Road trip through Europe

Old Dec 18th, 2011, 11:30 AM
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"but i think that we are banging our head against a brick wall - the OP is so certain that he's right the only mystery is why he bothered to post his query here in the first place."

~~~

Did you bother actually reading each post fully?
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Old Dec 18th, 2011, 11:38 AM
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"<i>Did you bother actually reading each post fully?</i>"

Yes-actually. And I 100% agree w/ annhig. You are set on this crazy idea and have a come back to every single post. You will do what you want. But those responding either live in Europe or have visited MANY times and have driven thousands of miles while there. We are trying to HELP you, but you don't seem at all interested

As w/ Annhig - my head is getting sore from bashing it against that brick wall . . . .
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Old Dec 18th, 2011, 11:51 AM
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Did you bother actually reading each post fully?>>

did you, mjconns?


Do you know of a better way to get from one castle to another other than driving to each one? Please, do tell. >>

yes, actually, we do. take a map of europe, and see where there are the greatest concentrations of castles that you want to see. for example, the loire area, the Rhine, Munich, Scotland, Wales etc. then work out how you are going to get around in those areas, and get between them. there is no point in going all the way to, say, Valladolid, for one castle.

for example, if you are planning to fly into London, you could see windsor, then pick up a car, drive west to Wales, work your way north [many, many castles] then drive north to Scotland, tour the many castles there, end in Edinburgh, return car, and fly to Paris.

then get the train to Tours, pick up a car, see the loire castles, then head south to the Dordogne [ditto].

or fly to Frankfurt, and tour the Rhineland castles [boat and train recommended there I think].

then train to Munich, etc .etc.

simply finding a castle on a map and then pointing your car in that direction is of course one way to do things, but your CPM quotient [Castle per mile] is not going to be very high.
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Old Dec 18th, 2011, 11:58 AM
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The Dordogne is said to have 465 castles, one for every day of the year.
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Old Dec 18th, 2011, 12:07 PM
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But those responding either live in Europe or have visited MANY times and have driven thousands of miles while there. We are trying to HELP you, but you don't seem at all interested>>

actually jj, i do have a smigeon of sympathy for the OP, having myself posted threads for trips which, if not batty, were not well-researched. invariably i wished that i'd listened harder to the advice I got. it's very hard, when you've got an idea in your head, to be told that it's daft and you need to start again.
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Old Dec 18th, 2011, 12:18 PM
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a wee smidgen - <i>maybe</i>
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Old Dec 18th, 2011, 12:37 PM
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See, some people just can't help playing the role of travel missionary.
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Old Dec 18th, 2011, 12:50 PM
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The theme of your trip appeals to me. I went to wikipedia and looked up "medieval fortresses France." (Presumably there's a similar article for each relevant country. I chose France because I know a little more about it.) Wikipedia has a good article listing what looks like hundreds in France alone. Skimming, I see some that I know are just ruins, so you may want to check on just what exists there now--and, of course, open days and hours.

Do you know about Guedelon, the castle-in-the-making?

If it were me, I'd pick a region with a large concentration of castles and base myself there and do day trips for a while, then move on.

I'm pretty sure you can see plenty of castles without going into any city.

A final word: autoroutes are as boring in Europe as in the US. Give the back roads a chance. You may come across a castle unexpectedly.
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Old Dec 18th, 2011, 01:02 PM
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See, some people just can't help playing the role of travel missionary.>>

my new year's resolution:

I must not try to help my fellow travellers

i must not try to help my fellow travellers

I must not....
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Old Dec 18th, 2011, 01:16 PM
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Interesting, Michael. Thanks!

Coquelicot, I have done many of searches on there for castles but I'm going to visit structurally sound castles and not ruins. If I had time, I would do more --without any doubt. Some great websites are topcastle.com and medieval-castle.com , both of which offer many links to information, pictures, etc.

Annhig, too bad you did not adopt that resolution for this year.

I appreciate those who offered valuable insight. To everyone else, happy holidays. I'm done posting here, it's not worth my time to defend my trip. I'm going on it. I was just looking for logistical guidance, trips for driving, etc -- which I did get some of. I'll post again next year after my trip with pictures, comments, etc. If I was wrong, I'll let you know. If it was what I wanted, I'll let you know.
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Old Dec 18th, 2011, 01:59 PM
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Oh great! You post on a public forum, don't like what you hear, get upset, and pick up your ball and run home.
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Old Dec 18th, 2011, 02:15 PM
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A good number of Fodorites need to learn that what they think is the proper way to travel may not be what others want to so. That is not such a difficult thing to do, right? One wouldn't think so, but the arrogance of some to the principle never ceases to astound me. The fact you delude yourself into thinking that think you are helping is pitiable.

Would you tell someone what clothes to wear? "Oh, I don't think blue looks good on you. If you wear that you definitely won't be happy with the result"

What to eat? "I know you said you wanted to eat pork, but really, you will enjoy the seafood much more - I certainly did".

Not everyone comes in here looking to be "taught" your way of doing something "for their own good". Some have a plan already set, or a dream of seeing certain things but they have limited time, or they just like driving non-stop for three weeks.

Here is the key - if they are asking about specific advice on how to realize their plan, don't show your arrogance by telling them their plan is wrong because you don't approve of it. If someone says - "Is this crazy?" - "Am I trying to do too much?", then by all means give the "You're trying to do way too much" speech that is burning to lurch from your soul.

Try and learn the difference.

mjconns - There are still those who will try and help you realize what you want to do. Don't give up. There is wheat and chaff -you know the story.
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Old Dec 18th, 2011, 07:17 PM
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Hi mjconns. I’ve been following the posts and would like to offer a suggestion. I hadn’t thought about having a car with the steering wheel on the right hand side then driving it through Europe where the driving will be on the left side, which could be problematic and expensive.

I see that one of the castles that you would like to see in England is Dover Castle. That being said, could you end the first part of your trip in Dover and drop the car off there? You could then take the ferry from Dover to Calais and pick up a car there.

From your post, it looks like that you are going to start the European leg of your trip with Muiderslot in the Netherlands. Would it be helpful for you to take the train from Calais to Amsterdam then pick up your rental car there instead? I don’t know if this would fit in with your plans, but it might save you a bit of driving time and you will have a car with the steering wheel on the left.

Please do write a trip report of your adventure. I will look forward to it. Have a great time and drive safely!
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Old Dec 18th, 2011, 07:30 PM
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aramis: "<i>A good number of Fodorites need to learn that what they think is the proper way to travel may not be what others want to so. That is not such a difficult thing to do, right? One wouldn't think so, but the arrogance of some to the principle never ceases to astound me. The fact you delude yourself into thinking that think you are helping is pitiable.</i>"

Bollocks! No one is trying to dictate what he sees/does -- a castle-centric trip is fine. Wonderful even. Just not one that tries to cover 3/4 of western Europe by car in less than a month - nearly 25 destinations. What he wants to do is just about impossible -- so how are we 'helping' if we just rubber stamp it w/ >><i><blue>Hey - piece of cake. Go for it </blue></i><<
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Old Dec 18th, 2011, 07:59 PM
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Annhig, please don't stop trying to help or giving advice. When I ask a question, I want all the advice I can get, especially that which may steer me in a different direction because it is better than my original plan. Sometimes things look pretty good on paper, but aren't so good in practice. I appreciate warnings as much as logistcal information.

OTOH, I didn't give this OP any advice because that kind of trip is so far from my kind of travel, I didn't think there was anything I could contribute.
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Old Dec 19th, 2011, 03:45 AM
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janisj said; "Bollocks! No one is trying to dictate what he sees/does -- a castle-centric trip is fine. Wonderful even. Just not one that tries to cover 3/4 of western Europe by car in less than a month - nearly 25 destinations. What he wants to do is just about impossible -- so how are we 'helping' if we just rubber stamp it w/ >>Hey - piece of cake. Go for it <<"

I have not seen such a forceful contradiction within a single paragraph in quite some time.
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Old Dec 19th, 2011, 04:23 AM
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I don't think the trip is impossible though I would not attempt it but it is the OP's trip, not mine. If he does not mind spending most of the day driving, why not. He is not planning to visit anything but castles and you usually visit a castle in half a day. He has 13 castles on his list, that makes 6.5 to 7 days out of 24. However he does not say when he is travelling. I would be more concerned about road conditions (if he travels in winter) or heavy traffic along the Med. coast (if he travels in summer) as well as finding a place to spend the night.
I would also have a Plan B in case my time is running short and I have to catch a plane in Madrid.
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Old Dec 19th, 2011, 06:28 AM
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Taking your rental car from England to the continent makes little sense to me. Drop the car and take the Eurostar, a ferry or fly to Paris. Pick up a car there for the rest of your trip.

I have driven a French car in England and an English van in France so I do know what it's like. Sitting on the wrong side to drive if you don't have to (ie it's not your own car) is not worth the hassle and potential problems. Parking is a snap... passing on a 2 lane road is a danger!

You say you're aware of the one way fees... have you checked? It could be 1,000 euros. If you picked up your rental in Paris you could attempt your itinerary and drop it in France before you go into Spain. Pick up a Spanish rental in Barcelona for the Iberian part of the trip. The inconvenience will be minor compared to the money you'll save.
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Old Dec 19th, 2011, 07:50 AM
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Agree that in terms of optimizing 'castle' time' and minimizing costs, why would you not consider drop-offs and trains?

Tour England, drop off car, TGV to Paris/Amsterdam, rent car, drop off, train to next destination, rent car,etc..

Saves costs, no worries about RH drive, you arrive in major cities without car, so can visit then get car and leave, get a break from non-stop driving...

Seems like a win-win.

Also agree that driving across America versus Europe is not 100% transferable.
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Old Dec 19th, 2011, 07:56 AM
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mjconns have you priced in the fuel, that is more expensive over here?

I'd hire left hand drive for UK and right hand drive on the continent.

You need euro cash to pay road fines (on the spot) on the continent.

Check http://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_s...d/index_en.htm so you limit problems

Road cops vary a fair bit across Europe, for instance in the UK you will find traffic cops (these are policemen) and road marshalls (Who are not but can tell you what to do and can bring you to the notice of the police) and are based on the motorways, you may also meet community support officers (plastics) who can be helpful if you get lost but are not supposed to arrest you and then there are traffic wardens. Similar variation occurs in each country.

To keep the speed up try to stay on motorways as much as possible, some of these are toll roads and some are not. It might be worth checking this site country by country to ensure that your credit card works in these countries.

Finally autofuel stations are a little odd as they may be the only thing you can buy fuel in (say) Italy on a Sunday, if your credit card does not work in them you will not get fuel.

You may speak English but not everyone here does so pick up a few "please and thankyous" for each of the languages you could encounter. It makes the whole thing work a little better.

Good luck and let us know how you get on
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