Thoughts on 3 week European Trek


Oct 18th, 2008, 09:14 AM
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Thoughts on 3 week European Trek

Hi all,

Well, we are at it again. This time we are considering a 3 week trip including Germany, Italy, France. Looking to do it at the end of June, first couple of weeks in July. Let me know what you think...

Day 1: Fly Orlando to Munich

Day 2: Hang out and relax for a change

Day 3, 4, 5, 6:- Munich, Fussen and Salzburg

Day 7: Train to Venice

Day 8, 9: Venice

Day 10: Train Venice to Lyon

Day 11, 12, 13: Drive around Lyon area, down to Avignon

Day 14: Drive/Train to Paris

Day 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 Paris and surrounds (Day trip Chartres, Day trip Giverny)

Day 20: Train back to Munich

Day 21: Fly Munich to Orlando
daveesl is offline  
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Oct 18th, 2008, 09:47 AM
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Might I suggest an "open jaw" routing instead? Fly into Munich, and then plan your itinerary so you fly back from Italy. It would save a lot of back tracking.

nukesafe is offline  
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Oct 18th, 2008, 10:45 AM
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I see the France segment as a seperate trip. I would extend your basic itinerary by adding the Dolomites, Lago Como, and Luzern after Venice. If you have to do Paris then fly there from Venice.
bobthenavigator is offline  
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Oct 18th, 2008, 10:53 AM
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You can certainly do that trip - but Avignon is sort of an outlier. You're doing a LOT of traveling for just one place. I would save that for a trip covering much more of southern France - which has a huge amount to see/do.

Also agree do NOT fly into and out of Munich. Do an open jaws ticket instead - or you're losing a whole day for nothing.

Separately I would do the whole trip by car - since you're going to a lot of places where a car makes sense. (But then we love driving in europe and almost always do road trips.)

Pick it up when you leave Munich and drop it off when you arrive in Paris.

It makes packing and luggage much simpler - and you have the freedom to see as many cute little places as you want on the way from one city to another.

nytraveler is offline  
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Oct 18th, 2008, 11:03 AM
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Can I come?

Sounds wonderful - esp. with the few tweaks above - I like the idea of ending in Paris.

I don't like to drive in Europe. Love the trains - it's part of the experience for me and so much more relaxing. Just another opinion on that.

gruezi is offline  
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Oct 18th, 2008, 11:30 AM
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Can you fly direct to Munich from Orlando? I know you can fly direct now to Frankfurt, but I thought you had to go through Atlanta to get to other German cities.
Sibelius is offline  
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Oct 18th, 2008, 12:53 PM
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I knew you guys would come through.

We love driving trips, and have seldom done trains, so we were figuring to mix in some train trips with driving.

When I said Lyon, I was just using it as a location. We are looking at doing Avignon, Nimes and who knows.

We are doing this on FF miles (Star Alliance), so I am not sure if we can do the open jaw or not. Anyone know if we can, as we would prefer to fly in one, fly out another.

Yeah, no direct flight from Orlando to Munich, connect through either Charlotte or Philly.

Have no firm plans yet, just started putting it together.

Keep the ideas coming.

daveesl is offline  
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Oct 18th, 2008, 08:25 PM
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Since you will fly through Charlotte or Philly, I assume your miles are with US Airways. Yes, you can fly open jaw. Here, from their website on the rules of their frequent flyer program:

"Open jaw travel is not permitted when an en route stopover is included in the award itinerary. Open jaw travel is defined as flying to a city and returning from a different city on a valid routing having one common city. The distance between the two open jaw cities cannot exceed the distance of the outbound or return trip. This may include certain itinerary restrictions. Check with the booking agent when making reservations."

I think you are trying to cover too much distance, and go in too many directions. Check the train travel times on . Some of your proposed train trips would be really long. Since Paris and Germany seem to be priorities, why not drop Venice and France other than Paris, and see the stuff in between? You could go from Salzburg through Switzerland and on to Paris.
lovisa is offline  
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Oct 19th, 2008, 02:17 AM
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Hi D,

Your title is correct.

This is a trek, not a vacation.

You are fine up to day 9.
The train ride between Munich and Venice is quite scenic, in parts.

If Paris is a must, I suggest:

flying from Venice VCE to Paris ORY.

Lyon is 2hr from Paris on the TGV - 22E pp.

Avignon is 2:40 hr - 22E pp.

Visit Provence in the middle of your Paris sojourn, and fly home from Paris.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
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Oct 19th, 2008, 06:06 AM
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We are still in the "considering" stage, so the input is great.

We both love to do alot when we travel. We aren't ones to sit around, but instead are pretty much on the go from early morning until late at night.

Now that I know that an open jaw may be a possibility on FF miles, that helps.

I put in Lyon simply as a close directional location. In reality we are focused on going to Avignon/Nimes area.

We love seeing the countryside and while we normally drive, we thought it might be fun to take trains for several parts of the trip. That's why we gave full days for the travel legs.

To be honest, I'm not really set on the Venice leg, but it is a consideration.

I know the train leg from Munich to Venice is about 7.5 hours. From Venice to Avignon is about 13 hours.

Thanks for all the tips and please keep the ideas coming, we like both positive and negative ideas.

daveesl is offline  
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Oct 19th, 2008, 06:17 AM
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On Star Alliane couldn't you fly Orlando direct to Paris on Lufthansa and skip Germany all together. If Venice is really on your mind it's a cheap flight from Paris. You coud train to Lyon , a city that deserves at least 2 or 3 days, then get your car to do Avignon. I love driving in France.Then back to Paris either by car or train.
avalon is offline  
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Oct 19th, 2008, 09:35 AM
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I actually did a very similar itinerary back in 2002. It was a fine trip, but at that time I had only been to Europe a few times and I was still in the "gotta see as much as possible" mode. Since then I've slowed down and spent longer in each of fewer destinations and prefer that type of travel now. But there is something to be said for getting a taste of places rather than in depth stays.

The trip we did that is similar to what you are looking is this: Flew into Munich, picked up car, 1 night Fussen, 1 night Hall, 1 night Saltzburg, 3 Venice (no problem leaving car for three days in Mestre), 3 nights Umbria (Perugia), 2 Rome (left car in Orvieto, took train in), 2 Orvieto, 1 San Gimignao, 2 Cinque Terre, 1 Anncey France, 2 Auxerre, 3 Paris.

I have mixed feelings on this. As I typed the above I thought "I can't believe I did such a rushed trip" but on the other hand I have very fond memories of that trip, as do my husband and two daughters.

The one thing that does jump out at me is that you are going into Italy for just 3 nights in Venice. While Venice is fabulous, if that is all you are doing in Italy, it might make more sense to save Italy for another time and have more time in France.

isabel is offline  
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Oct 19th, 2008, 09:52 AM
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hi dave,

IMHO you need to work out where you really, really want to go on this trip, else you run the risk identified by Ira that you'll spend too much time travelling between places.

there are several very nice trips you could do in 3 weeks that take in some of your proposed destinations:

fly into Munich, drive through the alps and dolomites to Venice, fly to Paris, fly home.

fly into munich, drive through Switzerland to milan, train to Nice/Avignon, drive/train to Paris.

fly into Venice, dive through dolomites etc. to Munich, train/fly to Paris.

I really don't think that you can do Munich, Venice, South of France, Lyon, AND Paris. not and not need another holiday afterwards.

regards, ann
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Oct 19th, 2008, 05:10 PM
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Once again, thanks to all for your ideas and advice.

We have been to Italy several times, but never to Venice.

My health is starting to deteriorate, so I'm concerned that our twice yearly travels may become fewer in nature, perhaps far fewer. We made a list of several areas in Europe we have not been to and want to see.

After this trip, our next target is Japan/China. Our friends in Japan have been after us for years to visit them. They have been here 3 times and have traveled with us on a couple of other trips, so we do need to go to their home at some point in time.

As I said, we do many trips whirlwind, we actually enjoy those. As an example, last June we did 2 weeks in England/Ireland. A few years ago we took our Japanese friends on a 10 day Scotland/England trip. They said they could not believe how much they saw and did and that it was the best trip they ever took. For us, that is exiting, not so much relaxing.

We are still throwing around ideas and probably won't have a firm plan for a few more weeks. That is why I love hearing ideas from you all.

Keep em coming

daveesl is offline  
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Oct 19th, 2008, 06:06 PM
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If you keep to your current plan, the only thing I would strongly suggest is dropping the car in Avignon and taking the train from there to Paris.
As an earlier poster said, it's 2:45 hours by TGV. You arrive in Paris at the Gare de Lyon with no car dropoff hassles.
I am so glad we did this about a month ago. We opted for first class tickets in a quiet car--no cell phones allowed. Heaven.
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Oct 19th, 2008, 06:56 PM
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I agree with Ann and Ira on this. You have 3 venues here that you could easily combine 2 of the 3 but not all 3. Decide your priorities and do not forget about car drop charges one country to another.
bobthenavigator is offline  
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Oct 19th, 2008, 07:52 PM
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Your itinerary could be decided by the availability of frequent flyer seats. Even though it's a long time until summer, summer seats to Europe are snapped up fast.

You might want to explore what's available, put a hold on an available itinerary, and figure out where you would go with starting point A and departure point B.

If you are concerned about deteriorating health, I think it's much easier to have a car than lug suitcases up and down train stairs.

lovisa is offline  
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Oct 19th, 2008, 09:58 PM
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There is a TGV that goes directly to Marseilles/Avignon from Geneva in about 3 hours. You could bypass Lyon and do the Geneva area before heading down to the south of France.
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