TTT...First Time Traveller to Europe!!

Sep 15th, 2007, 03:10 PM
  #1  
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TTT...First Time Traveller to Europe!!

Am reposting....

On Oct 6 or 7th, hubby & I are travelling to Vienna. We will have 3 wks. & are hoping to visit some surrounding countries as well, such as Germany, Northern Italy, Switzerland etc. We've decided to rent a car & use a train for point to point travel if need be.??We will be celebrating our 20th anniversary there as well, so are very excited...I will be 52 this month, & he is 60.

My hubby won airfare thru his work (Air Canada) so it's in & out from Vienna. In naming the countries, I realize we can't see them all, it was just a choice we have, tho we definitely want to see abit of Germany.??We enjoy the touristy things to a point such as history, so the odd museum would be good, as well as a walking tour sort of thing, to see the architecture. Would luv to sample some of the foods & drink as well. We enjoy walking a lot, & would also luv to take a train somewhere ... I've never been on a train, can you believe it? lol??We have enjoyed B & B's in Canada, & like to get to know people abit if we can in that way. We are pretty laid back back, nothing specific planned yet, always up for something new & different, off the beaten path if you will. Not much for the operas & such.

Also, we'll be getting an International Driver's License thru our CAA, which we've been to asking about car & train rates.

As for food, we tend to eat fairly healthy, lean meats, lots of veggies & fruits, milk, not much in the way of processed or fried/deepfried foods or fast food.

I would luv any info about reasonable B & B's outside of the main cities, or reasonable hotels. ??Is the food so very different from what we are used to? Any ideas or suggestions as to what to see, eat, where to stay would be appreciated greatly!

Are there any events happening at this time of year that we shouldn't miss???I suppose being a first time traveller, my 'dreams' of seeing many countries is abit silly, but .... that's why I'm here asking the experts!
imcanadian is offline  
Sep 15th, 2007, 03:34 PM
  #2  
 
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In Vienna, be sure to stop in at the Hotel Sacher and have a slice of Sacher-Torte <http://tinyurl.com/3c6nzx> "mit Schlag" (with heavy cream on the side) and a cup of coffee. (Sacher-Torte is the most famous cake in the world and deservedly so.)
Orlando_Vic is offline  
Sep 15th, 2007, 04:11 PM
  #3  
ira
 
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Hi im,

You don't have to start a new thread.

Every posting to your old one brings it To The Top.

ira is offline  
Sep 15th, 2007, 04:26 PM
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Hi imcanadian

First of all, congratulations!

Your first post already received several answers, click this link:
http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessa...2&tid=35067697

To find your posts, just click on your name in any thread or at the top left of the screen.

Now to your trip: you are fortunate in that Vienna is a great city, and an excellent introduction to Europe, with beautiful architecture. Another advantage is that 2 low cost airlines, Fly Niki and Skyeurope have bases there and so you can reach many other European destinations quite cheaply.
www.flyniki.com
www.skyeurope.com

Since you will be in Europe in October and mention B&Bs off the beaten track, I would probably fly to Rome, visit the city then rent a car and drive North to Umbria.

Another option would be to fly to Nice and explore the French Riviera, possibly combining it with Paris. There are cheap flights from Vienna to Nice, from Nice to Paris and from Paris back to Vienna.

An easy add-on trip from Vienna by train is Budapest, it'a about a 3 hour ride. No need to purchase tickets in advance in Canada though, service is very frequent, just purchase them a day or two before you leave Vienna in order to secure a reserved seat on the train you want. Schedules and other info at:
http://www.oebb.at/vip8/oebb/en/index.jsp

Do a search on this forum, you will find lots of great tips for all these destinations. Given the season, I wouldn't really recommend going to Germany, unless there is something specific you want to see.

Hope this helps,
Andre
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Sep 15th, 2007, 05:10 PM
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I won't attempt to answer all your questions.

But - I would like to chime on on Sacher Torte. I have had it in at least 6 different fairly upscale places, including the Sacher hotel and have found it in general to be quite dry and not to have much of a chocolaty taste.

We found many excellent pastries in Austria, as well as Germany and Switzerland - of many types - but the Sacher Torte was a major disappointment. (Generally the we found pastries in the small konditerai to be much superior.)
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 15th, 2007, 05:58 PM
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Sacher-torte was one of the biggest culinary disappointments of my life. Overpriced Blech.
StCirq is online now  
Sep 15th, 2007, 06:04 PM
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A three week trip like that usually takes a lot of planning!!I would plan on staying two nights at each location since moving every day takes lot of time.You first need to buy or check out a few books on the areas Germany, Austia Swit. and Italy (yesterday).I would rent a car in Austria rather than Italy...Then I would spend a couple days without a car in Vienna and take the train to Salzburg and rent a car to tour lower Bavaria and then the eastern Alps and then go down to Italy , over to Milan and then up into Swiz.Get a large map so you can plan it out ...a giant circle from Salzburg.Once you choose the towns you can be more specific about the places to eat....It usually takes a few months to plan a trip so you will have to play it by ear as far as where you will stay and eat but if you don't have a plan you wont get to see all that much..as everything takes longer with the language barrier..it's great you are laid back ...have fun
hypatia is offline  
Sep 15th, 2007, 06:13 PM
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Hi imcanadian

Congratulations on your win. I went to Vienna some years ago and I loved the Vienna Woods it would be a fantastic drive. Also Schronbrunn Place is a must.

Best wishes for your trip
imAustralian (beargirl)
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Sep 16th, 2007, 10:42 AM
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Morning!

I want to thank all of you so very much for your kindness & patience, as this was my first time on Fodor's (I think you can tell tho, lol).

The suggestions, comments & ideas are great & hubby & I will be enjoying going thru everything.

We really couldn't plan much further ahead, as hubby was given layoff status in the spring, then was going to end up working in Montreal & commuting home, then he wasn't, & now it seems he will be stable at least till his holidays in Oct. are over, so indeed it's a VERY good thing that we are laid back & easy going LOL.

For our next trip, we certainly will plan way ahead, as hopefully he will retire in 2009.

Again, thanks so much everyone...what a wonderful site with such pleasant & helpful people I've discovered!
imcanadian is offline  
Sep 16th, 2007, 10:44 AM
  #10  
ira
 
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>Again, thanks so much everyone...what a wonderful site with such pleasant & helpful people I've discovered!<

You are welcome, im.

Hang around a while and see how rude and unpleasant we can be.

ira is offline  
Sep 16th, 2007, 11:23 AM
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LOL...and if you stick around...you'll become an addict!
SuzieCII is offline  
Sep 16th, 2007, 02:17 PM
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LOL..Oh, I'm sure I'll hang around for sure, if only to travel vicariously thru others for a while!

Another question...right now in Winnipeg, the temps are cool, but not cold...average of daytime at 20 C (68 F)...would Austria be about the same?

I've read about dressing, & how jeans/tees/runners are not always viewed as favourable...true?

Traffic rules/laws...could I find out by just Googling?

Any ideas for good B & B's in smaller cities/towns in Austria?

Thank you everyone!
imcanadian is offline  
Sep 17th, 2007, 06:09 AM
  #13  
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Morning, All!

Just starting off again, looking for some info to my last questions. (.right now in Winnipeg, the temps are cool, but not cold...average of daytime at 20 C (68 F)...would Austria be about the same?

I've read about dressing, & how jeans/tees/runners are not always viewed as favourable...true?

Traffic rules/laws...could I find out by just Googling?

Any ideas for good B & B's in smaller cities/towns in Austria?)

Bought a couple of books yesterday on Austria, Vienna, have maps from CAA & a small German phrasebook as well.

Time is going quickly!
imcanadian is offline  
Sep 17th, 2007, 06:36 AM
  #14  
ira
 
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Hi im,

These are in French, but they are international.

Road signs are at http://tinyurl.com/zunqg

Road lines are at http://www.code-route.com/panneau_lignes.htm

Do not cross a solid white line.

For example, if you are on a 2-lane road and you see the place you want to go to on your left, you may not cross a solid white line to get to it. Continue to where the line is broken and make your left there. The same holds for pulling off to the shoulder on your right.

Never pass on the right.

Pedestrians have the right-of-way in cross walks. When in doubt, yield.

At a traffic circle, the car in the circle has the RoW. Otherwise, the car on the right has the RoW.

As you approach a roundabout, there will be a sign showing the exits and where they go.

If there are two lanes approaching a roundabout, take the right lane only if you will be taking the first exit.

If you miss your exit, just keep going around until you know which one to take.

You'll get the hang of it very quickly.

ira is offline  
Sep 17th, 2007, 07:08 AM
  #15  
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Good Morning Ira, & thanks very much! Should be interesting & fun, no matter what lol
imcanadian is offline  
Sep 17th, 2007, 12:08 PM
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You will love Europe!
Zimmers(bandb's) are everywhere ..just look for the signs and ask..if you stay at a small hotel eat dinner there as it's not like here...the food at hotels is great..
.Your main concern right now is the plan as you must decide what you want to see and your route...If you have no clue, then a good book for Europe novices is the Rick Steves..

His books are not popular with experts (especially here)but good for new people that are planning an impromptu trip.Fodors is better for people of discriminating tastes, larger budget and time.
Use a highlighter and mark the important things to know..I would consider these: Rothenburg (Bavaria),the castles(Neuschwanstein),Venice,Florence,Lake Como,Interlaken,black forest....Let us know how it went...
hypatia is offline  
Sep 17th, 2007, 02:16 PM
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Thanks Hypatia!

We did invest in a German phrase book, a Fodor's Austria book & a Vienna & the Danube Valley book, along with a few maps.

It's so hard to decide where to go!! lol...We have decided tho, that we will stay outside of Vienna, in a B & B. We're debating a car versus the bus/train tho...what do you prefer?

We've never been before, so maybe it's not a good idea to drive at this time? Just thought that it would be nice for getting off the beaten path, as we do here at home.

Thanks so much!

imcanadian is offline  
Sep 17th, 2007, 02:26 PM
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Jeans and sneakers are OK for daytime touring in Europe. Wear what you would wear for a nice weekend at home in the Fall.

I would suggest staying each place 3-4 nights. I could not stand moving about every other day (the 2 day idea one person suggests above).

I think you will be pleasantly surprised by most of the fresh food in Europe. They really don't do the processed stuff nearly as much as you find in the U.S.
suze is offline  
Sep 17th, 2007, 02:28 PM
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oops, I see you're from Canada... well my comment still stands about food being good in Europe!
suze is offline  
Sep 17th, 2007, 04:23 PM
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One tip as you plan: go to your public library and check out different travel guides for the various locations. Different publishers have differing viewpoints and emphases, so this gives you a way to get an overview. Then you can just buy the one you like most to take along.

I actually photocopy pages and take them in a folder instead of taking the thick books, so that my luggage is lighter.
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