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How is this itinerary for first trip to Europe

How is this itinerary for first trip to Europe

Old Jan 21st 2007, 3:17 pm
  #1  
Mike
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Posts: n/a
Default How is this itinerary for first trip to Europe

My wife and I are planning a trip to Europe this Spring. I've never been
to Europe before...we plan on about 2 weeks (~ 15 nights). Both of us are
English-only speakers.

Our current plan:

Fly to London, 4 nights in London (maybe 1 in Bath?)
Rail to Paris, 4 nights in Paris
Rail to Koeln, _rent_ a car and spend 7 days/nights exploring Germany
(Rhine River Valley, Romantic Road, Rothenburg, Munich, etc.)
Fly out of Munich

I'm a little skittish about renting a car in a foreign country. I know
Europe's rail system is supposed to be fantastic, but we like exploring
and enjoy checking out smaller towns and scenic countryside. Any thoughts on this?
 
Old Jan 21st 2007, 3:27 pm
  #2  
Mike
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How is this itinerary for first trip to Europe

P.S., we are coming from the United States!

> My wife and I are planning a trip to Europe this Spring. I've never been
> to Europe before...we plan on about 2 weeks (~ 15 nights). Both of us are
> English-only speakers.
>
> Our current plan:
>
> Fly to London, 4 nights in London (maybe 1 in Bath?)
> Rail to Paris, 4 nights in Paris
> Rail to Koeln, _rent_ a car and spend 7 days/nights exploring Germany
> (Rhine River Valley, Romantic Road, Rothenburg, Munich, etc.)
> Fly out of Munich
>
> I'm a little skittish about renting a car in a foreign country. I know
> Europe's rail system is supposed to be fantastic, but we like exploring
> and enjoy checking out smaller towns and scenic countryside. Any thoughts on this?
 
Old Jan 21st 2007, 3:44 pm
  #3  
Otter
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: How is this itinerary for first trip to Europe

In news[email protected],
Mike <[email protected]> typed:
> My wife and I are planning a trip to Europe this Spring. I've never
> been
> to Europe before...we plan on about 2 weeks (~ 15 nights). Both of
> us are English-only speakers.
>
> Our current plan:
>
> Fly to London, 4 nights in London (maybe 1 in Bath?)
> Rail to Paris, 4 nights in Paris
> Rail to Koeln, _rent_ a car and spend 7 days/nights exploring Germany
> (Rhine River Valley, Romantic Road, Rothenburg, Munich, etc.)
> Fly out of Munich
>
> I'm a little skittish about renting a car in a foreign country. I
> know
> Europe's rail system is supposed to be fantastic, but we like
> exploring
> and enjoy checking out smaller towns and scenic countryside. Any
> thoughts on this?

A car does give you more freedom for doing those things. But there is a
downside, including finding both the pickup and dropoff points, getting
fuel, parking, the unknown roads, the unknown drivers, etc. In some ways,
it's a tradeoff of freedom for anxiety.
 
Old Jan 21st 2007, 4:07 pm
  #4  
Joe Pessarra
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How is this itinerary for first trip to Europe

"Otter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> In news[email protected],
> Mike <[email protected]> typed:
> > My wife and I are planning a trip to Europe this Spring. I've never
> > been
> > to Europe before...we plan on about 2 weeks (~ 15 nights). Both of
> > us are English-only speakers.
> >
> > Our current plan:
> >
> > Fly to London, 4 nights in London (maybe 1 in Bath?)
> > Rail to Paris, 4 nights in Paris
> > Rail to Koeln, _rent_ a car and spend 7 days/nights exploring Germany
> > (Rhine River Valley, Romantic Road, Rothenburg, Munich, etc.)
> > Fly out of Munich
> >
> > I'm a little skittish about renting a car in a foreign country. I
> > know
> > Europe's rail system is supposed to be fantastic, but we like
> > exploring
> > and enjoy checking out smaller towns and scenic countryside. Any
> > thoughts on this?
>
> A car does give you more freedom for doing those things. But there is a
> downside, including finding both the pickup and dropoff points, getting
> fuel, parking, the unknown roads, the unknown drivers, etc. In some ways,
> it's a tradeoff of freedom for anxiety.
>
>

Otter is right, but, my wife and I have made numerous (16) trips to Europe,
taking the train on our first two visits, but renting an auto on all the
others. Maybe we have just been lucky, but having a car really gives you
the freedom to go many places, taking the country roads, and seeing things
you would not see on the train. We like especially to go and stay in one
place, making day trips out to the nearby towns. Having one or two of these
base places to drive from makes it nice.

Have driven in England, Ireland, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, and
the Czech Republic, among others.

At 75, I am not sure I will be able to rent an auto next trip, but we will
see.

Have a good time on your trip.

Joe in Texas
 
Old Jan 21st 2007, 4:14 pm
  #5  
-PeterL
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How is this itinerary for first trip to Europe

Mike wrote:
> My wife and I are planning a trip to Europe this Spring. I've never been
> to Europe before...we plan on about 2 weeks (~ 15 nights). Both of us are
> English-only speakers.
>
> Our current plan:
>
> Fly to London, 4 nights in London (maybe 1 in Bath?)
> Rail to Paris, 4 nights in Paris
> Rail to Koeln, _rent_ a car and spend 7 days/nights exploring Germany
> (Rhine River Valley, Romantic Road, Rothenburg, Munich, etc.)
> Fly out of Munich
>
> I'm a little skittish about renting a car in a foreign country. I know
> Europe's rail system is supposed to be fantastic, but we like exploring
> and enjoy checking out smaller towns and scenic countryside. Any thoughts on this?

It's no problem if you only speak English. Learn some useful phrases
(e.g. how to get gas in German) and you'll be OK. Lots of English
speaking people in Germany.
 
Old Jan 21st 2007, 6:31 pm
  #6  
Calif Bill
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How is this itinerary for first trip to Europe

"Joe Pessarra" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
>
> "Otter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]...
>> In news[email protected],
>> Mike <[email protected]> typed:
>> > My wife and I are planning a trip to Europe this Spring. I've never
>> > been
>> > to Europe before...we plan on about 2 weeks (~ 15 nights). Both of
>> > us are English-only speakers.
>> >
>> > Our current plan:
>> >
>> > Fly to London, 4 nights in London (maybe 1 in Bath?)
>> > Rail to Paris, 4 nights in Paris
>> > Rail to Koeln, _rent_ a car and spend 7 days/nights exploring Germany
>> > (Rhine River Valley, Romantic Road, Rothenburg, Munich, etc.)
>> > Fly out of Munich
>> >
>> > I'm a little skittish about renting a car in a foreign country. I
>> > know
>> > Europe's rail system is supposed to be fantastic, but we like
>> > exploring
>> > and enjoy checking out smaller towns and scenic countryside. Any
>> > thoughts on this?
>>
>> A car does give you more freedom for doing those things. But there is a
>> downside, including finding both the pickup and dropoff points, getting
>> fuel, parking, the unknown roads, the unknown drivers, etc. In some ways,
>> it's a tradeoff of freedom for anxiety.
>>
>>
>
> Otter is right, but, my wife and I have made numerous (16) trips to
> Europe,
> taking the train on our first two visits, but renting an auto on all the
> others. Maybe we have just been lucky, but having a car really gives you
> the freedom to go many places, taking the country roads, and seeing things
> you would not see on the train. We like especially to go and stay in one
> place, making day trips out to the nearby towns. Having one or two of
> these
> base places to drive from makes it nice.
>
> Have driven in England, Ireland, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria,
> and
> the Czech Republic, among others.
>
> At 75, I am not sure I will be able to rent an auto next trip, but we will
> see.
>
> Have a good time on your trip.
>
> Joe in Texas
>
>

I get reasonable rentals from Avis as I am still a corporate customer to
them and I still use mostly public transport. I will rent a car for a
couple of days if I think I want to visit the smaller towns around a base
town. But normally I use trains and the bus. Lets me see more than if I am
the driver and saves the hassles of parking and navigation. You need a wife
who is good with a map and navigating as Europe is road signage challenged.
They will have signs to the next town, not a distant town and most Euopeans
must have the eyes of an eagle as the signs are not very big.
 
Old Jan 21st 2007, 6:43 pm
  #7  
Runge
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How is this itinerary for first trip to Europe

Not bad...
You'll have to get adjusted to the great speeds on the german Autobahn, but
it must be the country where you'll feel the most secure on the roads.
In the UK driving is on the other side and in France drivers are
more...reckless !
For a first contact with Europe it is well balanced.
Many other places to visit a next time !

"Mike" <[email protected]> a écrit dans le message de news:
[email protected]...
> My wife and I are planning a trip to Europe this Spring. I've never been
> to Europe before...we plan on about 2 weeks (~ 15 nights). Both of us are
> English-only speakers.
>
> Our current plan:
>
> Fly to London, 4 nights in London (maybe 1 in Bath?)
> Rail to Paris, 4 nights in Paris
> Rail to Koeln, _rent_ a car and spend 7 days/nights exploring Germany
> (Rhine River Valley, Romantic Road, Rothenburg, Munich, etc.)
> Fly out of Munich
>
> I'm a little skittish about renting a car in a foreign country. I know
> Europe's rail system is supposed to be fantastic, but we like exploring
> and enjoy checking out smaller towns and scenic countryside. Any thoughts
> on this?
 
Old Jan 21st 2007, 6:44 pm
  #8  
Runge
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How is this itinerary for first trip to Europe

He could use a GPS with his rental car, helps a lot.

"Otter" <[email protected]> a écrit dans le message de news:
[email protected]...
> In news[email protected],
> Mike <[email protected]> typed:
>> My wife and I are planning a trip to Europe this Spring. I've never
>> been
>> to Europe before...we plan on about 2 weeks (~ 15 nights). Both of
>> us are English-only speakers.
>>
>> Our current plan:
>>
>> Fly to London, 4 nights in London (maybe 1 in Bath?)
>> Rail to Paris, 4 nights in Paris
>> Rail to Koeln, _rent_ a car and spend 7 days/nights exploring Germany
>> (Rhine River Valley, Romantic Road, Rothenburg, Munich, etc.)
>> Fly out of Munich
>>
>> I'm a little skittish about renting a car in a foreign country. I
>> know
>> Europe's rail system is supposed to be fantastic, but we like
>> exploring
>> and enjoy checking out smaller towns and scenic countryside. Any
>> thoughts on this?
>
> A car does give you more freedom for doing those things. But there is a
> downside, including finding both the pickup and dropoff points, getting
> fuel, parking, the unknown roads, the unknown drivers, etc. In some ways,
> it's a tradeoff of freedom for anxiety.
>
 
Old Jan 21st 2007, 6:45 pm
  #9  
Runge
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How is this itinerary for first trip to Europe

A GPS I tell you !!

"Calif Bill" <[email protected]> a écrit dans le message de news:
%[email protected]. net...
>
> "Joe Pessarra" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]...
>>
>> "Otter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
>> news:[email protected]...
>>> In news[email protected],
>>> Mike <[email protected]> typed:
>>> > My wife and I are planning a trip to Europe this Spring. I've never
>>> > been
>>> > to Europe before...we plan on about 2 weeks (~ 15 nights). Both of
>>> > us are English-only speakers.
>>> >
>>> > Our current plan:
>>> >
>>> > Fly to London, 4 nights in London (maybe 1 in Bath?)
>>> > Rail to Paris, 4 nights in Paris
>>> > Rail to Koeln, _rent_ a car and spend 7 days/nights exploring Germany
>>> > (Rhine River Valley, Romantic Road, Rothenburg, Munich, etc.)
>>> > Fly out of Munich
>>> >
>>> > I'm a little skittish about renting a car in a foreign country. I
>>> > know
>>> > Europe's rail system is supposed to be fantastic, but we like
>>> > exploring
>>> > and enjoy checking out smaller towns and scenic countryside. Any
>>> > thoughts on this?
>>>
>>> A car does give you more freedom for doing those things. But there is a
>>> downside, including finding both the pickup and dropoff points, getting
>>> fuel, parking, the unknown roads, the unknown drivers, etc. In some
>>> ways,
>>> it's a tradeoff of freedom for anxiety.
>>>
>>>
>>
>> Otter is right, but, my wife and I have made numerous (16) trips to
>> Europe,
>> taking the train on our first two visits, but renting an auto on all the
>> others. Maybe we have just been lucky, but having a car really gives you
>> the freedom to go many places, taking the country roads, and seeing
>> things
>> you would not see on the train. We like especially to go and stay in one
>> place, making day trips out to the nearby towns. Having one or two of
>> these
>> base places to drive from makes it nice.
>>
>> Have driven in England, Ireland, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria,
>> and
>> the Czech Republic, among others.
>>
>> At 75, I am not sure I will be able to rent an auto next trip, but we
>> will
>> see.
>>
>> Have a good time on your trip.
>>
>> Joe in Texas
>>
>>
>
> I get reasonable rentals from Avis as I am still a corporate customer to
> them and I still use mostly public transport. I will rent a car for a
> couple of days if I think I want to visit the smaller towns around a base
> town. But normally I use trains and the bus. Lets me see more than if I
> am the driver and saves the hassles of parking and navigation. You need a
> wife who is good with a map and navigating as Europe is road signage
> challenged. They will have signs to the next town, not a distant town and
> most Euopeans must have the eyes of an eagle as the signs are not very
> big.
>
 
Old Jan 21st 2007, 7:19 pm
  #10  
justforpostings
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How is this itinerary for first trip to Europe

Mike a �crit :
> My wife and I are planning a trip to Europe this Spring. I've never been
> to Europe before...we plan on about 2 weeks (~ 15 nights). Both of us are
> English-only speakers.
>
> Our current plan:
>
> Fly to London, 4 nights in London (maybe 1 in Bath?)
> Rail to Paris, 4 nights in Paris
> Rail to Koeln, _rent_ a car and spend 7 days/nights exploring Germany
> (Rhine River Valley, Romantic Road, Rothenburg, Munich, etc.)
> Fly out of Munich
>
> I'm a little skittish about renting a car in a foreign country. I know
> Europe's rail system is supposed to be fantastic, but we like exploring
> and enjoy checking out smaller towns and scenic countryside. Any thoughts on this?

Looks reasonable: driving a car in larger cities in
Europe is [most of time] no fun, parking a nightmare
and/or expensive.

For travelling mostly small towns and villages, car
still is the right option (motorbike or bicycle when
luggage and weather is not a concern). Just try to
get a car with a navigation system. And for K�ln
a car rental pick-up near a railway-station, drop-off
at Munich airport if feasible.

In addition, learn at least some basic sentences,
such as greetings, thanks, and "sorry, I dont speak
German, do you speak English"

As for driving the highways in Germany: no big
deal, just that right lanes are used for driving,
left for passing only. An important part of the
highway network has speed limits (100, 120km/h)
and often enough to much traffic for driving at
really high speed - otherwise, check traffic far
behind your car before using the blinkers and
changing for left lane ....

Check also for some websites on road-signs and
rules, including translation for some of the basic
words (such as "Ausfahrt" for [highway] "exit")

And have a great trip!
 
Old Jan 21st 2007, 8:13 pm
  #11  
kurkku
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How is this itinerary for first trip to Europe

"PeterL" <[email protected]> kirjoitti
viestiss�:[email protected] egroups.com...
>
> Mike wrote:
>> My wife and I are planning a trip to Europe this Spring. I've never been
>> to Europe before...we plan on about 2 weeks (~ 15 nights). Both of us
>> are
>> English-only speakers.
>>
>> Our current plan:
>>
>> Fly to London, 4 nights in London (maybe 1 in Bath?)
>> Rail to Paris, 4 nights in Paris
>> Rail to Koeln, _rent_ a car and spend 7 days/nights exploring Germany
>> (Rhine River Valley, Romantic Road, Rothenburg, Munich, etc.)
>> Fly out of Munich
>>
>> I'm a little skittish about renting a car in a foreign country. I know
>> Europe's rail system is supposed to be fantastic, but we like exploring
>> and enjoy checking out smaller towns and scenic countryside. Any
>> thoughts on this?
>
> It's no problem if you only speak English. Learn some useful phrases
> (e.g. how to get gas in German) and you'll be OK. Lots of English
> speaking people in Germany.
>
How to get gas? Aren't all the pumps in Germany self-service?
 
Old Jan 21st 2007, 10:03 pm
  #12  
kurkku
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How is this itinerary for first trip to Europe

<[email protected]> kirjoitti
viestiss�:[email protected] glegroups.com...
Mike a �crit :
> My wife and I are planning a trip to Europe this Spring. I've never been
> to Europe before...we plan on about 2 weeks (~ 15 nights). Both of us are
> English-only speakers.
>
> Our current plan:
>
> Fly to London, 4 nights in London (maybe 1 in Bath?)
> Rail to Paris, 4 nights in Paris
> Rail to Koeln, _rent_ a car and spend 7 days/nights exploring Germany
> (Rhine River Valley, Romantic Road, Rothenburg, Munich, etc.)
> Fly out of Munich
>
> I'm a little skittish about renting a car in a foreign country. I know
> Europe's rail system is supposed to be fantastic, but we like exploring
> and enjoy checking out smaller towns and scenic countryside. Any thoughts
> on this?

Looks reasonable: driving a car in larger cities in
Europe is [most of time] no fun, parking a nightmare
and/or expensive.

************************************************** ************************************************** ******************

For parking Paris can be a true nuisance if your hotel doesn't provide a
lot. Throughout France mobilists have this most peculiar habit of knocking
neighbour's car while parking. Paris is especially bad in this respect.
Perhaps they are driving in intoxication, their vision is not that good or
they are just plain stupid. In Germany things are much better, drivers don't
find dents in their cars fashionable, traffic is generally arranged
reasonably and free parking can be found everywhere outside several century
old cores of the cities which are mostly for non motorized traffic anyways.


For travelling mostly small towns and villages, car
still is the right option (motorbike or bicycle when
luggage and weather is not a concern). Just try to
get a car with a navigation system. And for K�ln
a car rental pick-up near a railway-station, drop-off
at Munich airport if feasible.
************************************************** *********

With a bit of planning one can do it perfectly well without a car. One can
for instance make a decision to avoid small towns and countryside in order
to easily access interesting sites by public transportation. In Europe this
is easier than anywhere else in the world.
 
Old Jan 21st 2007, 10:10 pm
  #13  
Deeply Filled Mortician
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How is this itinerary for first trip to Europe

Let is be knownst that on Mon, 22 Jan 2007 04:17:49 GMT, Mike
<[email protected]> writted:

>My wife and I are planning a trip to Europe this Spring. I've never been
>to Europe before...we plan on about 2 weeks (~ 15 nights). Both of us are
>English-only speakers.
>
>Our current plan:
>
> Fly to London, 4 nights in London (maybe 1 in Bath?)
> Rail to Paris, 4 nights in Paris
> Rail to Koeln, _rent_ a car and spend 7 days/nights exploring Germany
> (Rhine River Valley, Romantic Road, Rothenburg, Munich, etc.)
> Fly out of Munich
>
>I'm a little skittish about renting a car in a foreign country. I know
>Europe's rail system is supposed to be fantastic, but we like exploring
>and enjoy checking out smaller towns and scenic countryside. Any thoughts on this?

For the first trip I would suggest NOT getting a car. In 2 weeks there
is a huge amount you will be able to see without using a car, and the
rental process, plus driving the thing, will remove considerable time
that you can spend exploring instead.

Having said that, I have never spent much time in southern Germany,
and if there are specific things you will need a car for...

As for the language, you will have few problems, IF you make a little
effort to be patient and polite. Learning a couple of phrases always
goes down well, even if you mess them up.
--
---
DFM - http://www.deepfriedmars.com
---
--
 
Old Jan 21st 2007, 10:16 pm
  #14  
The Reid
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How is this itinerary for first trip to Europe

On Mon, 22 Jan 2007 04:17:49 GMT, Mike <[email protected]> wrote:

>I'm a little skittish about renting a car in a foreign country. I know
>Europe's rail system is supposed to be fantastic, but we like exploring
>and enjoy checking out smaller towns and scenic countryside. Any thoughts on this?

if landscape and small places are your thing, nothing beats a car.
(German drivers are pretty disciplined BTW)

(Cue usual argument)
--
Mike Reid
UK walking, food, photos "http://www.fellwalk.co.uk" <-- you can email us@ this site
Spain walking, food, tourism "http://www.fell-walker.co.uk"
Beginners UK flight sim addons "http://www.lawn-mower-man.co.uk"
 
Old Jan 21st 2007, 10:20 pm
  #15  
-Martin
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How is this itinerary for first trip to Europe

On Mon, 22 Jan 2007 04:17:49 GMT, Mike <[email protected]> wrote:

>My wife and I are planning a trip to Europe this Spring. I've never been
>to Europe before...we plan on about 2 weeks (~ 15 nights). Both of us are
>English-only speakers.
>
>Our current plan:
>
> Fly to London, 4 nights in London (maybe 1 in Bath?)
> Rail to Paris, 4 nights in Paris
> Rail to Koeln, _rent_ a car and spend 7 days/nights exploring Germany
> (Rhine River Valley, Romantic Road, Rothenburg, Munich, etc.)
> Fly out of Munich
>
>I'm a little skittish about renting a car in a foreign country. I know
>Europe's rail system is supposed to be fantastic, but we like exploring
>and enjoy checking out smaller towns and scenic countryside. Any thoughts on this?

Rent a car!
--

Martin
 

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