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To bobthenavigator: need more help, please

To bobthenavigator: need more help, please

Old Oct 27th, 2008, 08:09 PM
  #41  
 
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TAW: I think you've made a good plan. But I would still pick up the car in Garmisch-Partenkirchen rather than Innsbruck. Avis and Hertz both have locations in Garmisch. And car rental is a little cheaper in Germany than in Austria. However, if you rent a car in Germany, you will have to buy a weekly "vignette" to drive in Austria.

If you pick up your car in Germany, you can just drive it straight to the airport outside Munich after you leave St. Gilgen, and drop it off on your departure day. According to Via Michelin, from St Gilgen to the airport is 219 km., and takes 2:16. That way, you can easily spend your last night in St. Gilgen, and make it to the airport for a 4:30 p.m. flight.
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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 11:14 AM
  #42  
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Lovisa: Thank you!
Is the "vignette" costly?
Hmm...It looks like I have to change trains to get to Garmisch-Partenkirchen from Verona?
I am trying to avoid changing trains whenever possible.
Maybe I should just do Verona to Munich and then get car?
Which makes more sense, logistically?
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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 12:39 PM
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TAW, an Austrian Vignette for 10 days is under 8 Euro I believe. Not really expensive at all and the roads in Austria are in good repair!
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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 12:43 PM
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Changing trains is very easy. The only source of anxiety is figuring out from which platform a train departs, and having enough time to confortably make the connection.

The Trenitalia website does not show from which platforms trains arrive and depart. However in every station there are electronic boards which show the track number (binario) according to the train number and final destination of the train. There are also big white and yellow paper posters of arrivals and departures in each station which show chronologically all trains arriving or departing from that station, and the usual track they depart from.

Before buying your ticket in Italy, print out the schedule for the train or possible trains you want, and point out the one you want to the ticket seller to cut down on misunderstandings because of pronunciation. You can buy the ticket anytime after you arrive in Italy. Unless its Friday or Sunday afternoon or a holiday, it's highly unlikely you'll have any problems.

Also, if you have a print out, you can see the final destination on the train and follow the stops with your printout (i.e., you'll know that your stop is the 5th stop after stops x, y, and z or whatever).

However, the rail sites for Germany, Switzerland, and Austria do display the track numbers, so it simplifies things for you.
You should look at the Austrian Rail site English version:

http://www.oebb.at/en/

Input :Verona Porta Nuova [the main station] and Garmisch. Look at the details for each selection.

As an example, for th 8:59 a.m. train you thought you'd take from Verona, the Austrian website shows it arrives in Innsbruck at 12:33 at platform 6, and the regional train (no reservations) to Garmisch leaves at 13:04 from platform 2.

So you know where you are going and have plenty of time to make the transition.

Normally you change tracks by going down a stairs, take a passage under the tracks, and go back up a flight of stairs. So you do need to be able to go up and down a flight of stairs with your luggage, but it's not a big deal so long as you can handle your suitcase yourself. Platform numbers are prominently marked. The first step up to the train may be a little steep.

In answer to your other questions, Ira has a question regarding an Austrian vignette going right now, and according to replies given, its current cost is 7.7 Euro for 10 days, and you can buy it in any gas station (do a search on this board).

I would not recommend going in to Munich to pick up your car. The difficulty in picking up or dropping off a car rises exponentially according to the size of the city.

As to dropping your car in Italy, it really doesn't matter whether you drop it in Verona, Trento, or Bolzano. They are all on the train line to Innsbruck. It really depends on how long you want to drive after you leave Bevagna, and what you want to see in your brief one night stop.

I'd initially suggested Bolzano because it's closer to Austria, quite a nice city, and smaller in population. According to my 2006 Michelin Red Guide, Verona has a population of 259,068, Bolzano has a population of 97,236. Based on population alone, it's probably an easier place to drop a car.

When I'm trying to figure out which car rental company, and which drop off point, I check out the location using a mapping website such as viamichelin, or mappy. Then you can tell if it's walking distance to the railroad station, and how to get there from the autostrada.

If you really want to get your car in Innsbruck you can, it just makes your logistics of getting to the airport more difficult in the end if you drop the car in Salzburg.





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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 04:25 PM
  #45  
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Lovisa & Bettyk,
Thanks so much for your help.
BettyK, I remember you already told me about the "vignette"...I found it in my notes that I have diligently copied & pasted.
Lovisa, everything you said makes sense. I just have to run all this by DH and let him help make the decisions...after all, this is MOSTLY his fault. LOL
Now, I think I'm down to tweaking the details.

BTW, what do you do when the hotel wants you to send credit card info via Email? I'm concerned about that.
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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 06:19 PM
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If it seems to be an encrypted reservation site, I just put in the credit card. If they want me to send it by unencrypted regular e-mail, I just send a FAX instead. Some people will break up a credit card number as 2 e-mails.

If the website you are looking at doesn't spell out a cancellation policy, I would specifically ask what it is before transmitting credit card information.

If I am inquiring about a rates and reservation, I always spell out the month rather than use numbers, because Europeans use day/month/year, so 5/6/2009 is June 5th, not May 6th.

Incidently, we stayed in Bevagna for a few nights in May 2007. The area is very charming. You'll enjoy it.

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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 07:38 PM
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I know many people are hesitant to send credit card info by email.

Maybe I've been very lucky, but I have done this on more occasions than I can remember and have never encountered any problems.

I also agree that it is important to find out the cancellation policy of the hotel before confirming a reservation as these can vary considerably. I've noticed that some B&B's especially have very strict cancellation rules since they are smaller establishments and have more difficulty re-renting cancelled rooms.
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Old Oct 29th, 2008, 08:44 AM
  #48  
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Thank you, yes I'm being careful with entering dates, etc. So far all have offered to call me or I call them with credit card info. And so far they all have a clearly written cancel policy.
Thanks for all of your help.
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Old Nov 1st, 2008, 02:54 PM
  #49  
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Have been working on this and have all my lodging booked...however I'm wondering if I made a BIG mistake or just a minor one with the way I'm doing St Gilgen & Oberammergau?

Itinerary:
Day 1 Depart US
Day 2-6 Rome
Day 7 train to Foligno;pick up rental car, stay 7 nights
Day 14 drive to Bolzano; drop car; O/N in Bolzano.
Day 15 train Bolzano to Garmisch; pick up rental car; drive to St Gilgen; 4 nts
Day 19 Drive to Oberammergau; 3 nts
Day 22 drive to Munich; drop off car; depart for home.

I'm doing Oberammergau LAST because (my thinking) it's closest to Munich so I'll have PLENTY of time to make the flight. But that means about a 2.5 hr drive to St Gilgen after the train trip.
If I get the train I want I'll be in Garmisch about 14:30. Add about an hour to get car & get started that means arrive in St Gilgen about 18:00 or so. As long as it's still daylight I think we'll be ok.
We are also looking into having one car from Foligno to Munich but haven't been able to determine the drop fee yet...might be cost prohibitive.

Comments???

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Old Nov 1st, 2008, 05:07 PM
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I would not try to drive from Oberammergau to the airport.

For this, I really think you need to look at a map. Munich has an outer autobahn, the A99 which stays out of the city, and circles from SSE to NW of the city, sort of like one of our bypass Interstates.

If you try to go from Oberammergau SSW to to the airport NE, you do not connect with this partial outer ring autobahn, but you have to go into the city itself, and take a ring road inside the city.

To avoid last day stress and anxiety, I think it would be better to lose one day, and spend the last night near the airport, or in Munich itself.

If you want to drive to the airport, I would spend the last night in Freising, a lovely little city worth 1/2 day, and either drop my car there (Avis has location), and take a shuttle to the airport the next day, or just drive to the airport on departure day:

http://www.toytowngermany.com/wiki/Freising

Or, drop your car in Salzburg, take the train to Munich, and spend the last night in Munich.

I would pick up the car in Innsbruck, and drop it in Salzburg, or pick it up in Garmisch and drop it at the airport.

Oberammergau is only 20 km. (12 miles from Garmisch). What you suggest really involves needless backtracking.

If you want to spend your last night within an easy hour of Munich airport, I would post that as a separate question. Lots of people will have different suggestions. You don't have to spend that last night in a sterile airport hotel.
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Old Nov 1st, 2008, 05:20 PM
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Hi,

While not part of your plan (at the moment at least!)

You posted "We enjoy cities, but also like small, picturesque villages. We love mountain scenery. We like moderate hikes with pretty views and opportunities for photography."

If that doesn't describe the Dolomite area of Italy, nothing does.

Just an observation... you'll have a car, be in Bozen/Bolzano and not seeing the Dolomites. I'd at least stay in the Dolomites for 2 nights before moving on and cut the 2 nights from the end of your trip. Spectacular Dolomite scenery lies less than an hour north east of Bozen/Bolzano and you could still return the car in Bolzano. With no disrespect to others opinions and the fact we also love Austria and Bavaria, there's nothing quite like being in the Dolomites!

www.val-gardena.com

www.altabadia.com


Hope this helps.


Paul


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Old Nov 1st, 2008, 07:36 PM
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Paul has a point. The Dolomites are glorious. We loved Bolzano. And it would give you a different "flavor" from the mountains in Germany and Austria.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2008, 10:24 AM
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Since it appears from your other post that you want to rent a car in Germany, and go to St. Gilgen first, and then on to Oberammergau, I think it would be much better to pick your car up in Rosenheim Germany, rather than Garmisch. I suggested Garmisch only because to me it made more sense to go there first.

From Bolzano to Rosenheim you can take a single train with no transfer. For example looking at tomorrow, IC88 leaves Bolzano at 10:31, and arrives in Rosenheim at 13:44.

From Rosenheim to St. Gilgen is about 125 km or 1:20 driving time.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2008, 10:43 AM
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The other thing about training to Rosenheim is if you want to buy your tickets before you leave the U.S., you will be able to buy your ticket including the reservation from 89 days out on the German railsite:

http://www.bahn.de/international/view/en/index.shtml

You would not be able to do so to Garmisch from Bolzano because the last portion of your journey is on a local regional train.

I have bought international tickets on the Bahn website, and received them very quickly by mail.

Few people are successful buying tickets on the Trenitalia site, and I wouldn't attempt it.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2008, 12:13 PM
  #55  
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OK, thanks, that's good to know. It would really help if we could avoid changing trains from Italy to Germany. So Rosenheim is on my radar now. Thanks again.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2008, 12:28 PM
  #56  
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However, it would be much simpler if we could just keep the car we get in Italy and return it in Germany when we're ready to go home. I am seriously considering eating that drop-off price just for the convenience. No schedules to meet, etc.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2008, 02:35 PM
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I agree it would just be more convenient to keep the car.

To get an idea of the additional cost I tried a dummy booking on Sixt (which showed the drop-off fee). For a 2 week booking Pick-up Perugia May 14, drop-off Munich Airport May 28, for a compact car with GPS it showed a rate of Euro 901, and an additional drop of fee of Euro 516.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2008, 03:11 PM
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I'd try gemut.com as well as AutoEurope for car rentals to see what they quote you for a drop off fee. Some people have paid as little as $150 - 200, but obviously it will vary depending on the rental car dealer.

I suggest calling Gemut first. They have a good reputation and are very helpful. You can get lots of info from their website too (including their phone number which I don't happen to have handy!).
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Old Nov 2nd, 2008, 03:49 PM
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Gemut is very good for rentals in Germany and Austria but less so in Italy. I believe they merely book via Autoeurope in Italy. The drop charge will depend on pick up point--less for Verona than Perugia for instance.
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