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thank you for helping to make our european trip fantastic

thank you for helping to make our european trip fantastic

Old Jul 31st, 2005, 08:37 AM
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thank you for helping to make our european trip fantastic

In the spring I was using this board everyday to look for answers and suggestions while planning our 7 week trip. As you may or may not remember my husband and I are in our 30's and travel quite a bit but we are about to start a family and wanted to do one last blow out trip while it's still just the 2 of us. We had the trip of a lifetime thanks, in no small part, to all the help you guys offered. From restaurants in Istanbul to trenitalia website snafus; from reasonable driving time estimates and routes in the south of France to where to drop off the car before heading to Paris (Angouleme...such a great idea...so easy and mellow); all of this advice helped to make a monster of a trip feel manageable. We had a ball. Thank you. I'm not one to write blow by blow descriptions and trip reports but I do have a few random recommendations for hotels and restaurants and sights. I hope that in the future I can be as much help as you all have been.
Istanbul- Hotel Nomade- a REALLY good deal. A small, modest, modern hotel. Very hip with a fantastic rooftop bar and terrace overlooking the Blue Mosque. Amazing breakfasts. Doesn't have all the bells and whistles of a 4 star but is chic, friendly, convenient and inexpensive.

the Mosques, the Cistern, the Aya Sofia, a cruise on the Bosphorous...they are all musts but don't forget to just sit in a cafe and play backgammon!

Amalfi Coast- It's unbelievably gorgeous and unbelievably overrun with tourists (we were there at the end of May). It took quite a bit of creative tooling around to be where the crowds weren't. One big suggestion: Spend the night in Capri. 5pm is the magic hour and the mobs get back on the ferries and you feel as if you have the place to yourself (...ish...). Pompeii was one of the highlights of the trip for us. Wherever the throngs were, we went in the other direction and found ourselves meandering along cobbled streets all by ourselves and getting a real sense of what this city must have been like. It's staggering.

Rome- i think it might be my favorite city in the world (and I'm a New Yorker!). Some restaurant suggestions: Al Presidente, Via in Arcione 94-5. Pricey but DELICIOUS. near the Trevi fountain. Vizi Capitali, Trastevere, Vicolo della Renella 94. Moderate prices, fantastic service, delicious food. Obika (I don't have the address). It's a mozzarella bar! a fantastic lunch place that's about a 5 minute walk from the famous Giolitti Gelateria. Cafe Sant Eustachio in the Piazza Sant'Eustachio. The best coffee in Rome.

Florence-the must sees are pretty well known. We had the good fortune to be in the last group admitted to the Uffizi for the day. We didn't have reservations, we just chanced it. Upon entering, we realized we had to use the restrooms which were all the way at the other end of the galleries. So we went and then worked our way from back to front. The delightful result was that we never had to battle the picture taking crowds and found ourselves in certain rooms all by ourselves! I'm told that's unheard of in the Uffizi (and after experiencing the madness in the Louvre I understand how lucky we were!).
The museum at the Duomo is a must see.

These are just some thoughts from the first half of our trip. I'll post a few from the second half a little later. Although it's the France portion and I can't imagine having anything to say that hasn't been said here! Again, thanks for all your help. I hope that my few thoughts will help someone in return.

henryandcasper is offline  
Old Jul 31st, 2005, 10:16 AM
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ira
 
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Glad you enjoyed your trip, HC
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Old Jul 31st, 2005, 10:46 AM
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Thanks for posting some of your adventure.....looking forward to hearing about the rest of your trip.
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Old Jul 31st, 2005, 07:32 PM
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Hello henryand casper,, thanks for sharing your trip. It sure sounds like you had a wonderful and fun time. I am glad you stayed overnight on Capri, it is so nice after the daytrippers go home.

I love long trips, it is so nice not to feel rushed. Best wishes.
LoveItaly is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2005, 05:39 AM
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Thanks! Great report so far. How lucky you could do this before you have kids! Enjoy.
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