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Suggestions please -fine tuning 5 weeks in Europe

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May 18th, 2012, 01:00 AM
  #1
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Suggestions please -fine tuning 5 weeks in Europe

Good afternoon,

I have finally made plans for what I think will be a wonderful holiday in Europe and would appreciate your thoughts on the middle section.

The itinery is as follows:
Fly from Australia to Venice arriving mid afternoon and stay for 7 nights in an apartment (La Rosa de Venezia). Booked and confirmed.

Fly Venice to Geneva in Switzerland arriving again in the afternoon, pick up a car and drive to Chamonix (?) for overnight and to arrive in Zermatt the next day. The flights are booked and this night is open allowing for delays and for the stress of driving on the wrong side of the road ! The car hire is a must, my hubby doesnt want to use trains and it is his only request for the holiday.

I have booked 2 nights in Zermatt, 3 in Lauterbrunnen and then 2 in Weggis. These can be changed if necessary). We have been to Lucerne and Zurich briefly before. Switzerland is all about the scenery this time. Is this a reasonable schedule?

From there I have a week open to drive to Belguim. I was thinking of going through Luxembourg and onto the Netherlands (Eindhoven, Arnhem for war history sites for hubby) and across to Belgium from there. We have been to Amsterdam before and have no real desire to go back.

I have booked 3 nights in Bruge to use as a base and 2 in Brussels. Leave car on arrival in Brussels.

I have plans to book the Thalys train from Brussels to Paris (cant do yet >90 days) and have booked and confirmed an apartment in Paris near the Louvre for a week.

From there its a stop over in Dubai for 4 nights and back home to Australia. All up its just short of 6 weeks including flights.

Does anyone have any suggestions for the middle driving week? I havent found a lot about Luxembourg on the net but Trier in Germany doesnt look too far out of the way and could be interesting. Is is worth visiting Lichtenstein for a night or two after Weggis and before heading north?

Any and all suggestions would be appreciated.

Kind regards
Oneday
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May 18th, 2012, 02:37 AM
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I hope, as it is his idea, that you will make him pay for the substantial one-way fee you will incur for hiring a car in Switzerland and returning it in Belgium....
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May 18th, 2012, 03:06 AM
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I was a little underwhelmed by Liechtenstein and IMO there is much more to do in the three countries area (Maastricht, Aachen, Monschau, Trier, Luxembourg, Belgian Ardennes). All of those destinations merit a visit. If you give us some idea about what your interests are it will be easier to make some more specific suggestions. There are also a lot of destinations in Flanders which I'd recommend. If your husband is interested in war history and you are Aussies you might be interested in Ieper (Ypres), which is a significant location in WWI history (I know, Arnhem is WWII). There is also the nearby war cemetery, Tyne Cot. Very moving indeed.

Lavandula
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May 18th, 2012, 04:36 AM
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If you do go to Arnhem, I highly recommend the near-by Kröller-Müller Museum and Hoge Veluwe National Park. I have described a trip there in my trip report (Day 5)
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...etherlands.cfm

Although you say you are going "across to" Belgium from the Netherlands, you are really going farther north

The TR also includes suggestions for Brussels and other cities in Belgium.

As for the rest of your middle week, I would think any of the areas mentioned in Lavandula's post would be good. I agree with her that Lichtenstein wouldn't be a first choice compared to other options. You could easily visit Alsace on your way north.

Not sure what time of year this trip will take place and what you are interested in other than scenery in Switzerland. If you give more information it would be easier to make suggestions.
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May 18th, 2012, 04:53 AM
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We once flew Icelandair into Lux and then went on to Trier and enjoyed the wine and vineyards in that area.
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May 18th, 2012, 05:08 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions so far. I am aware of the one way car hire fee....its a big one, but not negotiable for the hubby.

Vttraveler, I will read your trip report on the weekend and get back to you with specific questions if thats ok.

Lavandula, Thankyou, I think we might skip Liechtenstein this time.
We are looking to make this holiday a much more relaxing one than usual. This time its all about the scenery, history of the area and architecture. Living in Australia we dont have the cobblestone streets, buildings hundreds of years old, and ancient ruins found in lots of areas in Europe, so we enjoy walking and discovering that environment.
I will never forget our first trip to Europe our first stop was in Bruges. The city was amazing and gave me goosebumps -the age and detail in the buildings like nothing i had seen before. We only had a day in Belgium then, hence the 5 nights this time to explore more.

Thanks again for your suggestions and i look forward to hearing more.
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May 18th, 2012, 05:11 AM
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Liechtenstein, the street art, the stamp museum, the KPMG office and what other draws are there here?

Belgian Ardennes are less attractive than you might think, I'd cross into France and visit the defensive elements in the French Ardennes
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May 18th, 2012, 05:15 AM
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As Gretchen notes, there are vineyards near Trier in both Germany and Luxembourg. It is interesting to compare the two areas which produce very different wines
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May 18th, 2012, 06:09 AM
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Trier is shaping up to be a go. We both like good food and interesting wines!

I'll have a look at the French Ardennes bilboburgler thankyou.

I forgot to mention we wil be travelling in September and early October
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May 18th, 2012, 04:37 PM
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That's actually a pretty good time to be travelling. You can sometimes get a late summer in September and the weather is good, although the leaves are starting to turn by October and you will need a jacket. Perfect time also for the wine harvest in Germany. The new wine (the white is called Federweisser and the red Roter Rauscher) is cloudy and bubbly. It's traditionally served with onion tart (Zwiebelkuchen). There are small taverns that only open for 4 months a year (Strausswirtschaften) which serve their own wines and light meals so you don't overindulge in the alcohol. There are plenty of these around Trier.

Lavandula
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May 18th, 2012, 05:06 PM
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Further to that: here are the addresses of the Strausswirtschaften on the Mosel:

http://www.die-mosel.de/erlebnis/adressen-strauss.html

Lavandula
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May 19th, 2012, 02:54 AM
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oneday--I meant to say in my last post that I will be happy to answer any questions if you have after reading my trip report.

Note also that the report has a link at the end to another thread on Belgian beers. Not sure whether you like beer as well as wine, but if you do, Belgium is certainly the place to indulge. Belgium also has very good food overall--much more than moules frites.

I hope you are blessed with the same kind of great weather we enjoyed in Belgium last fall.

I don't remember a lot of detail about the vineyards along the MOselle in Luxembourg because our visit there was many years ago. But it is a pretty area and the wine was quite good--much drier than the wine produced across the German border
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May 19th, 2012, 04:14 AM
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Oneday, we have been on 2 european road trips and about to embark on our 3rd in june and hubby loves to drive also. We have paid a couple of one way fees and sometimes you cant do anything about it and just add it on to the cost of the trip.

One question, have you been to Dubai before because i think that 4 days is way too much time there. On our last return trip we spent 2 nights and were able to fit in a city tour, some gold shopping and if we wanted a night desert safari but we decided against the safari. Possibly 3 nights would be better because it depends on when you arrive in the city.

Like yourselves we are aussies and crave ancient history, the
cobblestones and castles etc which we dont have here.

SOunds like a very nice trip!!
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May 19th, 2012, 05:07 AM
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If you log onto the Trier website they will book you a wine tour (couple of hours) to the Trier wine area. This is basically Olewig, not many producers but Peter Terges is the best though he speaks no English. If he takes you back to his bar, order some sausage and try his sweat wines, sold at silly low prices these are some of the best wines in the area.

Have a look at the links on food and drink in http://www.mybikeguide.co.uk/Mosel_Guide.php for more info on Mosel
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May 19th, 2012, 01:34 PM
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oh dear "sweet wines" so much nicer
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May 19th, 2012, 01:48 PM
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We really like Maastricht. It's a nice small city with interesting old buildings, and the site of one of the biggest art auctions in Europe (in December, I think), and although it won't be on when you go, the general vibe of the place is pleasant. Just a nice, attractive, laid-back town. There is also a neat tour to a salt dome near town that is riddled with tunnels that were used during WWII to hide art, resistance fighters, and allied soldiers from the Nazis.
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May 20th, 2012, 05:26 PM
  #17
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Thankyou all so much for your suggestions, it is wonderful.
I think I have it worked out now if you can tell give me your opinions. Im also not sure about accomodation if you have any suggestions. For this week i'd like to keep the cost to around AUS$200 per night.

Day 1 Weggis to Alsace region -o/n Riquewihr
Day 2&3 Trier region o/n Trier
Day 4 Maastricht, Aachen o/n ?
Day 5&6 Arnhem, Nijmegan o/n Arnhem
Day 7 drive to Brugges via Antwerp

Thankyou
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May 20th, 2012, 05:27 PM
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Rushngal, we will have basically 3 full days and a couple of hours in Dubai due to flight times.

We had thought to do the following:
Day 1. the Hop off Hop on bus to have a general look around, museum, old town & includes Dhow cruise. I have us booked in for high tea at the Burg Al Arab at 4.00pm
Day 2. Burj Khalifa, flight over the coast and shopping malls
Day 3. Night desert Safari, gold shopping if there is any money / credit left

The only activity booked it the High Tea so it is all open to change.
Thankyou
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May 20th, 2012, 06:45 PM
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I like the website www.booking.com for accommodation because you can reserve rooms without paying upfront, unlike others such as Venere. It allows you to select AUD as your currency, and there are prices comparable to the other search engines. We also travel with the Flair chain of hotels (usually in settings outside the cities) but unfortunately their website is only in German - they are usually in very pretty settings.

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May 20th, 2012, 09:51 PM
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Oneday, your itinerary sounds fantastic for dubai. Wow high tea at the Burg Al Arab is that the 7 star resort. The closest we got to that building was a look at the front door, We hired a driver to take us around. If i recall it is very expensive to eat there and thats the only way you can get into the place. We were there at the end of june and it was 45c but everything is airconditioned. Will never forget flying into sydney and the pilot told us it was 2c at 6am in the morning. the whole plane let out a big drone. So funny!! When will you be in dubai?
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