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Help needed in planning a trip to Europe

Help needed in planning a trip to Europe

Old Sep 17th 2004, 6:58 pm
  #46  
Calif Bill
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Default Re: Help needed in planning a trip to Europe

"Martin Rich" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
    > On 15 Sep 2004 08:09:45 -0700, [email protected] (What Ever)
    > wrote:
    > >My wife and I are planning to travel to Europe as tourists from USA
    > >between Nov. 20th and Nov. 28th. I need help in planning the trip.
    > >
    > >Here are the places we are interested in. We are primarily interested
    > >in site seeing.
    > >
    > I'll join the chorus saying that you are trying to do too much. I
    > suggest limiting yourself to two centres and/or a relatively small
    > aea. So Paris and Rome would be feasible, though if you want to go
    > between the two by train then allow a whole day for the journey as
    > it's around 13 hours. Or you could aim to visit Italy, rather than
    > trying to 'do Europe' so Rome, Venice, and the Italian lakes would be
    > feasible within the time that you have..
    > To be fair you acknowledge that you could spend much more time in any
    > one of the places that interest you.
    > >
    > >2. Switzerland: Zurich, and Alps (I am not sure what city we should
    > >visit for Alps, and if November would be a good time). We are planning
    > >to stay for 1 night and 2 days.
    > >
    > The Alps cover a huge area and your best approach might not be to go
    > for a city at all, especially in Switzerland where there is quite a
    > dense rail network. Or, given your time constraints, just see them
    > through a train window:-)
    > >
    > >2. Travel from one country to another within Europe (and from one city
    > >to another): Is it advisable to purchase rail tickets instead of rail
    > >passes? Where can I find information on how long it takes and how much
    > >it costs?
    > >
    > The best resource for train times (not fares) across Europe is run by
    > Deutsche Bahn and is at http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en
    > for the English version.
    > Conventional wisdom on rail passes is that you need to do a lot of
    > travelling to make them worth while. If you buy tickets for
    > individual train journeys, buy them once you arrive in Europe and not
    > in the US. The people who sell rail passes in the US also sell point
    > to point tickets but these are invariably MUCH more expensive than
    > buying the equivalent tickets in Europe.
    > >7. Language: We both speak English, do we need to learn native
    > >language of the country or can we manage with English?
    > >
    > It's worth learnign a few simple useful phrases, but otherwise just
    > don't assume that everybody will understand English, and ask politely
    > whether somebody speaks any English when you first approach them
    > Martin

I think the itinerary is maybe to small. Throw in Russia also.
Bill
;)
 
Old Sep 17th 2004, 8:50 pm
  #47  
Dan Stephenson
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Default Re: Help needed in planning a trip to Europe

In article <[email protected]>, B Vaughan
<[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    > If you don't want to see scenery, you could take the overnight train
    > with a couchette from Paris to Milan. Actually, it only costs about
    > half as much, for some reason, and it saves you a night in a hotel.

To the original poster: your experience might be different than mine,
but my own night train experience was awful. It was from Vienna to
Venice, and not only could you not really sleep, the train was
pursposefully pulled over and stopped part of the night since it
doesn't really take all the night... so I was awakened to the choking
fumes of oil. What a nightmare.

--
Dan Stephenson
Photos and movies from US Parks and all over Europe:
http://homepage.mac.com/stepheda
 
Old Sep 17th 2004, 8:55 pm
  #48  
Martin Rich
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Default Re: Help needed in planning a trip to Europe

On Sat, 18 Sep 2004 00:46:38 +0200, Magda <[email protected]>
wrote:

    >On Fri, 17 Sep 2004 07:45:49 +0100, in rec.travel.europe, Martin Rich
    ><[email protected]> arranged some electrons, so they looked like this :
    > ... I'll join the chorus saying that you are trying to do too much. I
    > ... suggest limiting yourself to two centres and/or a relatively small
    > ... aea. So Paris and Rome would be feasible, though if you want to go
    > ... between the two by train then allow a whole day for the journey as
    > ... it's around 13 hours.
    >You mean "a night".
    >There are berths in trains, you know. No need to waste a whole day travelling.


In fact I meant 'a day or a night'. Given his timescale and that he
wants to see a fair bit of Europe, I think a long daytime journeyin
the middle might be an opporunity for the original poster to see some
of Europe out of a train window. An overnight journey would maximise
the time in Paris and Rome and also save on a night's accommodation.
Either would be feasible.

Martin
 
Old Sep 18th 2004, 4:22 am
  #49  
Dominique Foucart
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Default Re: Help needed in planning a trip to Europe

Kalle a couché sur son écran :
    > "Dominique Foucart" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >> Don't take the train for the long trip between Paris and Geneva. You'll
    >> lose 5 hours in TGV and spend twice the price of the plane ticket.
    > I can't understand this one. I just took a train from Geneva to Paris and it
    > took 3.5 hours. Price was 25 euros. You can't do it any faster or cheaper
    > using Easyjet. First of all you'll need a ride to the airport. Then you have
    > to check in at least 60 minutes before the departure. After landing you have
    > to wait for the luggage. Then you'll need a ride to the city. You can't do
    > this in 3.5 hours.
    > If you take a train, all you have to do is go to the train station 10
    > minutes before the departure time.

True most of the time. However, you can get the same price from
easyjet, and you can use them as alternative departure times. 25 Euro
for the TGV is a very good deal, I use to search regularly on both TGV
and easyjet for that trip that I do regularly, and I find more good
buys on easyjet than on the train. But it's just my personal experience
- no statistic value.

--
Dominique Foucart
Brussels, Capital City of European Community
Trails and Hikes in Haute-Savoie: http://www.samoens.int.ms
Appartment Rental for Hiking and Skiing:
http://dfoucart.tripod.com/samoensquejaime
 
Old Sep 18th 2004, 4:25 am
  #50  
Dominique Foucart
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Default Re: Help needed in planning a trip to Europe

Kalle a utilisé son clavier pour écrire :
    > "Dominique Foucart" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >> Day 4: November is the low season for all of the snow/ski/mountain
    >> resorts. However, it may be one of the best time of the year, if it is
    >> sunny. You can take a tour from Geneva to Chamonix and see the Mont
    >> Blanc (the highest point in Europe). If you do not fear altitude, take
    >> the cable car to "l'Aiguille du Midi" you will arrive at + 4000 m and
    >> enjoy a fantastic view of the area.
    > Annual maintenance break for that cable car is usually in November so it
    > might be closed.

true, my mistake, it will be closed from october 25 till december 17

--
Dominique Foucart
Brussels, Capital City of European Community
Trails and Hikes in Haute-Savoie: http://www.samoens.int.ms
Appartment Rental for Hiking and Skiing:
http://dfoucart.tripod.com/samoensquejaime
 
Old Sep 18th 2004, 4:28 am
  #51  
Dominique Foucart
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Default Re: Help needed in planning a trip to Europe

Kalle a couché sur son écran :
    > "Dominique Foucart" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >> sunny. You can take a tour from Geneva to Chamonix and see the Mont
    >> Blanc (the highest point in Europe). If you do not fear altitude, take
    > Mont Blanc is the highest point of Western Europe. Mt. Elbrus is the highest
    > point of Europe.

no doubts on the mt blanc. Mt Elbrus is at the borderline between
Europe and Asia. So it is a discussion item. but ok, if we can get 1000
m more in Europa, that makes us... what ?

--
Dominique Foucart
Brussels, Capital City of European Community
Trails and Hikes in Haute-Savoie: http://www.samoens.int.ms
Appartment Rental for Hiking and Skiing:
http://dfoucart.tripod.com/samoensquejaime
 
Old Sep 18th 2004, 5:16 am
  #52  
Jenn
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Default Re: Help needed in planning a trip to Europe

Magda wrote:

    > On Fri, 17 Sep 2004 07:45:49 +0100, in rec.travel.europe, Martin Rich
    > <[email protected]> arranged some electrons, so they looked like this :
    >
    >
    > ... I'll join the chorus saying that you are trying to do too much. I
    > ... suggest limiting yourself to two centres and/or a relatively small
    > ... aea. So Paris and Rome would be feasible, though if you want to go
    > ... between the two by train then allow a whole day for the journey as
    > ... it's around 13 hours.
    >
    > You mean "a night".
    > There are berths in trains, you know. No need to waste a whole day travelling.
    >


we took the night train from Florence to Paris last year [it is the same
train and the same price as the Rome to Paris] -- it is a long enough
trip that you really do get a full night's sleep and is very convenient.
It is probably not cheaper than flying -- we took it because we had
about 100 pounds of books and thus had too much luggage for intra Europe
flying at a reasonable cost. The night train is great -- we did have a
private two person room -- and the bunks were very comfortable. so
night train is an efficient way to fit Paris and Rome into one short trip,.

If it were me, I would still pick either Paris or Rome for such a short
stay and keep my itinerary in the locale of either.
 
Old Sep 19th 2004, 12:16 am
  #53  
Kalle
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Default Re: Help needed in planning a trip to Europe

"Dominique Foucart" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > easyjet, and you can use them as alternative departure times. 25 Euro
    > for the TGV is a very good deal, I use to search regularly on both TGV
    > and easyjet for that trip that I do regularly, and I find more good
    > buys on easyjet than on the train.

That 25 euros seems to bee fairly normal price here:
http://www.voyages-sncf.com/

But you have to book few weeks in advance.

I agree that it's a really good deal.
 
Old Sep 19th 2004, 12:20 am
  #54  
nitram
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Default Re: Help needed in planning a trip to Europe

On Sun, 19 Sep 2004 14:16:55 +0200, "Kalle" <[email protected]>
wrote:

    >"Dominique Foucart" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >> easyjet, and you can use them as alternative departure times. 25 Euro
    >> for the TGV is a very good deal, I use to search regularly on both TGV
    >> and easyjet for that trip that I do regularly, and I find more good
    >> buys on easyjet than on the train.
    >That 25 euros seems to bee fairly normal price here:
    >http://www.voyages-sncf.com/
    >But you have to book few weeks in advance.
    >I agree that it's a really good deal.

25 euros doesn't buy much from Easyjet, it won't even cover all the
extras they dream up.
 
Old Oct 9th 2004, 12:47 pm
  #55  
Jesper Lauridsen
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Default Re: Help needed in planning a trip to Europe

On 2004-09-15, Dave Smith <[email protected]> wrote:
    > What Ever wrote:
    >> 4. Places to stay: Do you have any recommendations on where we could
    >> stay. We are planning to spend around $100/night.
    > You might have trouble finding places that cheap in major European
    > cities.

There are loads of hotels in that price range. A random search for Paris
returns ~70 hotels with double rooms for $100/night or less.

Why do think hotels are so expensive?
 
Old Oct 9th 2004, 10:10 pm
  #56  
Deep Frayed Morgues
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Default Re: Help needed in planning a trip to Europe

Dave Smith <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > What Ever wrote:
    >

    > > 2. Travel from one country to another within Europe (and from one city
    > > to another): Is it advisable to purchase rail tickets instead of rail
    > > passes? Where can I find information on how long it takes and how much
    > > it costs?
    >
    > About 10 years ago I traveled to Europe with a 15 day Eurail pass. It was
    > not cheap, but we made the most of it. We wandered around through France,
    > Germany, and Italy. starting and ending at Paris. We had a great time.
    > Some people think that you are better off just buying tickets as you go.

I did some calculations a couple of years back, and worked out that
you would roughly break even if you travelled every 3 days. Thus the
Eurail pass is only good value if you want to haul yourself around the
well-established parts of Europe, and don't want any rest time.
Personally I cannot see any great benefit or saving involved at all,
but if someone can illustrate otherwise, I am sure we would all like
to know...
---
DFM
 
Old Oct 10th 2004, 4:11 am
  #57  
B Vaughan
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Default Re: Help needed in planning a trip to Europe

On 10 Oct 2004 03:10:25 -0700, [email protected] (Deep Frayed
Morgues) wrote:

    >I did some calculations a couple of years back, and worked out that
    >you would roughly break even if you travelled every 3 days. Thus the
    >Eurail pass is only good value if you want to haul yourself around the
    >well-established parts of Europe, and don't want any rest time.
    >Personally I cannot see any great benefit or saving involved at all,
    >but if someone can illustrate otherwise, I am sure we would all like
    >to know...

I think it would depend a lot on the distances you were travelling and
in what countries. My daughter purchased a rail pass once when she was
studying in Germany, to use near the end of her trip. She found that a
single trip to Vienna nearly paid for the pass, and then she was able
to make several other trips when her term was finished.

However, she was eligible for a youth pass, and Germany and Austria
are among the more expensive countries for rail travel. I have heard
of other people who say that a pass paid off for a single long trip.

I once took a long trip through Europe, starting in Rome and passing
through Austria, Germany and the Netherlands. On that occasion a rail
pass would have almost paid off, but I ended up getting a 2nd class
ticket for the whole route, with stopovers built in, and I upgraded
trains and bought reservations as necessary.


-----------
Barbara Vaughan
My email address is my first initial followed by my surname at libero dot it
I answer travel questions only in the newsgroup
 
Old Oct 22nd 2004, 10:21 am
  #58  
Alisa
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Default Re: Help needed in planning a trip to Europe

I always recommend to friends travelling to Europe that they spend at
least one night in a castle. This isn't necessarily expensive because
there are B&B castles and youth hostel ones too. Check out
http://www.tennessus.com/ and http://www.puychenin.com/ and
http://www.chateaudecraon.com/. These are B&B castles in France.
http://www.ostellionline.org/ostello.php?idostello=388 is a youth
hostel castle in Italy. Also in Italy the bed and breakfast chain
called Caffelletto offers bed and breakfast in heritage homes, see
http://www.caffelletto.it/.

The Lonely Planet Guide Books are excellent for reasonably priced
places to stay (and all the other important travel information
independent travellers need).

Have a great trip.
Imaginative places to stay around the world - http://www.staytopia.com

Alisa
 

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