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Raileurope.com: See Europe by train
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Old 05-25-2004, 10:06 PM   #1
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Im leaving for Europe on June 14 and returning on Sept 2 flying into and out of Brussels. I thought I would have time to do EVERYTHING I wanted but of course now I have to pick and choose. To keep it basic I was planning on being in Germany/Czech for about 3-4 weeks, Spain for about 3-4 weeks and Greece (Islands for about 3 weeks). Now I'm thinking about going to Helsinki, Finland and Budaplest, Hungary too (some people through globalfreeloader.com have even offered to let me crash at their place in those cities).

Would you:
Cut down some time in Greece and Spain in order to get everything in?
Is 7 days enough in Greece to make the trip to get there worth it?
OR
Cut out my chill time on the Greek Islands all together?
I have really wanted to go to Greece but its hard to get there (relativly) and I may end up haveing to go during the Olympics. A round trip flight from Berlin is around 200 euro and by land/sea would take a few extra days. I would be mostly on the islands but it may be more crowded there too because of the games.

Something else to keep in mind is that I only have a 2 month rail pass and will be in Europe for 11 weeks so it wouldnt be a good idea to go to Greece in the middle of my trip because I won't be using my railpass there much.


Of course this is all based on PERSONAL OPINON but hearing opinions helps me work through these things sometimes.
Thanks for any help you can offer.
Andy
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Old 05-25-2004, 10:57 PM   #2
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Seems like you could tack Hungary on while you're in Czech, though it may not be part of your rail pass. Might be able to get a cheap flight to Helsinki from Prague, too. What if you start by flying from Brussels to Finland/Hungary, then work your way to Czech/Germany (starting your pass then) and train down to Spain via France (worth a few days, anyway!) Use up your train pass getting to somewhere cheaper to fly/boat to Greece and then spend whatever time you have left there. It'll be busy during the Olympics, of course, but you only live once.

If you do go to Helsinki in June, you'll get to experience the White Nights, which would be awesome if you have locals to share it with. I've heard awesome things about Budapest, but haven't made it there yet.
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Old 05-26-2004, 08:40 AM   #3
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why you leaving out Amsterdam?



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Old 05-26-2004, 08:56 AM   #4
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I went there last summer. Thats my only reason.

I think I'm cutting Spain to 3 weeks and Greece to 7-10 days.

Thats my idea so far at least. I'll just have to suck up the cost and fly from Berlin to Athens for about 130 - 150 euro

Andy
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Old 05-26-2004, 09:43 AM   #5
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ah, not so fast. what the hell are you thinking cutting greece? you had better stay a two full weeks in greece, maybe even push three - come on, man - greece, greece. three for spain is great, which easily gives you two weeks for hungary, right? 4 czech/germ. 3 spain 2 greece 2 hungary = 11 weeks.
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Old 05-26-2004, 03:59 PM   #6
 
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umm, yeah, I would totally keep Greece in there. How could you pass it up?

But just remember that it will be a madhouse with a lot of Olympic tourists. If you want to beat the rush, go there first or go during the games and feel the burn of overcrowding and possibly no place to stay (resonably priced that is).

I've also heard from people involved with the Olympics that security is a big issue. Of course, when isn't security an issue during a major event these days. Can't live your life in a bottle.

Just my two cents.
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Old 05-26-2004, 06:46 PM   #7
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Wow, tough decisions.

Personally, I would try to keep Greece in, but avoid at LEAST a week on either side of the Olympics. You have to figure some folks are going to tack on a week of sightseeing before or after the games. And hordes of tourists and higher than normal prices can likely diminish your enjoyment of one of the bedrock, cultural destinations in Europe. As Joanie said, it's Greece, c'mon! The history of Athens, Delphi, Meteora, the scenery and fun of the islands, it'd be real hard to leave out entirely...

Good luck, and keep us posted on your choices...

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Old 05-27-2004, 11:05 AM   #8
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i didn't even think about the olympic factor - great point, guys. if it wasn't for that, i couldn't say that: perhaps you should cut greece all together this trip and hit it up next time. you didn't mention italy at all and it's a great starting point for greece, the best perhaps. maybe your next euro-trip could be greece, italy and croatia - that's a great idea, if i do say so myself.
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Old 05-28-2004, 08:59 PM   #9
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Thanks for your opinions.........
here is my most recent plan.........of course it will change after I leave but like I said I wanted to have "a plan" so I could at least see if things were possible

Approx. number of days in in arenthesis

Ohio University Athens, Ohio (5 years)
New York City, USA (1.5).....visit friends
Brussels, Belgium (1) ..... $530.00 round trip
Koblenz / Limburg, Germany (4)....vist friends
Stuttgart, Germany (1)......visit friend
Prague, Czech (3)
Munich, Germany (3)
Interlaken, Switzerland (2)
Lausanne, Switzerland (3) .......visit friend
Ibiza, Spain (2-3)
Pamplona, Spain (2)
Barcelona, Spain (4)......vist friends and family
Nerja / Malaga, Spain (3)
Tangier, Morocco (1)
Fez, Morocco (2-3)
Chefchaouen, Morocco (1-2)
Jerez, Spain (1)
Berlin, Germany (3-4)
Athens, Greece (1-2)
Santorini, Greece (3-4)
Ios, Greece (2-3)
Mykonos, Greece (3)
Athens, Greece (1)
Koblenz, Germany (2-3).....friend's wedding party
Vienna, Austria (2)
Budapest, Hungary (3)
Koblenz, Germany (2) ??....friends's wedding
Helsinki, Finland (4).........place to crash from Globalfreeloaders
Stockholm, Sweden (3)
Brugge, Beligum (2)
Brussels, Belgium (1)
New York City (0)


I'm sure you will ask why I'm going to Koblenz multiple times and about some of the seemingly random cities in Germany. I have friends there from when I worked in Germany last summer and I'm going back to visit them and to to their Wedding.

What do you think about my choices? I have put a lot of thought into this but I'm still making decisions and trying to trim things down so I'm not too rushed.
Do you think I'm trying to do too much?


Thanks
Andy


PS... Keep in mind that last summer I went to: Germany, Rome, Cinque Terre, Nice, Paris, London, Amsterdam, and Edinburgh
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Old 05-28-2004, 09:03 PM   #10
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Oh yeah.

Jerez to Berlin is flying ryainair

and

Berlin to Athens is flying easyjet

im not teleporting like it may have seemed
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Old 05-28-2004, 11:47 PM   #11
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I'm not sure how the rail pass works but could you just pay for the transportation to Greece and then after visiting there for three weeks activate your pass and use it for the remainder.

I'm not sure of the costs or anything, it was jsut a thought.
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Old 05-28-2004, 11:59 PM   #12
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Hughes...bro...why even plan that much? Isn't one of the reasons to travel like we do to get away from regimented crap? Just fly into Brussels and then see where the fates want to take you...trust me, your memoirs will be far more interesting if you just go with the flow...Adventure, the mysterious unknown...c'mon, just give yourself up to it, and se who you meet and where you go...
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Old 05-29-2004, 08:50 AM   #13
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Yeah.......believe it or not I totally agree with you but.......

I have a lot of things i want to to this summer on specific dates. For example, meeting up with people I know in Germany for weddings and parties, running of the bulls etc. I started out just trying to figure out if it was possible to do the other things that were a priority for me like gointo to Spain, Morocco, and the Greek Islands. Guess I got a lil carried away.

On the other hand I did make a detailed schedule like this last year before I left and I wasn't worried at all about keeping to it or anything once I got over there. I just used it as a general path to follow.

I can't help it I have 2 weeks of college left and not much coursework to do before I leave. I guess if I wasnt planning/researching I'd be at the bars blowing all my precious travel money

Thanks for keepin me in check though.........because you're right
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