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Old 11-08-2005, 06:50 PM   #1
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Hey all you guys...newbie here. Cheers!

Just decided that I'm taking my first trip to Europe this coming summer. It's like 10 months away, but I can't help but start planning right now.

So, I'm looking for any and all recommendations...when? where? what? how?!

thanks

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Old 11-08-2005, 07:07 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally posted by jrkillion@Nov 8 2005, 08:50 PM

So, I'm looking for any and all recommendations...when?* where?* what?* how?!

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Try to avoid the high tourist season. Are you a student? If so, when does school end for you? End of July/pretty much all of August is super high tourist season. Eurail pass is one of the best ways to get around and there are tons of different types of passes you can get depending on how big your travel area is and how much you want to use the trains. Hostels are usually a good deal. Typically 20 euros, sometimes less, sometimes more for dorm-style beds. Take a small bed sheet and a towel (ALWAYS have your towel! haha!) with you because some places don't provide them and even though you're going in the summer it might get a bit chilly and you can use the bedsheet as a blanket.

Even though you'll meet tons of people, see if a friend wants to come along. It's always good to have someone you know and trust with you. I didn't take this advice, I went alone and it was fine and dandy, but there were a few times I wished I had one of my buddies with me.

In terms of going places, I'm not much of an advocate for travelling partiers. I like to party, but going somewhere like Barcelona just to get drunk in clubs is just being ignorant of all the awesome stuff to see there. That aside, Barcelona is a cool place, though it is apparently pretty high on the risk list as far as robbery goes in European hot spots.

If you go to Germany, definitely go to Nurnberg. It is a really beautiful city to just wander around and it has a pretty kickin' hostel where the folks know how to have a good time.

While Venice is one of the worst tourist traps, I have to say that it is a very cool city with a nice atmosphere (no cars, just walking and boats) and some great food (plus I got engaged in Venice, so it's that much cooler to me).

The Loire Valley in France has some amazing castles and towns, and the caves are a sight to see.

I don't know what your priorities are in terms of what you want to see. The big cities, the big sites, or the small towns with that small European town charm.

There's tons more I could say, but that seems like plenty for now.

Cheers
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Old 11-08-2005, 07:07 PM   #3
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I've said it before and I'll say it again, the two coolest places I've ever been are Prague, Czech Republic, and Cinque Terra, Italy. Can't be missed. You've no doubt heard of Prague, but if you want a little info on Cinque Terra you can do an internet search, or do a search on the boards here for more info.
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Old 11-08-2005, 07:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by mark-0@Nov 8 2005, 06:07 PM
Even though you'll meet tons of people, see if a friend wants to come along. It's always good to have someone you know and trust with you. I didn't take this advice, I went alone and it was fine and dandy, but there were a few times I wished I had one of my buddies with me.
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This is debatable to say the least. Many an avid traveller will tell you that the only way to go is solo. For your first time a friend can be nice, but be warned; you may return enemies. Even the best of friends can be at eachothers throats on a trip. Even if this isn't the case (and it's not a golden rule), you will do and see things on your own that you will never experience travelling with someone else. My advice is that if you do travel with someone else, lay down some ground rules before you go. Time apart is always nice while your travelling. Just my advice, I'm sure others have something to say about this as well.
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Old 11-08-2005, 07:26 PM   #5
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Welcome! 10 months will fly by and the anticipation of a first big trip is the best.

That said, I need more specific information to give my opinion, like how long you're going for and what kinds of things you like to do.

Wait, just realized it's 3 weeks. Well, that is not much time; I spent 2 months in just 3 different countries last summer. If you try to go all over the place in a short amount of time, you'll end up seeing more of the inside of a train or bus than anything else. Ok, so what are your interests?
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Old 11-08-2005, 08:52 PM   #6
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Welcome in the tpunk family !

So yes, like U2Fan said, what are your interests, your budget, your goals (as many countries possible, or one you'd get to know deeper, partying, resting, etc.). Are you aiming for Western or Eastern Europe ? Anything you might tell will help us give your better advice.
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Old 11-08-2005, 10:00 PM   #7
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Thanks, guys!

Well, I'm a 29 year old guy from Denver. Just moved out here from the east coast last year. Never been out of north america, so I'm obviously excited. Been talking about it for years and a new friend is also heading out this summer sometime and she got me thinking about it again. And after figuring out my vacation time, I'm finally going to get my butt over there.

I really don't have much of a plan or even many goals for the trip yet. Trying to soak in as many recommendations as I can, and kinda go from there. I'd obviously like to see a bunch, but not to the point where I'm travelling daily. 3 days in most places would be nice. Prague, Paris, Venice, Amsterdam...as of now, that's kinda the framework I figure I'll start with. Everything may change after I get talking to people though. The way I'm thinking now, I'd love to just have a general path I want to take, just kinda go with the flow...and hope I get to my final destination in time to catch my flight! Well, maybe not.

Thanks again! Any general nuggets of knowledge and advice here and there would be great. I'm sure I'll be around here a lot over the next 10 months and have some more specific questions as time goes on.

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Old 11-08-2005, 10:06 PM   #8
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Wow...could I say 'and' a few more times? yeah, that's about how my mind is moving tonight.


One specific question. Any recommended links to some packing guides? I think I'm pretty set on most stuff I'd want to bring, but I'm all about organized and thorough packing. Going to be weird heading out on a long trip without the car to store stuff in though!
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Old 11-08-2005, 10:08 PM   #9
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4 cities and their surrounding areas sounds good for three weeks....if you add you much you waste time and money bouncing around
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Old 11-08-2005, 10:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by jrkillion@Nov 9 2005, 12:06 AM

Any recommended links to some packing guides?* I think I'm pretty set on most stuff I'd want to bring, but I'm all about organized and thorough packing.*

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This site has a really comprehensive site on what you should be taking with you. I think this is it: ttp://www.travelpunk.com/tips/

This one also seems to have good advice on clothing and other such items: http://travelpunk.com/packing/packingforguys.htm

Enjoy!
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Old 11-09-2005, 06:58 PM   #11
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Cool, thanks.

I'm a liar...I can't help but actually plan out my path. If I had more time, I'd probably wing a lot of it. But with 2 weeks, I feel like I have to schedule it a bit.

So, how does this sound?

Paris>somewhere in N. Italy>somewher in Austria>Prague>Bremen>Amsterdam>London>Paris


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Old 11-09-2005, 07:20 PM   #12
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From personal experience, although it sounds exciting, there is too much of a distance to travel between your cities. Unless you fly, and even there, the time to go to the airport, arrive a bit in advance, etc, will be time wasted. Paris to North Italy is a whole day of travel, same to go to Austria, Prague-Bremen, and Amsterdam-London. If you wish to see different parts of Europe in a very short time, plan one long day of travel and from there explore the area. Something like (just an example):

Paris(3 days) - South of France(3 days) - Norther Italy(3 days) - Rome (2 days)--- one day trip to --- Prague (3 days) - Vienna (2 days) - Munich (2 days) - Black Forest (2 days) up to Frankfurt to fly back to Paris. This is still a very loaded itinirary, but more realistic timewise. The number of days includes the travel time between cities also. It is wise to also plan it. You'll be surprise how much time you'll spend sitting in the train or airplane, not visiting !
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Old 11-09-2005, 08:17 PM   #13
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damn...you're killing my buzz!

Here's kinda how I envisioned it:

3 days in Paris
travel day to Italy (maybe start with overnight train on 3rd night in Paris)
2 days in Italy
travel day to Vienna
1 day in Vienna
leave early morning to Prague
2 1/2 days in Prague
overnight train up to Germany
2 days in Germany
early morning trip to Amsterdam
1 1/2 days in Amsterdam
travel day to London
3 days in London
back to Paris

That's 20 days

Is this too quick? too much? completely unreasonable?

Got plenty of time to tweak it to perfection. But this is the current goal I'm starting with.

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Old 11-09-2005, 08:56 PM   #14
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Again, my suggestion for Germany: Go to Nurnberg. Great city.
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Old 11-09-2005, 11:10 PM   #15
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It's a lot, but it is doable. Overnight trains are your best friend. They save you time and money, so use them as often as possble. If you cut out London you could save a lot of time. Also 2 days in Italy is rough. Italy is a long country, so if you really plan on only 2 days you better plan on only seeing the Northern part. Cinque Terra is in the North. I swear I should work for the board of tourism in Cinque Terra. That place rocks. Its near France too, so it's very convenient to your plans.
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Old 11-10-2005, 06:50 AM   #16
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If you go to Germany you have got to see Berlin. I am usually not one for big cities but wow man Berlin is awesome there is so much history and architecture museams and bars are none too shabby either.

London can be cool but watch out as it can be REALLY expensive.

Paris is fun too the Eiffel tower is nice as is the arc-I diddn't know this until I went there but you can go inside it.

Never cared too much for Amsterdam but it depends on what your into-Amsterdam does have great art museams.

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Old 11-10-2005, 08:31 AM   #17
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Cool. So maybe I take London out of the plans. That would definitely allow me to stretch everything else out to be a bit more comfortable. And save a bit of money.

Figured I'd like to see Berlin...but the guy I know in Bremen had some other recommendations that he said I should check out instead.
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Old 11-12-2005, 07:49 AM   #18
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if your going to germany durning the summer of 2006-------im afraid you wont find any place to stay.......the world cup is being hosted there this summer----if you can find a place to stay count yourself lucky........but i would make sure you have a guranteed place to stay in germany before you go there.
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Old 11-12-2005, 05:12 PM   #19
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I wouldn't get to Germany until around September 10th? When does that silly soccer tournament end?
I've got a place to stay in Bremen but I'll probaly stop somewhere else on the way from Prague to there.
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Old 11-12-2005, 05:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by jrkillion@Nov 12 2005, 07:12 PM
When does that silly soccer tournament end?
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Silly? SILLY? Stuff like that might get you in trouble in The Big E if you're not careful.

It'll definitely be done by then. I think it's in June or July.
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