Trip itinerary thoughts

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Nov 15th, 2016, 09:35 AM
  #1
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Trip itinerary thoughts

I have another one of my bounce all over the place trips planned for next August.

The current itinerary I have put together starts with a trip to Krakow, Poland. (business trip)

From there is where it gets interesting.

We want to see some places we haven't been to after that:

We fly direct to Bergen from Krakow (Day 1)
We spend the rest of Day 1 touring Bergen.
Day 2 we plan on doing the Norway in a Nutshell with a night in Flam (is a night in Flam worth it or would you stay one more day in Bergen or go direct to Oslo?)
Day 3 (assuming Flam night) train to Oslo and tour Oslo.
Day 4 Fly to Stockholm and spend Day 4, 5, and 6 there. Night of Day 6 take the ferry to Helsinki and spend Day 7 in Helsinki.
Day 8 ferry to Talinn for a day trip (back to Helsinki that night)
Day 9 Fly from Helsinki to Iceland and spend 5 nights stopover in Iceland before the trip home on Day 14.

Basically, we are in our 50s. No need for museums. We like nature, scenery, people and food. Our previous trips to Europe have usually consisted of max 3 nights in each city.

I want to take advantage of our time in Norway and am willing to nix the Helsinki and Talinn portion of the trip and add more to Norway and Stockholm.

In addition to NIN, where else might I want to go to take full advantage of being in Norway or Sweden? Or, should I spend more time around Krakow?

Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge!
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Nov 15th, 2016, 10:25 AM
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How long will you be in Krakow- if just a few days you may want to add more if you want to day trip to nearby Auschwitz or the Wieliczka Salt Mines, a UNESCO World Heritage Site just south of Krakow.

The boat ride Stockholm-Helsinki is awesome - great scenery the whole way - days are long to see it.

For train info check www.seat61.com (great info on discounted tickets); www.budgeteuropetravel.com (check their online European Planning & Rail Guide for info on lot of places to go by public transit); and www.ricksteves.com.
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Nov 15th, 2016, 11:19 AM
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That is great advice, PalenQ! Especially the Salt Mines (My wife and I have been in 2 Salt Mines (Hallstatt and Salzburg) and really enjoyed it).

Auschwitz is another story. We've been to Dachau. Hard to believe humans are capable of that!?

I haven't been on this forum in a few years. You have always been quite helpful in the past!

Many thanks for some great ideas!
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Nov 15th, 2016, 12:05 PM
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Thanks, Mrphil!

The Wieliczka Salt Mines are far different I believe from most such ones you can tour - it is really a series of rooms elaborately carved out of salt, including chandeliers and even a cathedral- well the pictures say it all:

https://www.google.com/search?q=wiel...w=1920&bih=950

Just several miles south of Krakow by bus or train it could be a half-day only.

Nowa Hutna is a part of Krakow that was a planned new town built under the commies -the saying here goes 'Rome was not built in a day but Nowa Hutna was. Many folk go there to visit places associated with the Polish Pope whose center it was - nice churches:

https://www.google.com/search?q=nowa...w=1920&bih=950
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Nov 15th, 2016, 01:11 PM
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I agree with PalenQ on spending some quality days in Krakow. In addition to Auschwitz and the salt mine you should also tour Schindler's factory. You mention you do not like museums but this is an immersion museum unlike any other. Definitely worth 4 hours.

Having visited all of these locations within the last 3 years, including Iceland, I recommend the following itinerary as a start...

1 Krakow to Bergen by plane
2 Bergen (8:00) to Aurland (13:15) via fjord Express boat
3 Aurland to Flam (12:20) to Myrdal (13:15-14:08) to Oslo (19:25) via trains
4 Oslo
5 Oslo to Stockholm by plane (early flight for more time in Stockholm)
6 Stockholm
7 Stockholm (17:45) to Tallinn (10:00) via night ferry
8 Tallinn (10:30) to Helsinki (12:30) via ferry
9 Helsinki to Iceland (late flight to have more time to tour Helsinki)

The times are the actual times of the transportation we took.

It would be best to stay in Aurland which is actually a small town as opposed to Flam which is just a transportation hub. Flam is only a 15 minute ferry ride from Aurland. You will get a good look at the fjords on the ferry from Bergen so no need to stay in the area longer.

If you take the train from Flam you will arrive in Oslo too late to see much so an extra day is recommended.

Personally, I would take a day from Stockholm or Iceland to spend an extra night in Tallinn. That was our favorite place...quaint and manageable.

The above itinerary also saves you an extra ferry ride from Tallinn to Helsinki.

Hope this helps a little.
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Nov 15th, 2016, 04:57 PM
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kja
 
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I am another great fan of Krakow and strongly encourage you to explore your options there. Since it is harder / more time-consuming for many of us to reach than many other locations (including others on your tentative itinerary), do consider making sure you give it enough time for anything you want to see while there. And even if you are not particularly interested in museums, give some thought to seeing the Lady with an Ermine -- she really is quite special.

I thought 5 days a bit rushed for Stockholm.

I thought 2 days too rushed for Helsinki.

I haven't been to Norway or Tallinn yet.

Hope that helps!
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Nov 15th, 2016, 05:00 PM
  #7
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And BTW, you also might give thought to a couple of days in Warsaw -- perhaps not the most exciting city in the world, but it certainly has some sites of interest, and again, you'll be near enough to make it worth considering IMO.
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Nov 15th, 2016, 05:06 PM
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Thanks again, PalenQ!

Jim...many thanks! I didn't even think to overnight to Talinn! It would save another boat trip from Talinn back to Helsinki.

My concern is do you get to see the same wonderful scenery traveling to Talinn instead of Helsinki?

I'm sure the first couple of hours through the archipelago are the same, somewhere the ferry has to veer to the south to Talinn.

I have read differing views on Oslo. Some say no need to spend time there, others say it is great?

Thanks again to both of you for your great input!!
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Nov 15th, 2016, 05:29 PM
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kja
 
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Were we posting at the same time?
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Nov 15th, 2016, 07:05 PM
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Thanks for your help Kja!

Lots of new input, to think about!
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Nov 15th, 2016, 07:42 PM
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ttt.
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Nov 16th, 2016, 01:19 AM
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With such a short and busy trip I would cut out the overnight in Aurland or Flåm and just do the standard Norway in a Nutshell between Bergen and Oslo in one day. That will give you an extra day in a city, which is what you seem to prefer. There is nothing much to see in these villages - you see the scenery on the travel. The fjord express boat travels the wide Sognefjord. You will see more on the NiN which includes the Stalheimskleiva and ferry on the UNESCO heritage Nærøyfjord.
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Nov 16th, 2016, 04:50 AM
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Thanks dyoll! I was thinking the same thing myself.
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