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petitepedal

Best way to do a European vacation?

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Oops no t on the end

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I would suggest small tour group for approx. 2-3 countries over a few weeks if you don't know the language. No more. I was on 1 group tour for 10 days, which included 7-8 countries.  A whirlwind tour  which lots of stuff is fast...and feels intense. 

Or look into hop on and hop off local travel bus in major European city that includes pre-set drop off points at major museums,, areas, etc.

Are you accustomed to taking the subway with many people?  I am.  It's more the language thing that can be slightly off-putting.

Let us know which countries /country is your favourite dream and some of us can suggest....

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5 hours ago, petitepedal said:

So....I was born in Germany and would like to go there someday..I would also like to see Slovenia & Croatia  since my moms parents came from that area..However. France. Mt. Saint-Michel, Chartres and naturally Paris would be great...and Italy..Rome, Florence, Venice Assisi......:dontknow:

I need to find someone to finance me going there for 3 to 6 weeks at a time for a couple of trips....:whistle:.  It doesnt help that I like history.

So what part of Germany did you wish to see one day?  We will be going to Croatia but then we know Wilbur can give some info.  I know 2 people locally who will be advising because they immigrated from there.

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7 hours ago, Wilbur said:

I have spent the last 35 years travelling all over Europe.  Didn't cost a penny. ;)  

I got 4.5 years in England thanks to US taxpayers. Of course I had to join the US Air Force as part of the deal and all the fun that entails.

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I personally wouldn't do a cruise in Europe ….it is 1 step removed from seeing scenery up close, culture and other attractions.  Yes of course, one has to take a ferry across a water body. But if it's only a couple of hrs...

 

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I would cruise the Baltic, if only to prove to @Dottles that you don’t need to rely on trains to travel in Europe.

Or a river boat tour of Hungary/Serbia. The greater the language/cultural difference, the more I’m willing to rely on professional support.

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9 hours ago, Airehead said:

Try to get to the Mullerthrall trail in Echternacht 

It’s beautiful. I was in Trier, but didn’t spend much time in Luxembourg (other than driving across to arrive in Paris) outside of the capital city.

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24 minutes ago, Prophet Zacharia said:

I would cruise the Baltic, if only to prove to @Dottles that you don’t need to rely on trains to travel in Europe.

Or a river boat tour of Hungary/Serbia. The greater the language/cultural difference, the more I’m willing to rely on professional support.

Can we go to Oslo?

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13 hours ago, shootingstar said:

I personally wouldn't do a cruise in Europe ….it is 1 step removed from seeing scenery up close, culture and other attractions.  Yes of course, one has to take a ferry across a water body. But if it's only a couple of hrs...

These are the things that make me scratch my head in disbelief.  None of us have any idea what Petites looking for (including her), yet folks are removing or forcing odd restrictions on her nebulous plans.  A "cruise" (vague in itself) is a wildly variable way to see a place. Similarly, a train varies widely. Add in planes between cities, buses, cycling, mass transit, and walking, and it is easy to proscribe or require any mode - but NONE of that iis helpful without knowing when, where, and why someone is going on vacation.

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10 hours ago, Razors Edge said:

These are the things that make me scratch my head in disbelief.  None of us have any idea what Petites looking for (including her), yet folks are removing or forcing odd restrictions on her nebulous plans.  A "cruise" (vague in itself) is a wildly variable way to see a place. Similarly, a train varies widely. Add in planes between cities, buses, cycling, mass transit, and walking, and it is easy to proscribe or require any mode - but NONE of that iis helpful without knowing when, where, and why someone is going on vacation.

True. And petite might be a dreamin' at this stage if she's worried about total European travel cost bill, in general.

To visit Germany, I would not be recommend to a stop in the country of a person's family origin (when they want to learn /see more of family country of origin which is what she mentioned), via cruise....unless that cruise ends in Germany or be in Germany before starting cruise.  Then one can have more time on one's own terms (ie. number of days) and not be locked in to a cruise's limited stopover time period in a country where one wants to spend more time.

Even a day tour or 1/2 day tour, at a local big city with flexibility to stay at one's own choice of hotel, could be an option. 

I never recommended cycling in the midst of all this.  That's a different level ….of bravery especially going solo. But petite may have unknown powers/strengths since she's already done some solo cycle touring in the U.S.  :)   Or am I wrong, petite?

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On 1/21/2020 at 5:06 PM, shootingstar said:

... but then we know Wilbur can give some info. 

Hit @Wilbur up for restaurant options. The guy is 2 for 2 for me.

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1 hour ago, shootingstar said:

True. And petite might be a dreamin' at this stage if she's worried about total European travel cost bill, in general.

To visit Germany, I would not be recommend to a stop in the country of a person's family origin (when they want to learn /see more of family country of origin which is what she mentioned), via cruise....unless that cruise ends in Germany or be in Germany before starting cruise.  Then one can have more time on one's own terms (ie. number of days) and not be locked in to a cruise's limited stopover time period in a country where one wants to spend more time.

Even a day tour or 1/2 day tour, at a local big city with flexibility to stay at one's own choice of hotel, could be an option. 

I never recommended cycling in the midst of all this.  That's a different level ….of bravery especially going solo. But petite may have unknown powers/strengths since she's already done some solo cycle touring in the U.S.  :)   Or am I wrong, petite?

The best way to cycle tour Germany is in the dark. Or so we told ourself with our pre-dawn rides out of Köln. ?

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16 hours ago, Dottles said:

Can we go to Oslo?

Maybe? Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg... hopefully something in Estonia and Latvia, maybe Poland? 
 

I’d also like to cruise the Alaska coast, but renting a sailboat seems the way to do that.

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32 minutes ago, Prophet Zacharia said:

Maybe? Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg... hopefully something in Estonia and Latvia, maybe Poland? 
 

I’d also like to cruise the Alaska coast, but renting a sailboat seems the way to do that.

I would love to do all those places. I have been to. Alaska twice but saving the tour of the inland passage for later in life.

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1 hour ago, Prophet Zacharia said:

The best way to cycle tour Germany is in the dark. Or so we told ourself with our pre-dawn rides out of Köln. ?

Depends where one is situated in Germany.  It's in the smaller towns and out in the country that cycling in Germany is pretty good. Lots of signage.  If we were in a big city, we got there by train, then cycled out into the countryside from 1 town to next.  

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On 1/21/2020 at 8:06 PM, shootingstar said:

We will be going to Croatia but then we know Wilbur can give some info.

How long in Croatia?  Zagreb (3 days) with a day for Plitvice Lakes N.P.  Dubrovnik (2 days). The old city is very beautiful but crowded and touristy.  Split (3 days).  

Restaurants are all still adapting to western taste so they don't tend to last long.  The food is getting very good though and they have adapted to customer service. 

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16 minutes ago, Wilbur said:

How long in Croatia?  Zagreb (3 days) with a day for Plitvice Lakes N.P.  Dubrovnik (2 days). The old city is very beautiful but crowded and touristy.  Split (3 days).  

Restaurants are all still adapting to western taste so they don't tend to last long.  The food is getting very good though and they have adapted to customer service. 

Will pass through Zagreb from Germany via train, to get to Split. Split for 2 days.  Dubrovnik for 2 days before boarding ferry to Italy. Unfortunately I don't get much vacation and need to go back to work.  What makes the food in restaurants "non-western"?  To me, it's western/European.  ;)B)  Keep in mind, I view Turkish influence food, still "European".  Even to me Middle East food, is verging on European/western.  

My Croatian born hairstylist couldn't pin down to 1 unique Croatian dish....that wasn't cultural import...ie. pizza is common there.  She's been back probably more than 6 times ….she has tons of family to stay with....in a village in the interior.

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15 minutes ago, shootingstar said:

Will pass through Zagreb from Germany via train, to get to Split. Split for 2 days.  Dubrovnik for 2 days before boarding ferry to Italy. Unfortunately I don't get much vacation and need to go back to work.  What makes the food in restaurants "non-western"?  To me, it's western/European.  ;)B)  Keep in mind, I view Turkish influence food, still "European".  Even to me Middle East food, is verging on European/western.  

My Croatian born hairstylist couldn't pin down to 1 unique Croatian dish....that wasn't cultural import...ie. pizza is common there.  She's been back probably more than 6 times ….she has tons of family to stay with....in a village in the interior.

Croatian diet is loaded with seafood and meats, especially cured meats.  I would say a coastal area favourite is risotto with squid ink.  Mussels are abundant and cheap.  Inland, meats and cheeses. There is more attention to breads, pastries and pizza nowadays. 

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2 hours ago, shootingstar said:

Depends where one is situated in Germany.  It's in the smaller towns and out in the country that cycling in Germany is pretty good. Lots of signage.  If we were in a big city, we got there by train, then cycled out into the countryside from 1 town to next.  

OMG.  Somebody on a bike forum who understands traveling through Europe by train and -- knows how to dodge big cities -- or at least navigate them.

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On 1/21/2020 at 12:10 PM, petitepedal said:

..However. France. Mt. Saint-Michel, Chartres and naturally Paris would be great...and Italy..Rome, Florence, Venice Assisi......:dontknow:

 

...the best book on Mt Saint-Michel and Chartres is still the one by Henry Adams. I doubt it will ever be surpassed. You should read it.

 

9780831760892-us.jpg

 

I have a feeling that Italy has not changed all that much since I lived there in 1970, so it's difficult to travel there as an american woman by yourself.  The men are all jerks toward American women alone, who they tend to victimize.  But Italy has always been a European travel bargain, in terms of what it costs for food and lodging. I enjoyed Rome, but only as a weekend tourist.  Unlike many people who report back, I also enjoyed the heck out of Naples.  But that was probably because I lived there.

You might be too late for Venice.  They've been pretty stressed out by all the damages from flooding and tidal surges.

 

There's a lot to see in Florence, but when I was in Italy, Florence cost more than Rome or Naples.

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On 1/21/2020 at 5:09 PM, shootingstar said:

  Yes of course, one has to take a ferry across a water body. But if it's only a couple of hrs...

 

...there used to be a ferry out of Pozzuoli (outside Naples) that went over to Ischia and Capri that was a great ride.

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2 hours ago, Dottles said:

OMG.  Somebody on a bike forum who understands traveling through Europe by train and -- knows how to dodge big cities -- or at least navigate them.

Settle down. We flew to Frankfort and took the train to Köln and rode from there. Although we then drove to Brugge one weekend, and Paris the next. The car gave us lots of flexibility the rails wouldn’t have, both in destination and time schedule. 

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On 1/21/2020 at 8:09 PM, shootingstar said:

I personally wouldn't do a cruise in Europe ….it is 1 step removed from seeing scenery up close, culture and other attractions.  Yes of course, one has to take a ferry across a water body. But if it's only a couple of hrs...

 

I agree. We spent a week in Venice 15 years ago, and our accommodation was outside the tourist area. We went to those areas to check them out, and while they were cool, the crowds and schlock vendors really detracted from the vibe. When the cruise ships come in, the tourists flood the immediate area, but they never get to really experience the city like we did.

 A river cruise on the other hand is something we would do in a heartbeat. The closest we came was a boat/bike trip in France a decade ago.

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5 hours ago, Prophet Zacharia said:

Settle down. We flew to Frankfort and took the train to Köln and rode from there. Although we then drove to Brugge one weekend, and Paris the next. The car gave us lots of flexibility the rails wouldn’t have, both in destination and time schedule. 

I took that high speed train once in the opposite direction.  Koln to Frankfurt.  It's was the only place in Europe I had a good cup of drip coffee.

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2 hours ago, Dottles said:

I took that high speed train once in the opposite direction.  Koln to Frankfurt.  It's was the only place in Europe I had a good cup of drip coffee.

We had drunk soccer hooligans on our trip back to the airport at 7 am on a Monday morning. Us with our bike boxes and suitcases trying to stay out of the way.

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