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2016 European Vacation

 
 
CalamityJane
 
  3  
Reply Tue 26 Jan, 2016 03:53 pm
Lots of good stuff is said already. First, congratulations to your son!! Very impressive for him...

Second, tickets - check out Finnair! They are partners with all kinds of Americans and European airlines, but have better prices for the same route.
Iceland Air and Irish Airlines too.

Third, if you're going through Austria, don't forget Vienna or Salzburg and while you're at it, go to Prague - most beautiful city! If you have enough time, visit Dagmaraka in Bratislava. .....and while you're at it, go to my hometown - Munich!!

2 weeks is just not enough!!
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2016 10:34 pm
Been doing some planning and I keep changing stuff around in my head.

I am now planning 1 week in UK and 1 week in Italy and bypassing rest of Europe this trip. It was getting too complicated. As much as I wanted to visit Germany, I was the only one really.

So, now plan looks to fly into Edinburgh and head South from their to London seeing stuff on the way via Loch Ness. Then Train from London to Paris for a day and train/fly to Milan from Paris depending on things. I've not looked into that part yet.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2016 10:38 pm
@McGentrix,
If you're still thinking of travelling through Canada take a look at Icelandair for sure. They often have really good prices. Montreal prices are sometimes better than Toronto as the airport needs more traffic.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2016 10:55 pm
@McGentrix,
Any plans on where in the UK and Italy?
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Sun 7 Feb, 2016 12:53 am
@ehBeth,
And flying to Edinburgh via Amsterdam seems to be a cheaper alternative as well.

Loch Ness certainly is an attraction for Nessie-spotters. But there some other lochs which are nicer in my opinion.

You can take the direct TGV from Paris to Milan. If you have some hours spare time - train from Paris to Nice and from there to Milan would be an alternative, longer, but with quite a bit of interesting views.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Feb, 2016 12:11 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Milan attractions. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Guide-g187849-k96-Milan_Lombardy.html
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Feb, 2016 12:22 pm
@cicerone imposter,
I was only in Milano for a couple of hours - took the Metropolitana from the main station to Piazza Duomo, had a caffe latte and pastry at a small cafe with outdoor tables facing the Duomo, walked through the gorgeous Galleria, which also faces the piazza, to come out on another square where La Scala Opera was. Such beauty in such a short time. Then I was off by train again..
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Sun 7 Feb, 2016 12:26 pm
@ossobuco,
I sat not far from 'there' and had a glass of wine to watch the world go by.
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  3  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2016 03:28 am
Several years ago we took the train from Luzern, Switzerland to Milano.
The compartment we sat in was very old and I think added for some reason -lack of other wagons.
It was fantastic. It was a first class compartment from back to the 20s or 30s
Red velvet and deep comfortable seats.
In the evening we went to the opera. Somehow the whole visit to Milano is for me like something like a film from way back.
saab
 
  3  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2016 07:23 am
@saab,
Ha, we came to Luzern by train and when we go into the train - the station I do not recall - I looked for empty seats and in one compartment where two young women sitting and there were four free seats.
Politely I asked if two were free. And one of the women said Danish
"We don´t want you dum cow here - go to hell"
My husbond asked in English if nothing was free so I told him in rather loud Danish. The two young ladies do not want a stupid cow as me in their compartment.
Later in the evening we were sitting in a restaurant and these two came in looked around for a table - saw us and ran as fast as they could out again.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2016 08:13 am
To add to some thoughts about the trains - if you are traveling further distances - you can take an overnight train and sleep while you are traveling - saves time and money for a hotel stay. It kind of depends on how adventurous you are. We did a whirl win type of European trip like you were originally planning (when I was significantly younger - a year or so after graduating from college).

We flew into Zurich and flew out of Munich - basically went from Switzerland through the alps (great train ride as far as beauty) to Italy where we went to Milan, Rome and Venice -- For Milan I agree you need to find the painting of the last supper - when we went the painting was in the process of being restored. A unique opportunity to see the "old" painting and the new restored portion. We were fortunate to make friends with a young Italian man on the train trip from Milan to Rome --

He took us around Rome and brought us to the authentic best restaurants - he did not speak a word of English and my Italian was very limited - do not worry about not speaking the language - I found people everywhere very nice and helpful even if we didn't understand each others words it was actually pretty easy to understand using arm gestures and writing numbers down for prices, etc. Just be polite and you will find almost everyone helpful.

In Rome definite --- Sistine Chapel and the Coliseum - those were my very favorite sights.

In Venice - I simply enjoyed wandering around - you get lost easily but it is a unique city. We bypassed the gondola rides as once we saw them, they seemed a bit tacky.

I have also been around much of the UK on different trips except for Wales - been through the Royal Mile several times - I just love that area. Been to Lochness as well. And London, and been to Stonehenge - it is like you describe a bunch of very large rocks in the middle of a field -- there is nothing else out there. It is cool to see, but it is not a quick trip and you are there about 20 minutes and then done so it depends on how much you really want to see it.

In London my top pick is Tower of London to see as a tourist. A unique thing is to go to Speakers Corner and listen to the crazies yelling from their soap boxes.

Another nice area to visit not far from London is Windsor. There is also Bath, Winchester if you enjoy King Arthur, further away but depending on how you are traveling from Edinburgh to London - is York -- pretty cool town to visit - walled city but I would only do it if it is in route between Scotland and London - that is how we visited.

Thanks you brought back some great memories.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2016 08:33 am
@saab,
I can visualize that, saab. Wonderful experience.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2016 08:38 am
@saab,
Hah! I had similar happen in that two young german women talked about my husband and me. I didn't speak german well, ever, but got along with it at university for a while. This was years later than my studying it, but I got the gist of the sentences... and kept my face blank.
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  3  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2016 09:08 am
You can either go by sleeping compartment - three person. Either family or seperated men/women. The sleeping compartment has three real beds on top of oneanother
Or you take a Liegewagen - couchette - which has 6 areas to strecht out and you get a blanket and a pillow. Much cheaper.
On the other hand you will miss out on a lot of lovely sights going by night.
If you don´t sleep to well on the train the next day i ruined.

Many trains run so fast now that a nighttrain is no alternative.
Just checked the strecht I have gone many times by sleeper
Zürich - Frankfurt - Copenhagen
there is none now.
Guess most people would fly that strecht.
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2016 09:31 am
@saab,
when we went we did not get a sleeper compartment - we went cheap, just regular seats - we met up with some other young women took over one compartment that had 6 seats - pushed them all down and made a big bed and snoozed.

But then I can sleep almost any where - we once took a ferry from Wales to Ireland - it was during the time of year when the sea is very rough. I just curled up on a seat and slept the whole time. My friend when I woke up said how could you sleep the ride was so rough. My answer - I was tired.
saab
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2016 09:46 am
@Linkat,
I am like you - I can sleep too when travelling.
Looked it up for fun.
Used to take the sleeper from Frankfurt to Copenhagen (came from Zürich)
Now there are only normal trains. During the day the trip take between 9 to 10 hours changing in Hamburg
During night 11 to 13 hours changhing three or four times.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2016 10:02 am
@saab,
They've stopped running most, if not all, night trains with sleeping compartments.
It's less due to flights but the lot cheaper coach fares.
saab
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2016 10:54 am
@Walter Hinteler,
There were direct trains - 36 hours trip -Copenhagen to Rome
Now the trip takes around 25 hours but you have to change between 3 to 8 times.
Times changes. Coach is cheap, flights are fast and sometimes cheap and driving yourself is easy.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2016 11:17 am
@saab,
There's still the "City Night Line" between Munich and Rome. (From Copenhagen, you have to change in Hamburg and Munich, 23:45 total time.)
Timetable
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2016 11:25 am
@Walter Hinteler,
I took a train from Paris to London, and went through the 'tube.' Can't even remember how long ago that was. I do remember the trip from Paris to Brussels, and I asked a gentleman what I could do close to Brussels, because I had a day or so to spare before my trip to London. He suggested Brugges, so that's what I did.
0 Replies
 
 

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