saxdiva
Posts: 2329
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2004 6:51 pm

Need Roadtrip Advice From Our European Members

Thu Oct 13, 2005 1:53 am

Hey, there...

Okay, so here's the deal: My husband has a long break at the end of this month, and we’re thinking of going to Paris. The following weekend is the AMS meet, which I’m planning to attend but haven’t bought a ticket for yet. In between, he’s got to go back to Florence for one day (a Wednesday) to teach. Rather than go back with him, I’m thinking of renting a car near Paris, driving to AMS, and picking him up the next day. After the meet, he’d probably fly back to Florence from AMS—I’d drive the car back to France and then fly home from there a day or two later.

My question: is this a reasonable trip? If so, how long should I expect it to take? Should I plan to overnight in Brussels or something? Are there banditos or anything I should be aware of along the way?

Thanks for any and all advice,
Leanne
 
IFLYMCO
Posts: 475
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2003 5:17 am

RE: Need Roadtrip Advice From Our European Members

Thu Oct 13, 2005 1:58 am

Forget the car- take the train- no need to go all the way back to Paris to drop it off. A trip from Paris to AMS is only 4 hours. (With Thalys)

Driving (and more importantly parking) is not so easy in AMS. Whereas the train drops you off dead center in AMS and also stops at Schiphol itself.
Now it should be "IFLYDCA"
 
IFLYMCO
Posts: 475
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2003 5:17 am

RE: Need Roadtrip Advice From Our European Members

Thu Oct 13, 2005 1:59 am

P.S. How is the weather in Italy right now? All my friends there say it has been raining a lot (near Milan).
Now it should be "IFLYDCA"
 
Logan22L
Posts: 4464
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 5:59 am

RE: Need Roadtrip Advice From Our European Members

Thu Oct 13, 2005 2:05 am

Can't help you with the travel part, Leanne, but when in Amsterdam, be sure that you two go out for rijsttafel - the Dutch adaptation of Indonesian food. It's fantastic, and you can get it several places. The one I recommend most is Kantjil - it's at 291-293 Spuistraat not far from Dam Square. It won't be the cheapest meal you've ever had, but it might be one of the best.
"The deeper you go, the higher you fly. The higher you fly, the deeper you go."
 
Rj111
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Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 9:02 am

RE: Need Roadtrip Advice From Our European Members

Thu Oct 13, 2005 2:05 am

I'm a little confused about the itinery but it's worth pointing out that there is a rather spiffing train service running from Paris-Amsterdam which takes about 4 hours. Dunno if that changes anything?
 
saxdiva
Posts: 2329
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2004 6:51 pm

RE: Need Roadtrip Advice From Our European Members

Thu Oct 13, 2005 2:13 am

I thought there might be a train, but I like driving trips if I have the time--it's fun to stop and explore. Once I get near Amsterdam, I'll probably park and take a train into town except for during the AMS meet (where it would come in handy).

So... this doesn't sound like such a good idea, then?
 
aloges
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 3:38 am

RE: Need Roadtrip Advice From Our European Members

Thu Oct 13, 2005 2:15 am

Definitely forget about the car - as everyone mentioned, there's Thalys connecting Paris and Amsterdam quickly and comfortably. It stops right inside AMS airport, so you won't have any trouble getting from the train to the meet. Driving and parking in Amsterdam... wellllll, if you prefer that over the excellent public transport they have...  Wink 72-hours passes for all GVB (local public transport company) trams, metros and busses are quite inexpensive, IIRC.

As for the "banditos": no need to worry.  Silly You should of course keep an eye on your luggage in the train, but even that's not an issue. They won't freak out if you leave it unattended for a bathroom break.

AMS station ("Amsterdam Centraal") is right by the Ij and "downtown port"; you can easily reach all parts of the city from there. In fact Amsterdam is so small and of course beautiful you can easily walk all the time unless you want to leave the central-ish parts.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
saxdiva
Posts: 2329
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2004 6:51 pm

RE: Need Roadtrip Advice From Our European Members

Thu Oct 13, 2005 2:15 am

P.S. to IFLYMCO... the weather in Firenze has been wonderful all this week. We're a little south of Milan, though, and I hear there's rain headed our way.

Too bad I'll be headed for Athens when it gets here...  Big grin
 
aloges
Posts: 14842
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 3:38 am

RE: Need Roadtrip Advice From Our European Members

Thu Oct 13, 2005 2:23 am

Quoting Saxdiva (Reply 5):
I thought there might be a train, but I like driving trips if I have the time--it's fun to stop and explore.

Didn't see that before... but even despite that, I'd take a train any minute. You could of course overnight in Brussels anyway. French highways are usually in good condition, but as they say, the driving there might be a bit of a "special experience". Don't know much about that, though. As for Belgium, the few times I've travelled through it it always seemed like a place I wouldn't want to spend much time at. The parts I saw from the highway were totally different from e.g. Brussels and Brugge which are both great places. Given the short period of time you mentioned, I'd definitely take the train and maybe spend a day or two in Brussels.

There is a lot to be seen in both BRU and AMS, and IMHO driving and exploring would be less attractive than exploring the cities and enjoying the quick and relaxing train ride. You'll still get to see the landscape from the train, but you won't regret the hours you don't have in BRU or AMS due to driving here, there and everywhere.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
HT
Posts: 5857
Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 6:20 am

RE: Need Roadtrip Advice From Our European Members

Thu Oct 13, 2005 2:27 am

Leanne,
In case you want to go by car to Amsterdam (in order to have it available for the AMS-Meeting), you should get a hotel in the outskirts of Amsterdam where parking usually is free of charge. Having to park your car in downtown Amsterdam will cost you $$$ or €€€ !

Basic distance from Paris to Amsterdam is 500 km, with a calculated driving time of 4.5 h (plus any breaks). The stretch of motorway in France (Paris to Lille) will be a toll-road, but I have no info about the charges.

Motorways in Belgium usually will be illuminated during night; in The Netherlands at least some junctions / exits will be illuminated, so driving during the night is an easy thing.

´hope that helps ?
-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
saxdiva
Posts: 2329
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2004 6:51 pm

RE: Need Roadtrip Advice From Our European Members

Thu Oct 13, 2005 4:42 am

Okay... based on your recommendations, I'm planning this as a train trip, and I'll fly home with Mr. Diva from AMS.

Now... where best to spend an un-chaperoned evening? Is there anything along the way that I absolutely should not miss?

Thanks for the advice,
Leanne

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