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Old 06-12-2007, 07:31 PM   #1
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Default 3 months in Europe

Hi everyone, my trip is getting a bit closer and I have some things falling into place like my oktoberfest reservations and plans with meeting a friend in Vienna. I am absolutely going with the idea of taking it easy and just going with the flow. One thing I do want to do is have a rough idea of where I am going and about how long I will stay there. The Itinerary I will post is super flexible. I am looking for some suggestions on places I may have missed along the way. My interests are mostly in the people and their culture. I also live to eat, so any chance to eat & drink what the locals do is right up my alley. Medieval stuff like castles or forts interests me a lot. I am not a war buff, but the thought of a Military museum or even a terror or turture museum intrigues me a bit.

So please share your wisdom and let me know any suggestions you have.

-8/3/2007 Arrive Paris at 9:40 AM. I plan to stay two nights. Paris isn't a huge draw for me and is really only on the itinerary because it is Paris (And that is where the cheapest flights I could find are)

-Stop in Brussels on the way to Brugge. 2 days in Brugge
-Amsterdam 4 days
-Interlaken 3 nights (May stop in Zurich for the Street Parade)
-Gimmelwald 5 days (Too Long maybe...Seems like a good place to chill out for a bit
-Salzburg 2 days
-Vienna 4 days (staying with a friend 30 minutes outside the city)
-Prague 4 days
-Berlin 3 days
-Krakow 3 days
-Lviv 3 days
-Budapest 4 days
-Venice 2 days
-Rome 5 days (Should I cut from here to add Florence?)
-Naples Area 4 days (including Pompeii & Amalfi Coast)
-Cinque Terra 4 days
-Oktoberfest 10/1 - 10/4 (4 nights reserved)
-Barcelona 3 days
-My Birthday (Undecided where I want to be) 10/9
-Grenada 3 days
-Sevilla 2 days
-Madrid 4 days(day trip to Toledo)
-Lisbon 3 days
-Lagos 2 days
-10/24 there is an o/n train from Lisbon to Paris.
-10/25 Paris
-10/26 Fly home at 9:00 AM

I am struggling with the Spain & Portugal portion a bit. Does that seem too rushed? Do you think there is any way to squeeze in Valencia (That art center/aquarium looks amazing). I have also only used 77 days but I am there for 86 days. Most are travel days or chill out days.

Another option I am considering is dropping Spain and Portugal to explore the Balkan area a bit. But I think Spain and Portugal will win out.

Thanks for reading everyone!
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Old 06-12-2007, 08:18 PM   #2
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You have an amazing trip planned ! 3 months out there, wow !

The itinerary doesn't seem efficient enough in my opinion. Too many zigzags, and the Oktoberfest right during your time in Italy/Spain will drain travel time and energy. Since you asked for them, here are a few comments :

You'd have it smoother if starting your itinerary from the end : Spain, Portugal, Italy, then northeast to Switzerland, Austria, etc.

Skipping Spain and Portugal would make it even easier : Italy, Balkans, Austria, Switzerland or Czech, Poland, Germany, Netherland, Belgium.

If you want to leave the itineray the way it is, to rethink the first part is necessary, to make it a circle, otherwise you'll waste a lot of time in trains : Amsterdam, Berlin, overnight to Prague, Krakow, Lliv, Budapest, (Bratislava), Vienna, Salzburg, Switzerland, then southwest.

Also, being found of Eastern Europe , I think you're doing a lot of millage to see very little of it. Skip either Spain and Portugal or Ukraine and Hungary, and explore more of either of them.

Keep us updated !
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Old 06-12-2007, 10:12 PM   #3
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[...] My interests are mostly in the people and their culture. I also live to eat, so any chance to eat & drink what the locals do is right up my alley. Medieval stuff like castles or forts interests me a lot. I am not a war buff, but the thought of a Military museum or even a terror or turture museum intrigues me a bit.
[...]
Another option I am considering is dropping Spain and Portugal to explore the Balkan area a bit. But I think Spain and Portugal will win out.

Thanks for reading everyone!
Based on your interest in the middle ages, I strongly recommend not skipping Iberia. In addition to Toledo, go to Avila (perhaps you shouldn't look at it online...it came as a surprise to me and I loved it all the more), the lesser known medieval highlight of central Spain. I promise you will like it.

--Joey
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Old 06-13-2007, 07:35 AM   #4
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Regarding your interests, France, Spain and Germany have more to offer as for castles and medieval arts, whilst Ukraine, Hungary, the Balkans and Poland are more interesting as for culture and people.

Whatever the decision you make, you'll have a good time. One could wander a whole year in Europe without getting bored !

Half of your journey takes place during the off season, so you'll have less problem finding a place to stay. No need to book everything weeks ahead. Starting around September or October, some hotels/hostels give better rate, and in Eastern Europe, you can even bargain your room (hotels only though).
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Old 06-13-2007, 02:31 PM   #5
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Thanks a ton. Great suggestions Atchoum. And Avila looks very nice Joey.

If I did go south from Paris into Spain, What would be a couple nice spots to break up the Paris to Madrid train ride?
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Old 06-16-2007, 08:59 AM   #6
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If I did go south from Paris into Spain, What would be a couple nice spots to break up the Paris to Madrid train ride?
Unless you take the Trenhotel (which if your goal is just to get to Paris, I suggest because it is very comfortable and nonstop), you will have to change in Irun anyway (the Spanish gauge track is different than the rest of Europe)

I think I would travel to San Sebastian (or Pamplona maybe?) spend a day (or two), and then take a night train to Paris.

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Old 06-26-2007, 08:55 AM   #7
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I just spent some time in (among other places) Bruges, Prague, Rome, and the Cinque Terre. If you have any specific questions, let me know.
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Old 06-26-2007, 06:59 PM   #8
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Thanks Joey, Just saw your post...

Mbo, where did you stay in Rome and Cinque Terra?
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Old 06-27-2007, 01:40 PM   #9
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In Rome we stayed at the Stargate Hotel because it was one of the few places we could get a 4 person ensuite (my wife and sister insisted on these requirements for anyplace we went). It was up near Termini, but unfortunately north of it, so kinda out of the way of most of the sites. The room was alright, all we did was shower and sleep in it so now big deal. If you are by yourself you can probabyl get something for cheaper closer to the center of town.

As for Cinque Terre, we stayed in the town of Riomaggiore (the most eastern town, closest to La Spezia train station). We got off the train, walked through the tunnel to town and started up the main street. There are a ton of signs listing rooms (also "camarre" and Zimmer (german for room)). We walked into two places. The first guy showed us a place but we didnt like it so we said thanks and ciao and left. He was cool about it, didn't give us any problem. Always make sure you look at the place first. We finally settled on an apartment that we rented through La Dolce Vita. It was reasonable and had 4 beds and a bathroom, so we took it. The guys that run La Dolce Vita are really laid back from my experience and I would reccomend this place. As you walk up the main street (Via Colombo) its on the left just past the Bar Centrale.

Hope this helps, let me know if you have more questions.
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Old 06-28-2007, 08:12 PM   #10
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Thanks...I will probably stick to some type of Hostel in Rome, but great info on Cinque Terra
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Old 06-28-2007, 08:18 PM   #11
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If you don't mind me getting a little personal, what is the asking price of the accommodations you mentioned?

--Joey
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Old 07-21-2007, 02:59 PM   #12
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I am considering knocking Spain and Portugal off of my itinerary and doing a bit more exploring in Eastern Europe. Maybe Romania, Bulgaria, and possible the Baltic countries and then hit Italy after Oktoberfest. Any thoughts? I feel I am rushing Spain and Portugal a bit much and October might be a nice time ti visit Italy.
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:47 AM   #13
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I am considering knocking Spain and Portugal off of my itinerary and doing a bit more exploring in Eastern Europe. Maybe Romania, Bulgaria, and possible the Baltic countries and then hit Italy after Oktoberfest. Any thoughts? I feel I am rushing Spain and Portugal a bit much and October might be a nice time ti visit Italy.
BLASPHEMY!!! Do not knock off Spain!!!

Spain is the best, and most chilled out place in Europe. I'm sorry, but nobody parties like the Spaniards.
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Old 07-26-2007, 01:41 AM   #14
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haha Thanks man, With 6 days to go I decided to just go with the flow...I have to quite reading stuff and looking at pictures because everytime I do I want to go someplace else.
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Old 07-26-2007, 05:44 AM   #15
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If you don't mind me getting a little personal, what is the asking price of the accommodations you mentioned?
I think this question was posed to me but i'm not sure. I'll just pretend it wasy. And don't worry about getting personal, thats the kind of information for which these boards were made.

The Anakin Stargate was 35 Euro a person/per night. But again, this was a private room with a bathroom ensuite. And it was during June, one of the most expensive times of the year in Rome. I'm sure there were cheaper options if we did a dorm-style or shared bathroom but then i would have had to put up with my sister complaining about it for 3 days.

In Cinque Terre, we got quoted anywhere from 25-35 Euros a person/night. We finally haggled down to 22 Euro for an apartment that was on the main drag (Via Columbo) in Riomaggiore. It had a bathroom, little kitchen with fridge and oven, and 3 beds (one was a double for me and my wife).

If there is anything else, just let me know.
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Old 07-26-2007, 08:37 AM   #16
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Def. dont knock off Spain & Portugal...Spain's nice....Portugal's better IMO and Italy is in league with Portugal. But you still need a little of each....
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Old 07-27-2007, 12:23 AM   #17
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Thanks Laura
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Old 07-27-2007, 07:31 PM   #18
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I think this question was posed to me but i'm not sure. I'll just pretend it was
It was and thanks

Allow me to toss in my vote to keep Spain along with CB. Especially since you have an interest in Middle Ages history/architecture, I can't help but think you will enjoy Spain a ton. The Baltics may be a little easier on your budget though

Since I haven't made it over to Portugal yet, I will echo and substitute a little on Laura's comment. Spain and Italy are on the same league but you need a little of each.

--Joey
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