Fly2HMO
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Help A Noob Plan His First Trip To Europe

Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:19 am

So now that I got non-rev privileges and graduation coming up soon, I decided it was about damned time I got my butt out to Europe. I'm planning on doing a combination of driving-train travel. Places we (my roommate too) have planned on going are Greece, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany. We decided those are our must-visit places. We'd be flying into Athens, then (in a yet to be determined mode of transportation) we'd head over to Italy, get lost in either Naples, Rome, or Milan (or all of the above) then pick up a rental car and drive through the alps. Now, this is a must do as well, as we are planning on doing the same trip the Top Gear guys did when looking for the worlds best driving road (Stelvio to Davos stretch to be specific) and then our next big stop would be Zurich. From there its up to Germany. For Germany we don't really don't know where or what to do, just that we would have to be somewhere near FRA, MUC or Cologne because we need to fly back with CO.

This is a really really rough draft and I will add more to this when I come up with more ideas.

Thx in advance

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DC10extender
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RE: Help A Noob Plan His First Trip To Europe

Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:07 am

Germany is great. In Munich, there are such things as the Hofbrauhaus. Good beer, great atmosphere, etc. Also, the old city is very interesting. Austria is also a great place. Vienna is a great city with plenty to do. These are two countries to hit.
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AF340
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RE: Help A Noob Plan His First Trip To Europe

Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:11 am



Quoting DC10extender (Reply 1):
Austria is also a great place. Vienna is a great city with plenty to do. These are two countries to hit.

I personally like Salzburg more so than Vienna. That isn't to say I didn't enjoy Vienna though!

I really like Munich, if I were you, I'd stop there...




Liam spin 
 
LHboyatDTW
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RE: Help A Noob Plan His First Trip To Europe

Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:21 am

I'd try and visit Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Germany. It's only an hour away from FRA if I recall correctly. Admittedly it's a little touristy, but it is worth a day trip.
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Mir
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RE: Help A Noob Plan His First Trip To Europe

Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:39 am

Look into getting a Eurail Pass. It's a great way to get around for cheap.

-Mir
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Fly2HMO
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RE: Help A Noob Plan His First Trip To Europe

Thu Feb 28, 2008 11:28 pm



Quoting Mir (Reply 4):
Look into getting a Eurail Pass.

Aaah yes I was looking into that. We found this deal for just under $500 that'll give you unlimited rail for 7 days.


We're still hung up on how to jump from Greece to Italy though. I was thinking about picking up a car in Athens, then driving over to one of the ports, and pick up a ferry to Venice. Thing is, I don't know if I can drop off a rental car in a different country (and I suppose thats not a possibility) but I'm still wondering. There's no mention of that in europcar.com. Anybody have any idea as to whether if this is permitted?
 
NoUFO
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RE: Help A Noob Plan His First Trip To Europe

Thu Feb 28, 2008 11:56 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 4):
Look into getting a Eurail Pass. It's a great way to get around for cheap.

Good advice.

Quoting Fly2HMO (Thread starter):
get lost in either Naples, Rome, or Milan

The Amalfi coast is amazing, but skip Naples. They need to get their waste disposal problem ( http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSL0830577220080109 ) solved. One comedian recently asked Germans to invade Italy and clean up the whole mess.

Quoting Fly2HMO (Thread starter):
For Germany we don't really don't know where or what to do,

Lake Constance, then Neuschwanstein Castle (the town nearby is called Hohenschwangau), then maybe Bad Toelz (because I moved here. Seriously: this place is pure Bavaria, that's why) and then head to Munich.
This would mostly be a car route.

OR:
Take the train to Freiburg (Freiburg im Breisgau more precisely), maybe visit Baden-Baden or Strasbourg (France), then head to Frankfurt. If you have still have a couple of days left, consider a boat tour along Main river or through the Rhine valley (i.e. from Ruedesheim to Koblenz). Actually, I would opt for a boat tour rather than seeing Baden-Baden or Strasbourg, as the latter one is similar to Freiburg, and the former attracts mostly people in the 50s and up.
Anyway, no car rental needed here.

[Edited 2008-02-28 16:03:04]
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NoUFO
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RE: Help A Noob Plan His First Trip To Europe

Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:00 am

I forgot:

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 6):
consider a boat tour along Main river or through the Rhine valley (i.e. from Ruedesheim to Koblenz

You could of course also take the train from Koblenz to Cologne then.
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AA777
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RE: Help A Noob Plan His First Trip To Europe

Fri Feb 29, 2008 1:04 am



Quoting Fly2HMO (Thread starter):
Milan (or all of the above) then pick up a rental car and drive through the alps. Now, this is a must do as well, as we are planning on doing the same trip the Top Gear guys did when looking for the worlds best driving road

Absolutely a must! The drive between the Italian and Swiss Alps is truly magnificent. One suggestion: Drive from/through Milan up through the Italian Lake District: Lago Maggiore or Lago di Como.... if you can, take a little detour off the highway from Milan to a little town on the western bank of Lago Maggiore- a little town called "Stresa". This is one of the most picturesque, beautiful places I've ever been in my life. Grab a sandwhich and gelato for lunch and enjoy the perfect weather and scenery that is there in the summer. From there, drive a few hours (through the amazing alpenpasses) into Switzerland- to Zermatt, where you can visit the Matterhorn and see the town....

Amazing what you will see in one day.

-AA777
 
doug_or
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RE: Help A Noob Plan His First Trip To Europe

Fri Feb 29, 2008 3:27 am

I've found Eurail to be a pretty poor value. Do your non-rev benefits include ZED fares on european carriers? Are there any intercity hops you can do on an LCC? How much does it cost to buy a 1 way tickets between the cities you'll be traveling between? Remember, Eurail does NOT give you free rides on overnight, higher speed, or even some express trains. You'll need to pay a supplement for these. If you haven't done too much research, I'd strongly suggest Rick Steve's guidebooks. I always travel with them, usually backed up by lonely planet guides.
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signol
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RE: Help A Noob Plan His First Trip To Europe

Fri Feb 29, 2008 11:38 am

www.seat61.com is a very good site explaining rail / ferry routes. Most are based on "how to get from London to X without flying", but for example the Greece page explains how to take the train / ferry combo to Italy, or the overland route via the former Yugoslavia.

Zurich to Munich is about 2-3 hours by train, very scenic, passes through Austria in about 10 mins! Train also stops in Lindau (island in Lake Constance), worth looking around there for a couple of hours. Just along the lake shore is Friedrichshafen, home of the Zeppelin Airships.

Of the big cities in Germany, I can recommend Munich. I've been twice, once with work and also to the Oktoberfest (on my stag party!) If you're there end September, beginning October, it's a fantastic atmosphere, but all accommodation is booked out months ahead. Worth a few days of anyone's time!

signol
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Superfly
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RE: Help A Noob Plan His First Trip To Europe

Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:01 pm

Fly2HMO:
Bring LOTS of money!
The US dollar against the Euro is 1.50 to 1.
Our currency is very weak in Europe.

Not sure which way you swing but if your straight, Amsterdam should be included in your trip. If you're gay, Mykonos should be a place to visit while in Greece.

It's good that you included Greece in your trip. That is one of the more affordable European countries. The gyros are delicious and the beaches are great.
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767Lover
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RE: Help A Noob Plan His First Trip To Europe

Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:08 pm

How long is this trip? It looks to me like you're trying to cover an awful lot in one trip. Distances are not THAT close. Try to focus on a limited number of destinations so you will really get to experience the local culture and scene.

After all, with non-rev status you can go back another time!  Smile
 
Leezyjet
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RE: Help A Noob Plan His First Trip To Europe

Fri Feb 29, 2008 4:34 pm



Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 5):
Thing is, I don't know if I can drop off a rental car in a different country (and I suppose thats not a possibility) but I'm still wondering. There's no mention of that in europcar.com. Anybody have any idea as to whether if this is permitted?

I don't think it is, but most hire car companies should let you drive into other countries, but you would have to drop the car back off in the country you hired it from.

I found this on Avis' website :-

Quote:
Continental Cover
Should you intend taking your UK Avis rental car into the continent you will require Continental cover in advance of travel. Please call Avis Reservations on 08700 100 287 with 7 working days notice to arrange this cover (An additional fee applies for Continental Cover).

That suggests you can take the car to other countries, but doesn't say you can drop it off there !.

Best call one of the companies and ask - also let them know you are airline staff and you should get a discount on the price.

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RobertNL070
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RE: Help A Noob Plan His First Trip To Europe

Fri Feb 29, 2008 4:44 pm



Quoting Superfly (Reply 11):
Not sure which way you swing but if your straight, Amsterdam should be included in your trip. If you're gay, Mykonos should be a place to visit while in Greece

Amsterdam should be included too if you are gay.
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ME AVN FAN
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RE: Help A Noob Plan His First Trip To Europe

Fri Feb 29, 2008 4:51 pm



Quoting Fly2HMO (Thread starter):
Italy, Switzerland, and Germany

a few places to be seen:
Italy: Pisa, Florence, Venice
Switzerland: Schaffhausen, Zurich, Lucerne, Berne, Basel, Lausanne, Geneva
Germany: Munich, Leipzig, Cologne
 
NoUFO
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RE: Help A Noob Plan His First Trip To Europe

Fri Feb 29, 2008 6:37 pm



Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 15):

There are so many beautiful places in Italy. Why Pisa of all cities?

And Cologne is overrated, too, IMO. The city was bombed into rubble, and it shows. There's the cathedral, one or two good places to enjoy a beer and that's it.

Quoting 767Lover (Reply 12):
Try to focus on a limited number of destinations so you will really get to experience the local culture and scene.

Second that.
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ME AVN FAN
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RE: Help A Noob Plan His First Trip To Europe

Fri Feb 29, 2008 7:07 pm



Quoting NoUFO (Reply 16):
Pisa of all cities?

-
Leaning tower and its surroundings. Plus neighbouring towns like Lucca, Viareggio, Pietrasanta, Carrara and La Spezia. And the wine from the region between Pisa and Firenze
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Help A Noob Plan His First Trip To Europe

Sun Mar 02, 2008 7:27 pm

Thanks a lot for the replies they're really helpful.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 11):
if your straight,

which I am, my trip to AMS will be coming soon!
 
Mir
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RE: Help A Noob Plan His First Trip To Europe

Sun Mar 02, 2008 8:22 pm



Quoting Doug_Or (Reply 9):
Remember, Eurail does NOT give you free rides on overnight, higher speed, or even some express trains. You'll need to pay a supplement for these.

Depends on the country. There were no supplements required on the ICE within Germany. Reservations were extra, but it was only a couple of Euros.

TGV and Thalys did cost more, though.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day

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