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Which way do we go?

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Jan 17th, 2014, 06:20 PM
  #1
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Which way do we go?

I'll admit I'm hooked. First time traveller to Italy in the fall of 2013 and now I want to see more. So am planning to expand my horizons in spring or early summer 2015. Some thoughts are south of France and then down to Barcelona or Paris and Bruge or going a totally different route and seeing Scotland, ireland and/ or Wales. I know. They are all so different. My DH and I would try to do 10-12 days , but may have teenagers in tow this time which means fewer museums more outdoor exploration.
Will we get more bang for the buck in any one place than the others? I have always had a curiousity about Scotland. I live in the desert so anyplace wet, green and cool sounds like paradise, but I think our kids would be wowed by the Eiffel Tower or Sagrida Familia. Help!
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Jan 17th, 2014, 06:38 PM
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Any of your options would be great . . . But IMO I personally think Scotland is just about perfect for a family w/ teens/tweens.

Castles, Ghosts, hiking, history, islands, wildlife . . . golf if they are interested
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Jan 18th, 2014, 04:46 AM
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For spring or early summer, I think that the southern France/Spain option is safer unless you also like miserably cold temperatures.

A road trip would be an ideal solution. If you are planning other methods of locomotion, your possibilities will be much more limited.
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Jan 18th, 2014, 05:56 AM
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"fewer museums more outdoor exploration" Ireland and Scotland then.. but 12 days might be tight for both without considering just what is achievable rather than the usual want to see everything approach. Remember Scotland is more than Edinburgh and Dublin is a long way from being Ireland.
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Jan 18th, 2014, 06:45 AM
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You may be selling your teenagers short. You CAN have both--what they want and what you want (assuming museums and cathedrals). We took our 3 teens to Europe and said "we'll do some of what YOU want, and we'll do some of what we want". It wasn't too far into the trip that our son was saying "wait, there's another cathedral down that street". We did see every sporting goods store also!!
The exotic can be enticing--and Europe IS exotic when matched to the US.
For part of our trip we drove through Germany. LOTS to do and see. Same could be for the south of France, but don't forget to also have Paris on the itinerary. Go to Avignon from CDG, rent a car. Then TGV back to Paris for the end. Just a suggestion.
You really don't have time for two countries, honest injun. ;o)
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Jan 18th, 2014, 11:07 AM
  #6
ira
 
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Hey CJ,

It doesn't matter.

You have plenty of time to see it all.

Enjoy wherever you go.

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Jan 19th, 2014, 12:10 AM
  #7
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Thank you for the wonderful and varied input.

Gretchen - my kids would rather stay home than end time in museums. I can't believe they are related to me.

Kerouac- truly? Miserable on the Emerald Isle or Scotland that time of year? We may have to save those for a couples only trip because we need to work around kid's school schedules. I'd really love to see Ireland's west coast and midland as well as the Scottish highlands. Can they possibly live up to my highly romanticized ideal?

I guess that leaves us with the France and Spain option. Thanks all. I'm sure I'll be back for more advice like lodging and activity suggestions .
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Jan 19th, 2014, 10:20 AM
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Where on earth did anyone hear that Scotland is miserable in summer?

It is my absolute FAVORITE summer destination. Can it be cold and can there be rain? Sure -- but not usually enough to keep you from doing anything. The days are soooooooo long (Scotland is very far north so in june it is daylight til 11PM). In June I've had temps from lows in the high 40's to highs in the high 80's. But both were extremes. A year ago for a few days in May the warmest place in most of Europe was in far northern Scotland. And two days earlier it was in the 50's . . . So you can, and will, have anything. Typically June high temps will be the mid 60's to the mid 70's - but dress in layers and anything is OK.

Ireland isn't my favorite at that time of year because it is wetter than Scotland - Sept is my preferred time in Ireland.

(I've visited Scotland in most months of the year but I'm using June since you say early summer)
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Jan 19th, 2014, 10:21 AM
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BTW - Much of Spain gets to be VERY hot/uncomfortable by early summer . . .
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Jan 19th, 2014, 11:34 AM
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Spring/early summer is an ideal time of year to visit most of Spain. Can be very hot inland in cities like for example Madrid and Sevilla, but normally perfect for great cities like Barcelona, San Sebastián, Valencía, Málaga, Cádiz etc etc.

San Sebastián, food capital and some of the finest city beaches on the continent: http://www.sansebastianturismo.com/en/
Valencia, with the science park etc.: http://www.visitvalencia.com/en/home
Magical Cádiz, 3000 year old Gadir: http://www.spain.info/en/que-quieres...ias/cadiz.html
Genuine and underrated Málaga city: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalis...pleasures.html

And of course Barcelona: http://www.barcelonaturisme.com/
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Jan 23rd, 2014, 07:37 AM
  #11
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Kimhe - Thank you for the links. I will check them out.
Janisj - Those temps don't sound bad to me. Remember we live fairly close to the deepest recesses of ****. Well, you know. It's hot at home, like 110 for the better part of the summer. You seem to have a fondness for Scotland. What areas do you suggest for a first time visit? We want to have a variety of things to do and be wowed by scenery.
Also which do you prefer in Ireland, west coast ( Galloway area ) or more the middle? For some reason , I feel less of a pull towards Dublin. Can't explain why. Also why September?

Thanks again.
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Feb 26th, 2014, 12:04 PM
  #13
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Janisj- thanks. Maybe we can leave today. : )
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Feb 26th, 2014, 01:26 PM
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Nah - the weather will be better in the Summer
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Feb 27th, 2014, 08:32 AM
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If you are looking for cooler weather conditions and green spaces ideal for exploration, then Ireland is my bet for you, with Scotland added in if possible. You could spend 7 days in Ireland and 5 in Scotland maybe? You could fly into Shannon and work your way around the south and east coast and into Dublin, then take a flight across to Scotland. Edinburgh is beautiful and so much to see.
Southern Ireland is great for a family, there are so many places to explore, great towns, pubs, shops, historic sites, a good range for a group with different interests. You have the Ring of Kerry for sight-seeing, Cobh heritage centre which was the last port for the Titanic, Midleton Distillery where Jameson whiskey is made, Waterford where Waterford crystal comes from, a little bit of everything!!
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Feb 27th, 2014, 08:48 AM
  #16
 
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Another vote for Scotland if you want a real change from the desert. Edinburgh is a pleasant city to visit. Many people go to the Western Isles but I prefer the Eastern, less Calvanism and more the Viking types. Also Orkney has the highest density of archaeologists. (period)
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Mar 26th, 2014, 12:06 PM
  #17
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Thanks all. We have decided on Ireland. Bilbo burger - we can get some Viking history in Ireland too, right? I'm about as melting pot as you get,but mostly Danish, Dutch and Irish so ....
We will be there end of May to early/ mid June. I am so excited. There is so much I want to do and see that I feel a bit like the dog in the movie Up, .....SQUIRREL. Now I know where my kids get their trouble focusing. I will post later with specific questions when we have an actual plan. Hopefully you will all chime in with favorite places lodging, food etc.

Thanks again. Fodorites are the best.
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