notwithstanding that Hitler's empire was in Munich and environs.
I'd suggest some serious guide book reading. Montmartre is "interesting" in Paris, but not for too long, since you have such a short time.
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Old Dec 31st, 2014, 02:22 PM
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I agree w/ Gretchen re Germany would not be my first choice for WWII interests.

Sure, there are lots of connections to WWII in Germany - Munich, Bertchesgaden, concentration camps, etc. But those are mostly related to Hitler/Nazis.

France, Battle of the Bulge sites in Belgium, London, Dover Castle, Bletchley Park - those are are a few of the places I'd go for WWII interests.
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Old Dec 31st, 2014, 02:51 PM
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try some of your ideas in this trip planning website.
http://www.rome2rio.com
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Old Dec 31st, 2014, 02:52 PM
  #29  
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I see your point Gretchen. I'm still working on it, but do plan on spending more time in Paris. Germany is really for my son, who honestly, is really interested in German music right now, as well as WWII. This gift is partially a gift to him, as well as myself. I really want to see London and Paris, and as long as he can see either a part of Germany or Norway, I'll be satisfied.
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Old Dec 31st, 2014, 05:29 PM
  #30  
 
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Then you need to start doing the research.
Germany is GERMANY for WWII, and that is fine. If he is interested in techno music which I think also may be Germany, then fine.
We took our 3 children to Europe when our first son graduated from high school. AND for 3 weeks. We did things THEY wanted to do and things WE wanted to do.
You need to say--IMO--it's OUR trip. Plan it that way.
All of us, kids and parents, have returned, some a number of times, since that trip. It's a part of an education you can give a child IF they are lucky enough to have such. I suggest you approach it as that--he'll return, because he'll have the seed planted. Don't try to do it all for him.
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Old Dec 31st, 2014, 06:05 PM
  #31  
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Thank you, Gretchen. It is OUR trip, and we both deserve to have some activities we both enjoy. This has been a long time coming for me, and after all, I know he will return. I took my oldest daughter to two Hawaiian islands when she graduated college a year and a half ago, and she's already planning her next trip! I will continue the research, but feel like I'm closer to a more doable itinerary.
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Old Jan 1st, 2015, 04:47 AM
  #32  
 
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One can find lots of interesting things in Paris related to WWII, although not battle sites, of course. But aside from teh DDay beaches, there are several museums in Paris with excellent WWII exhibits. Les Invalides, the military museum, just redid their WWII section a few years ago and it is fantastic. There is also a museum just devoted to the French resistance and liberation of Paris (near gare Montparnasse, it is also very good). this is it
http://museesleclercmoulin.paris.fr/

That, plus the day trip to Normandy beaches should satisfy him. I also did a day trip to Bayeux, I did the afternoon DDay beach tour, having arrived by train around 11 am, probably, and then taking the train back to Paris around 6 pm.
I used this company for the tour, they were excellent and return you to the station. http://www.normandy-sightseeing-tours.com/

I did their Omaha Beach afternoon tour.

I think the Segway idea would be a good one to substitute for scooters in Paris.
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Old Jan 1st, 2015, 06:51 AM
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Sure, there are lots of connections to WWII in Germany - Munich, Bertchesgaden, concentration camps, etc. But those are mostly related to Hitler/Nazis.>>

that's not surprising really, but also it's no reason to dismiss them. The Deutsches Historisches Museum on Unter Den Linden in Berlin is excellent [all exhibits described in english as well as german] and of course there is the Reichestag, the Brandenberg Gate, the bits of the Wall that are left, etc, etc, - all give a different and valuable perspective to what can be seen on the "Allied" side.

chasingthesun - I think that your existing itinerary does a good job of combining the places in Germany that you want to see, though I might give myself another day in Berlin.
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Old Jan 1st, 2015, 06:56 AM
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"The battles were to the west"

Hardly. Do NOT try saying that to a Russian, for instance. Plus, it was a WORLD war. The Normandy invasion was to the west, certainly, but that was in 1944 and the war had been going since 1939 for Europeans.
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Old Jan 1st, 2015, 08:11 AM
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Of course - everyone knows that (or should) . . . but in the context of this thread, the OP said absolutely nothing about going to eastern Europe. For the regions they are visiting . . . most of the major battles/sites to the west.
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Old Jan 1st, 2015, 08:13 AM
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In terms of WWII interests and Paris, there's an excellent (and readable) book on the liberation of Paris called "Is Paris Burning?" It was made into a movie, which I then saw, that IMHO is not very good, but contains from actual footage from the time period so is worth viewing.

On our recent trip with our 15yo DD and 19yo DS, we visited the LaClerc museum and Les Invalides. Our opinion was that the first museum was a bit too dense on the small informational cards, but maybe a WWII buff would appreciate it. The exhibit at Les Invalides was indeed very good and very detailed.

In London, with your interests, take a little time and visit the Temple Church. That part of the City is interesting in general.
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Old Jan 1st, 2015, 08:21 AM
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Yes of course, for a medievalist, the Temple Church should be on your itinerary. It is an ancient building with tombs of the Templars in the floor.

You can also have lunch in Middle Temple Hall [where Twelfth Night was first performed] which whilst not medieval, is pretty old. [Elizaethan]. I see from the website that you can now combine lunch with a tour of the Hall:

http://www.middletemple.org.uk/venue...lunch-in-hall/

the gardens of Inner Temple are very beautiful and open to the public between 12 and 3pm on weekdays.

you might also like a look at the Royal Courts of Justice on the other side of Fleet Street, but they are mock, not real gothic, having been built in the 1800s.
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Old Jan 1st, 2015, 09:07 AM
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For WWII in Britain, besides Bletchley (just visited, very interesting but a bit chilly in December!) and the Churchill War rooms I would have thought that the Imperial War Museum London and Duxford would be musts. I seem to remember a quite good section in the Museum of London, too, but it's been a while.
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Old Jan 1st, 2015, 09:09 AM
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One thing to note about Paris is that there are plaques on the walls where WWII resistance fighters were killed by the Nazis. Plaques are all similar and say simply

Ici est tombe
with the person's name and the date

Perhaps look for them as you wander the city
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Old Jan 1st, 2015, 09:59 AM
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Paris' Drancy train station - just north of the Gare du Nord - saw many trains to "the East" filled with Jewish prisoners being sent off to Auschwitz and Birkenau and other camps - the Drancy camp was near the train station where there are some memorial plaques today I believe.
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