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Itinerary for European trip with 18 year old son

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Itinerary for European trip with 18 year old son

Old Jan 4th, 2015, 05:15 PM
  #61  
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It will probably be just myself, my son and possibly my oldest daughter and husband. My husband doesn't have the wanderlust that I do, and would be perfectly content to go camping or backpacking here in California. If he can get the time off, and I can convince him, he'll be there. My middle daughter is very busy with college, so she'll be with us another time. My oldest daughter really wants to go, but she'll have a one year old by then, and it would be very tricky to take along a baby. Not sure if that's the best idea. So I'm just counting on myself and my son for the moment.
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Old Oct 10th, 2017, 07:10 PM
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Well, I was finally able to make this trip happen last summer, so I wanted to let everyone know what we did. We decided that Germany should have it's own trip, so we ended up going to Paris, Bath, London, Oslo and Reykjavik on the way back. Here's what we did:

Oslo- We stayed 10 minutes outside of town in a cottage along the water. It was clean, crisp and we saw fireworks every night. It was so beautiful and calm. We just wanted to look out at the water. We saw the mural in city hall that depicted life under Nazi rule(which was very moving), and strolled Karl Johans Gate, the main street in the center of Oslo that leads from the train station to the Royal Palace. It's colorful and partially tree lined. We also went to the Norwegian Folk Museum and saw stave churches, which were amazing. I really enjoyed the Viking Ship Museum because they not only had the amazing Viking ships, but there were just so many interesting artifacts they had from the Viking era. I made sure to order seafood in Oslo, even though it's not exactly my favorite thing, and I wasn't disappointed. It was fresh and delicious. My son loved Akershus Fortress, with the old cannons that had dents from being blasted. Even though we were only there for a few days, I felt we saw a lot.

Paris-We flew to Paris on SAS, which had great prices but not so great food. Definitely bring snacks if you don't want the mint and pea muffin. Paris was incredible! We stayed in the Marais district, just down from the Bastille. We stayed in a flat close to bakeries and restaurants. It was a very authentic experience. We had to walk up 5 flights of stairs to get there, and there was no AC, but they had the tall windows that looked out to a courtyard, and we kept the widows open to cool down at night. The Notre Dame was only a 10 minute walk, so we did that and were so amazed by that church! We also saw the St. Chappelle, which had the beautiful stained glass windows. We went to the Invalades (Army Museum), which my husband and son loved, as well as the Orsay and Louvre. We took a private tour of the Grand Boulevards, Palais Royal and some off-the-beaten-path parks and churches (afriendinparis.com/experience-paris-as-a-local/). We got a sneak peak at the newly refurbished Paris library and strolled the boulevards for antiques and famous chocolate shops. I bought some fine, French parfume at Annick Goutal on the Champs Elysees for my daughters and ate some of the best food that I've ever had. We had croissants from a bakery next door every morning and had ice cream at Berthillon. There's always a line, but it is so worth it! I was amazed at the freshness of everything, and I live in California where we have a lot of fresh food. We saw the Galleries LaFayette, but the French boutiques were much more charming and classic French, in my opinion. We walked so much that by the end of the night, we were too tired to go out after sunset, which was 10:00. We forced ourselves to do it on our last night and were so glad we did. Paris at night among the glittering lights and people laughing along the Siene is a memory I'll never forget. We definitely want to go back to see the things we didn't have time to see. Ah, we'll always have Paris.

Bath-We took the high speed train to London then another train to Bath. I really wanted to see the Roman baths, and they were amazing. What the Romans could do in their time is awe-inspiring. We also had a traditional English tea at the Pump Room, which was elegant and delicious, as well as nostalgic. The Pump Room was one of the settings of the Jane Austen novel Northanger Abbey. There's also a Jane Austen museum, which unfortunately was pretty underwhelming. My husband almost fell over the benches from nodding off during the presentation. I wish I were speaking figuratively. Bath is beautiful to walk around in at night, but our two nights were enough to see what we needed to see.

London- The best part of London was the Tower of London, hands down. There was so much to see and do. We spent the whole day there, and it was completely worth it. We took a tour and had a very entertaining and informative guide. We also saw Westminster Abbey, the National Gallery, Buckingham Palace, Victoria and Albert Museum, Shakespeare's Globe and another traditional tea. We saw the Tower Bridge from the Thames on a shuttle cruise and took a cheesy hop on/off tour around the city. We also walked a lot! For all the rich food we had in both London and Paris, we didn't gain any weight.

Reykjavik- We stayed here for 3 days on a stopover deal from Icelandair. This city was even more expensive than Oslo. We saw Hallgrimskirkja Church, a viking archaeological site and did the Golden Circle Tour, which includes Thingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall. It was crisp but absolutely stunning. We also went to the Blue Lagoon, which was touristy, but still worth it. There was more that I definitely wanted to see, and my son fell in love with the place. The people were so friendly, and it was gorgeous there.

So there you have it, my long-winded description of our trip. I'll never forget it. Thanks for all your help.
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Old Oct 10th, 2017, 07:27 PM
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Sounds like you had a wonderful trip . . . except for the cheesy H-o-H-o bus (we could have warned you)

Thanks for reporting back.
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Old Oct 11th, 2017, 01:20 AM
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Yes, thanks for the TR. Great that you had such a good time, and that you still have Germany to look forward to. For a medievalist like yourself, you might like to think about seeing some less visited parts, like Erfurt, Naumburg, the Harz mountains, Goettingen, Magdeburg, Bamberg, [though that is more on the tourist map] and I'm sure many other parts that are not on the normal tourist trails.
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Old Oct 11th, 2017, 01:24 AM
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Wonderful gift to your son and great family memories for you, nice of you to let everyone know how it went.
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Old Oct 11th, 2017, 04:34 AM
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Thanks for reporting back! Glad you had a good trip.
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Old Oct 11th, 2017, 06:34 AM
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The link doesn't exist anymore, unfortunately.
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Old Oct 11th, 2017, 08:29 AM
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So how did your reluctant husband like the trip?
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Old Oct 11th, 2017, 09:22 AM
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>>The link doesn't exist anymore, unfortunately.
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Old Oct 13th, 2017, 02:39 PM
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@Mimar- My husband absolutely loved the trip. He especially loved Paris! He thought the culture was amazing and has promised to take me back, just the two of us. He now needs a baguette every few days! We found the Parisians to be very kind, despite our broken French. They seemed glad that we attempted to talk in French and were very helpful.
@Annhig- Thank you so much. I'll keep that information for our trip to Germany. I appreciate all the advice from you guys. Between this, travel books and blogs, I was able to do the trip at a very reasonable price on my own.
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Old Oct 14th, 2017, 12:49 AM
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no probs, chasing the sun. We were amazed by the variety of the things to see in Northern Germany - Hanover is well worth a couple of days as well if you could fit that in, and further south east Halle is another undiscovered gem. We also loved Leipzig, Dresden, Weimar, Goslar - there is just so much to see in that region.
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Old Oct 14th, 2017, 03:01 AM
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Instead of Brugge and Gent, stay in Gent and do a day trip to Brugge.
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Old Oct 14th, 2017, 06:52 AM
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Ah but Bruges is really dreamy after daytripping hoards have left -day trip in and you miss Bruges at night- surealistically beautiful. Gent is a much larger busier city with vest-pocket Bruges-like medieval-looking areas - stay in Bruges IMO and day trip to Gent and return to a relaxed neat Bruges after daytrippers have gone.
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Old Oct 14th, 2017, 07:25 AM
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menachem: >>Instead of Brugge and Gent, stay in Gent and do a day trip to Brugge.
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Old Oct 14th, 2017, 01:37 PM
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Thanks for pointing that out jan! Should remember to look at top threads as only bottom one comes up.
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Old Oct 14th, 2017, 01:46 PM
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"Should remember to look at top threads as only bottom one comes up."

How are you doing that? When I click through from my profile I get the top of the thread.
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Old Oct 15th, 2017, 01:03 AM
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I don't understand that either, Pal. my profile works the same as Thursdaysd.
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Old Oct 16th, 2017, 09:12 PM
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it may be the browser, not the profile
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Old Oct 17th, 2017, 10:24 AM
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Oops I misspoke - mine comes up top too! But I click on so quick I fail to see - that's why I said the last post always comes up - I do so quickly I forgot I do it. Rare to have an old thread.
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Old Dec 5th, 2017, 08:17 PM
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It's fine to give me ideas. I still hope to go to the places I didn't visit. My first trip to Europe only stoked the fire more! My husband and I are talking about Italy soon, mainly Rome, Florence, and Venice with some side trips to places like Orvietto and Verona. After that, We want to do the Germany trip with my son and daughters if they can get time off. Annhig, my son really wants to see Dresden! I plan on keeping this thread to use for that trip, so I'm open to your expertise. Thanks so much!
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